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Results PDF 2008 ACF Salary Survey

Salaries Revealed

In 2008, the American Culinary Federation, with the help of Readex Research, conducted a salary survey of ACF members to determine what factors affect a professional culinarian’s pay. The results revealed insightful information about our membership and the factors that influence their salary.

According to the survey, the average ACF member made an annual salary of $54,100 a year. The survey also found the following factors tend to increase a professional chef's income:

  • On average, chefs who hold a certified executive chef (CEC) or certified executive pastry chef (CEPC) certification or higher earn $10,900 more a year.
  • Corporate organizations typically pay higher salaries than other places of employment.
  • Those employed in the Northeast and Western regions are paid slightly more than in the Midwest and South.

ACF Member Fast Facts

  • 89% are employed or self-employed full time
  • 90% have completed at least some college
  • Educational institutions employ the most ACF members at 29%
  • Average total revenues at place of employment were $3.54 million
  • The average member has been in the culinary profession for 19 years
  • Culinary training is nearly universal among members at 98%
  • The typical average work week is 50.2 hours

Employment Status
Chart  Annual
Salary Chart

Membership Counts

ACF membership is also a key component for higher salaries in the culinary industry. According to ACF’s salary survey and the U.S. Department of Labor, ACF members earn $14,100 more a year than the average chef or head cook in the industry. Full time employment rates are higher for ACF members as well when compared with the entire employment population in the United State. In fact, 89 percent of ACF members are employed full time, while the national employment rate is at 62 percent*.

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* Source: U.S. Department of Labor

About the Survey

The survey sample of 14,174 was selected in systematic fashion by ACF and Readex Research from ACF’s active, domestic membership with email addresses on file. Nearly 3,500 members responded to the online survey and from that, 1,000 were arbitrarily selected to create a random sample. Download the survey results now.