2011 ACF Salary Study
The 2011 ACF Salary Study, conducted by Industry Insights, Inc.,
provides valuable information about the state of the culinary industry
and what factors influence ACF members’ salaries. Here are five of
the survey’s key findings:
- The industry’s unemployment rate is
- Only 3% were not employed but actively seeking employment, compared
with the January 2012 national unemployment rate of 8.3%. (Source: U.S.
Bureau of Labor Statistics)
- Corporate executives/managers and research chefs
bring in the highest median base salaries.
- Corporate executives/managers earned $97,000, followed by research
chefs ($90,000) and administrators in education ($74,000). Executive
chefs earned $66,000.
- Holding ACF certification increases average
- Respondents with at least one ACF certification reported 7% higher
average total compensation than those without an ACF certification.
- The gender pay gap is significant.
- The median base salary for male corporate executives/managers was
$28,000 higher than that of a woman. In terms of total cash
compensation, men earned $38,500 more than female corporate
- Male executive chefs earned nearly $18,000 more than women executive
- Where you live affects how much you earn.
- The highest median base salary was in the middle Atlantic ($65,000),
followed by New England and the Pacific (each $60,000).
ACF members can view a free online version of the results on the Members
In October 2011, an email invitation was sent to approximately 21,000
culinary professionals. In total, 2,711 completed online submissions
were received by the November deadline, representing a response rate of
13%. Data was checked manually and by a specially designed computer
editing procedure. Final results were formulated by Industry Insights,
Inc., and the report was completed in December 2011.
The last ACF Salary Survey was conducted in 2008
and found that:
- The average ACF member made an annual salary of $54,100.
- On average, chefs who held the Certified Executive Chef (CEC) or
Certified Executive Pastry Chef (CEPC) designation or higher earned
$10,900 more per year.
- Corporate organizations typically paid higher salaries than other
places of employment.
- Those employed in the Northeast and Western regions were paid
slightly more than in the Midwest and South.
The 2008 ACF Salary Survey was conducted by Readex Research.