How to Become a Bartender

To become a Bartender you must have great personality, easy going person, a people person. To discover if this career is for you, take one of our quizzes.

The age requirement for a bartender varies by state. Many states require the person to be of legal drinking age to work as a bartender. Most states, if not all, the legal drinking age is 21 years old. Most bartenders are paid minimum wage and rely on tips to make their money.

Bartender Salary

  • Average Salary: $26,000
  • Expected Lifetime Earnings: $1,085,448

Bartender – Education

One way is to simply apply at the bar you wish to work at. The bartending industry is very competitive. Most establishments want someone with experience and knowledge of how to make the different types of drinks clients ask for. But the best way to become a quality bartender is to get a proper education at a quality school. If you are not sure this career is fit for you, take a personality and career quiz. This way you may become certain of you best professional direction.

So how does an individual without any experience or knowledge break into the bartending industry? The easiest way is to go to a bartending school. These schools will provide you with the training necessary to be considered for hire as a bartender. Classes usually run a couple hours and take up to a month in order to finish the course work. The next step is to find a job. It is common to start out as a bar back or shot girl and then working your way up into a traditional bartending roll. Each establishment is different, so don’t stop looking until you find something you are looking for.

Bartender – The Job

If you enjoy interacting with people, consider yourself a night owl, enjoy wine and spirits and like a fast-paced work environment, then bartending would be an excellent career choice. Be aware, though, that bartending is not just about hanging out and making drinks. It can be hard work but the pay can be very good at the end of the night. Bartenders need to be guest-oriented and they must provide attentive and friendly quality service to their customers. Bartenders usually possess well-developed people skills as well as the ability to prioritize and multitask.

Bartenders may be working in a variety of locations, from nightclubs, bars, hotels and restaurants to private weddings and other events, but wherever they will be working, they have one thing in common, they are taking orders from their guests or from the waitstaff and prepare or serve drinks. These drinks may include wines, beers, cocktails, or specialty drinks, and also non-alcoholic beverages. Quality bartenders must have a good understanding of mixed drinks and the usual cocktails as well as be familiar with any specialty beverages that are served in the establishment where they work.

Additionally, professional bartenders should remember the names and faces of their (regular) guests, as customer satisfaction will increase and subsequently their tips. In places where food is being served, bartenders will present menus and make recommendations. They need to be able to answer any questions regarding the menu, and they usually will deliver food orders to clients in the bar area.

Bartenders are in general responsible for cleaning glassware and they must keep their workplace (the bar) clean. They should maintain their workspace (including bottles and glasses) in a highly functional, but still visually attractive, manner and be able to prepare drinks efficiently. Generally, bartenders must be 21 or older because of the nature of their profession which includes late night activities.

Generally speaking, we may say that bartenders must perform all guest contact activities. They must do this in an efficient, cordial, and professional manner. They will be making and serving drinks to cocktail servers and to their guests. They need to ring guest checks, process credits, and collect cash. Bartenders are required to complete supply lists and liquor requisitions, and must be willing to perform all side work.

Top Bartending Schools

1. Pacific Bartending School

2. ABC Bartending School

3. New York Bartending School

4. School of Bartending

5. Flairco Bartending Arts and Sciences

6. BAR Program

7. Bartending USA

8. University Bartending

9. Creative Bartending

10. Chicago School of Bartending


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