Ten percent of chefs made $23,140 or less per year, as of May 2014. According to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data, the top 10 percent earned at or above $73,720. Twenty-five percent earned salaries of $30,630 or less. The top 25 percent earned $56,820 or more per year.
The median income level for chefs was $41,610. The average was $45,880, as of May 2014. In restaurants, the largest employment sector average pay was $42,570. The District of Columbia offered the highest average among states or territories, at $62,850 per year. New Jersey was the second-highest paying state or territory at $56,200 annually, followed by Florida at $55,080.