line cook Career Center
Line Cook Salary Range
Posted by: Ira Sider, July 07, 2012
The job of a line cook is a rewarding one, but it can also be daunting. With long hours on your feet and high customer demands, turning what you love to do, which is cook, into a career can at times feel like a challenge.
Specialty cooks focus on creating one type of dish, whether it is appetizers or side dishes, throughout the night. They prepare the food in advance and work on the line to create customer requests. These cooks can be found in restaurants ranging from high end to fast food to hospital and medical center eating establishments. Anywhere food is consumed, there is most likely a cook on the line ready to create a meal for the customer.
According to a 2009 report by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average line cook salary nationally was approximately $22,990. This number takes into account cooks in all areas of the country and in all varieties of restaurants. While the growth rate in this industry remains relatively slight, there are many opportunities for those with a passion for creating masterful dishes to excel in this career.
The following are a few examples of salaries in this position.
Fast Food – While these employees typically make the least amount of money, at an average pay of $18,050 annually or $8.76 per hour, this position is a great starting place for those who are interested in getting their foot in the door in the restaurant field.
Full-Service restaurants – These are the most common employers of cooks. The average salary at these restaurants is $22,770 or $11.11 per hour. This is because the dishes they are expected to make tend to be slightly more complex and require more expertise in preparation. There may also be more ingredients to prepare prior to the doors opening, which can increase the number of hours cooks must spend at the restaurant.
Short-Order Cooks – These cooks meet in the middle as far as pay scale, with an average of $22,170 annually or $10.66 per hour.
Medical facilities – Hospitals have the highest-paying positions for their fast-food cooks, at an average pay of $26,830. This is likely due to the higher cleanliness standards and safety standards of the food provided.
Location matters – If you are one of the many cooks who have always dreamt of living and working in Hawaii, you will be glad to hear that this state has the highest average pay for restaurant cooks at $30,450. The District of Columbia has the second-highest paying positions for cooks in the country.
There are many options for people with a passion for cooking and working in a restaurant kitchen. The important part is to find your niche and get your foot in the door so that you can work to a position you love, and that pays the salary you desire.