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Chef Salary In New Zeeland – Is Chef a Good Career?

Chef Salary In New Zeeland

Chef Salary In New Zeeland: New Zealand, a country known for its diverse and vibrant culinary scene, offers a plethora of opportunities for chefs. But what does it mean to be a chef in New Zealand? Let’s dive into the details.

The Role of a Chef

A chef is more than just a cook. They are artists, innovators, and leaders. They create mouth-watering dishes, manage kitchen staff, plan menus, and ensure food safety regulations are adhered to. Sounds exciting, doesn’t it?

The Demand for Chefs in New Zealand

The demand for chefs in New Zealand is high, thanks to the country’s booming tourism industry and locals’ love for good food. This demand translates into attractive salary packages for chefs. But how much can a chef expect to earn in New Zealand?

Factors Influencing Chef Salaries in New Zealand

Experience and Skill Level

Like any profession, experience and skill level play a significant role in determining a chef’s salary. A seasoned chef with a knack for creating delectable dishes can command a higher salary than a novice.


The location of the establishment also impacts a chef’s salary. Chefs working in bustling city centers or tourist hotspots typically earn more than those in rural areas.

Type of Establishment

The type of establishment, whether it’s a high-end restaurant, a cozy café, or a fast-food joint, also influences a chef’s salary.

Recommended: Average Chef Salary UK – From Commis to Head Chef Salary

Average Chef Salaries in New Zealand

Entry-Level Chef Salaries

Entry-level chefs, also known as commis chefs, can expect to earn an average salary of NZD 40,000 to NZD 50,000 per year.

Mid-Level Chef Salaries

Mid-level chefs, such as sous chefs or chef de partie, typically earn between NZD 50,000 and NZD 70,000 annually.

Executive Chef Salaries

At the top of the culinary hierarchy, executive chefs can command salaries ranging from NZD 70,000 to over NZD 100,000 per year.

How to Increase Your Salary as a Chef in New Zealand

Enhancing Your Skills

Investing in culinary education and training can significantly boost your salary prospects. Consider enrolling in cooking classes or earning a culinary degree.

Gaining Experience

The more experience you have, the higher your earning potential. So, roll up your sleeves and get cooking!


Building a strong professional network can open doors to higher-paying job opportunities. Attend industry events, join culinary associations, and connect with fellow chefs.

Is Chef a Good Career?

Choosing a career as a chef can be highly rewarding for individuals who have a passion for food, creativity, and the culinary arts. However, like any profession, it has its pros and cons. Here are some factors to consider when deciding if being a chef is a good career for you:

Pros of Being a Chef:

  1. Creativity and Innovation: Chefs have the opportunity to be creative every day, experimenting with ingredients, flavors, and presentation techniques to create unique and delicious dishes.
  2. Passion for Food: If you love food, being a chef allows you to work with it every day. You’ll have the chance to learn about different cuisines, ingredients, and cooking techniques.
  3. Job Satisfaction: There’s a great deal of satisfaction in seeing customers enjoy the food you’ve prepared. This can be a significant motivator and source of job satisfaction.
  4. Career Opportunities: The food industry is vast and diverse, offering a wide range of career opportunities. Chefs can work in restaurants, hotels, cruise ships, private households, and more. There’s also the possibility of becoming a celebrity chef or owning your own restaurant.
  5. Never Stop Learning: The culinary world is constantly evolving, and there’s always something new to learn, whether it’s a cooking technique, a type of cuisine, or a dietary trend.

Cons of Being a Chef:

  1. Long Hours: Chefs often work long hours, including evenings, weekends, and holidays. The job can be physically demanding, with chefs spending a lot of time on their feet in a hot kitchen.
  2. High Stress: Kitchens can be high-pressure environments, especially during busy periods. Chefs must be able to handle stress and work efficiently to ensure meals are prepared and served on time.
  3. Competitive Industry: The culinary industry is highly competitive. Chefs must continually hone their skills and stay current with food trends to succeed.
  4. Lower Pay at the Start: Entry-level chefs often start with lower salaries. However, with experience and skill development, chefs can earn a good income.
  5. Work-Life Balance: Due to the long and irregular hours, maintaining a healthy work-life balance can be challenging for chefs.

Recommended: Career as a Chef – How to Start a Career as a Chef


Being a chef in New Zealand is not only about passion for food but also about the potential for a rewarding salary. With the right skills, experience, and network, you can carve out a lucrative career in the culinary industry.


  1. What is the average salary of a chef in New Zealand? The average salary of a chef in New Zealand varies based on experience, location, and type of establishment. It can range from NZD 40,000 for entry-level chefs to over NZD 100,000 for executive chefs.
  2. How can a chef increase their salary in New Zealand? A chef can increase their salary by enhancing their skills through education and training, gaining more experience, and building a strong professional network.
  3. Is there a demand for chefs in New Zealand? Yes, there is a high demand for chefs in New Zealand due to the country’s thriving tourism industry and locals’ love for dining out.
  4. Does the location affect a chef’s salary in New Zealand? Yes, chefs working in city centers or tourist hotspots typically earn more than those in rural areas.
  5. Does the type of establishment affect a chef’s salary in New Zealand? Yes, chefs working in high-end restaurants usually earn more than those working in casual dining establishments or fast-food joints.
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