The median hourly wage for cooks was $10.44 in May 2015.
The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $8.26, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $15.38.
Median hourly wages for cooks in May 2015 were as follows:
Cooks, all other
Cooks, private household
Cooks, institution and cafeteria
Cooks, short order
Cooks, fast food
Pay for cooks varies greatly by region and type of employer. Pay is usually highest in fine-dining restaurants and luxury hotels, which are often located in major metropolitan and resort areas.
Most cooks work full time. Work shifts can include early mornings, late evenings, weekends, and holidays. Schedules for cooks in school cafeterias and some institutional cafeterias are usually more regular. Cooks working in schools may work just during the school year, typically for 9 or 10 months. Similarly, some resort establishments offer seasonal employment only.
Median hourly wages, May 2015
Total, all occupations
Cooks and food preparation workers
Note: All Occupations includes all occupations in the U.S. Economy. Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics