Can A Chef Be Rich: The REAL Answer Finally Revealed

As a chef myself I once wondered this exact same question and the answer was, well… Not quite what I was hoping for but it did have some comforting sides to it as well.

When I first started culinary school as a young student, I really didn’t even give it much thought at first but then I learned what is the average salary for a chef and what it really takes to become rich as a chef and it wasn’t what I had expected.

Chefs can definitely become rich but there are always additional factors to becoming rich as a chef than just a job with a salary. Most chefs become rich by opening multiple restaurants of their own, becoming celebrity chefs, or possessing a reputable skillset. Becoming rich by only working a job is highly unusual.

In addition to the factors stated above a chef can become rich by working a job if the chef plans the finances without mistakes.

For example, working extremely long weeks for years straight and investing the money wisely so the money could compound over time, would result in quite a pile of money and by the time the chef retires, he or she would likely be a millionaire if the investing and working tempo had remained the same for the whole career. This scenario is unusual but it certainly has been done.

How much does a chef make

The answer to this question depends highly on the country and continent the chef is working at, however, I have gathered some helpful information below so you can see what is the average salary per hour in each area.

ContinentChef’s Median Annual Salary
Africa (Egypt)$17,694
North America (USA)$55,692
South America (Brazil)$12,076
Asia (China)$22,652
Australia (Australia)$54,522
Europe (Germany)$43.088

How much does a 5-star chef make a year

This question has a broad answer to it as well. On average, a 5-star chef in the united states is earning $70,432 on average according to This number can bounce up and down thousands of dollars depending on the occupation within the restaurant and the working hours invested.

Usually, chefs that are working in a 5-star restaurant or even in a Michelin Star restaurant are making way more hours than the average 40 per week.

What is the highest salary for a chef

As stated earlier, the median annual salary for a chef in the United States was $55,692. This means that 50% of the chefs earned less and the other 50% earned more. The highest 10 percent earned more than 90,790/annually which is quite an amount of the salary for the chef!

There isn’t really a cap on the salary for the chef and I’ll give you a little comparison. Gordon Ramsay earns around a 60million each year, however, this isn’t salary. Most of the earnings come from tv shows and other appearances on social media.

Why do chefs get paid so little

Chefs get paid so little because there isn’t any need to pay more. The threshold for becoming a chef isn’t high and there are many jobs open for professional chefs, therefore the salaries can be placed low because there will always be someone to do the job.

As we saw above that some chefs do get paid quite an amount of money but the opening jobs for high-quality restaurants are so competitive that you will either need to possess incredible skills or you will need to outwork everybody and there still aren’t any guarantees of making much money.

Is chef a good career

Despite the rare occasions of making a lot of money, there are so many chefs around the world and it is a matter of passion, which I recognize myself as well. If you want to get off easier and make more money, you certainly can. However many chefs love their job and it doesn’t have anything to do with money as we can understand from the facts above.

Being a chef belongs at the top of the list of passion careers which makes it a good career if you’re up for it and you enjoy the job!


Being a chef won’t get you a golden toilet but on the other hand, most chefs fulfill their passion and art through the food and service of the customers that get to enjoy their hard labor.

If you wish to become rich the being a chef isn’t for you because there are so many easier ways to become rich. However, if you are passionate and ready for a challenge, then you definitely can become rich by working as a chef but it’s good to remember that the road isn’t easy.

Omar Abdalla

I’m the owner of JRS. While I love writing about food, I also enjoy peaceful and relaxed cookouts at home.

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