Restaurant cooks are one of the least happy careers in the United States.

At CareerExplorer, we conduct an ongoing survey with millions of people and ask them how satisfied they are with their careers. As it turns out, restaurant cooks rate their career happiness 2.5 out of 5 stars which puts them in the bottom 5% of careers.

To put this into perspective, we compared how happy restaurant cooks are to similar careers in the industry. Take a look at the results below:

Salaries and satisfaction ratings in similar careers

Career Satisfaction Avg Salary
Restaurant manager
2.7
$38k
Dietetic technician
2.6
$29k
Butcher
2.6
$34k
Restaurant cook
2.5
$22k
Host and hostess
2.5
$22k
Food server
2.4
$27k
Food preparation worker
2.3
$23k

So what does it mean to be happy in your career? Let’s break it down into different dimensions:

  • Salary: Are restaurant cooks happy with their salary?
  • Meaning: Do restaurant cooks find their jobs meaningful?
  • Personality fit: How well suited are people’s personalities to their everyday tasks as restaurant cooks?
  • Work environment: How enjoyable are restaurant cook’s work environments?
  • Skills utilization: Are restaurant cooks making the best use of their abilities?

Are restaurant cooks happy with their salary?