These Are The 10 Best Cities For Bartenders

Chris Kolmar
by Chris Kolmar
Best States For Professions, Rankings - 2 years ago
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Whether you’re just starting out your career, or looking to make a move, it can be important to know what part of the country offers the best chance for your long term career prospects. And for a very common profession like Bartenders, the regional differences can have a big impact on your salary and career options.

To help you make the best decision possible, we at Zippia wanted to look at the cities that offer bartenders the most for their career. These are the cities across the US where bartenders get paid well, relative to the cost of living, and jobs are plentiful.

So we did what we do best and dove into the numbers from the BLS to figure out which cities have the best opportunities for bartenders.The result is this list of the best cities bartenders:

  1. Fairbanks, AK
  2. Mount Vernon, WA
  3. Walla Walla, WA
  4. Rapid City, SD
  5. Bremerton, WA
  6. Olympia, WA
  7. Corvallis, OR
  8. San Francisco, CA
  9. Bismarck, ND
  10. Santa Fe, NM

So there you have it — Fairbanks is the best city when it comes to being a bartender.

And where should you consider avoiding if you’re a bartender? That would be Dover.

Read on to see how we completed our research on the best cities for bartenders and for more on the top ten cities.

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How we determined the best cities to be a bartenders?




Here at Zippia, we talk to a lot of people of all different backgrounds looking for jobs. Our research has concluded that there are two common things people want in a job:

  • Availability of jobs
  • Pay

So in order to find out the best cities for bartenders in America we needed to figure out where the jobs are and how well bartenders get paid. This led to the following criteria taken from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’s Occupational Employment Statistics for 2015:

  • Location quotient. A measure of how common a job is a given city.
  • Average annual salary.
  • Average annual salary for entry level work.

To make all the salary numbers more apples to apples across cities, we compared the salary data relative to the state’s cost of living.

This left us with enough data for 403 metro areas across the country. We then took the primary area of the metro and labeled that the ‘city’ for this analysis. So, for example, “Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA NECTA Division” became simply Boston.

In order to develop an overall ranking, we ranked each city for each criteria from 1 to 403 where 1 was the best.

We then averaged all the rankings for a city into a Job Score with the city having the lowest overall Job Score earning the distinction of being the best city for bartenders in America.

So without further ado, let’s get into just what made each city so great for bartenders.

1. Fairbanks, AK

Best States For Bartenders

Source: wikipedia

Total Jobs: 330
Average Annual Salary: $28,650
Average Entry Level Salary: $20,790
Location Quotient: 2.03

2. Mount Vernon, WA

Best States For Bartenders

Source: wikipedia

Total Jobs: 270
Average Annual Salary: $30,970
Average Entry Level Salary: $19,830
Location Quotient: 1.37

3. Walla Walla, WA

Best States For Bartenders

Source: wikipedia

Total Jobs: 130
Average Annual Salary: $32,470
Average Entry Level Salary: $25,010
Location Quotient: 1.26

4. Rapid City, SD

Best States For Bartenders

Source: wikipedia

Total Jobs: 530
Average Annual Salary: $21,710
Average Entry Level Salary: $18,230
Location Quotient: 1.91

5. Bremerton, WA

Best States For Bartenders

Source: wikipedia

Total Jobs: 430
Average Annual Salary: $35,330
Average Entry Level Salary: $19,860
Location Quotient: 1.24

6. Olympia, WA

Best States For Bartenders

Source: wikipedia

Total Jobs: 590
Average Annual Salary: $27,370
Average Entry Level Salary: $19,950
Location Quotient: 1.36

7. Corvallis, OR

Best States For Bartenders

Source: wikipedia

Total Jobs: 220
Average Annual Salary: $28,260
Average Entry Level Salary: $19,520
Location Quotient: 1.45

8. San Francisco, CA

Best States For Bartenders

Source: wikipedia

Total Jobs: 6,550
Average Annual Salary: $34,100
Average Entry Level Salary: $20,510
Location Quotient: 1.5

9. Bismarck, ND

Best States For Bartenders

Source: wikipedia

Total Jobs: 400
Average Annual Salary: $25,730
Average Entry Level Salary: $17,950
Location Quotient: 1.27

10. Santa Fe, NM

Best States For Bartenders

Source: wikipedia

Total Jobs: 320
Average Annual Salary: $31,850
Average Entry Level Salary: $17,540
Location Quotient: 1.28

And that’s our list of the best cities for bartenders

If you’re looking to start out your career as a bartender these are the cities that should be at the top of your list. You’ll find high pay, available jobs, and chances for career advancement.

If you’re curious, here are the worst cities to be a bartender in America:

  1. Dover, NH
  2. Lynchburg, VA
  3. Greenville, NC

Detailed List Of The Best Cities For Bartenders

Rank State Average Salary Entry Level Salary # Of People
1 Fairbanks, AK $28,650 $20,790 330
2 Mount Vernon, WA $30,970 $19,830 270
3 Walla Walla, WA $32,470 $25,010 130
4 Rapid City, SD $21,710 $18,230 530
5 Bremerton, WA $35,330 $19,860 430
6 Olympia, WA $27,370 $19,950 590
7 Corvallis, OR $28,260 $19,520 220
8 San Francisco, CA $34,100 $20,510 6,550
9 Bismarck, ND $25,730 $17,950 400
10 Santa Fe, NM $31,850 $17,540 320
11 Wenatchee, WA $24,870 $19,910 270
12 Seattle, WA $33,370 $19,940 6,890
13 Kahului, HI $45,210 $20,360 760
14 Myrtle Beach, SC $23,360 $16,050 1,400
15 Tacoma, WA $28,870 $19,830 1,240
16 Bend, OR $26,650 $19,520 360
17 Naples, FL $29,830 $17,660 1,020
18 Spokane, WA $26,680 $19,930 1,000
19 Wheeling, WV $20,920 $17,100 400
20 Great Falls, MT $20,740 $17,150 400
21 Bellingham, WA $26,640 $19,840 350
22 Sioux Falls, SD $20,790 $18,080 840
23 Burlington, VT $28,980 $19,160 540
24 Kennewick, WA $25,830 $20,020 450
25 Charleston, SC $23,790 $16,130 1,890
26 Longview, WA $23,660 $19,820 200
27 Crestview, FL $26,370 $17,460 1,040
28 Cleveland, OH $22,250 $17,330 4,910
29 Grants Pass, OR $21,770 $19,430 260
30 Missoula, MT $20,240 $17,170 550
31 Portland, OR $24,590 $19,350 5,630
32 Michigan City, IN $21,920 $16,370 280
33 Billings, MT $20,970 $17,350 550
34 Austin, TX $26,420 $16,380 5,130
35 Flagstaff, AZ $26,370 $17,240 400
36 Deltona, FL $25,710 $17,600 1,410
37 The Villages, FL $25,530 $17,480 200
38 Dayton, OH $22,410 $17,300 1,450
39 Weirton, WV $19,300 $17,080 250
40 Tampa, FL $27,810 $17,670 6,510
41 Anchorage, AK $34,610 $19,080 670
42 San Angelo, TX $30,040 $16,140 240
43 Bloomington, IN $22,060 $16,410 370
44 Atlantic City, NJ $28,930 $18,450 1,320
45 Morgantown, WV $19,070 $16,970 380
46 Salem, OR $22,390 $19,430 970
47 Hilton Head Island, SC $19,930 $16,100 770
48 Grand Forks, ND $19,840 $16,220 600
49 St. Louis, MO $21,680 $16,690 6,380
50 Columbus, OH $21,480 $17,270 4,420
51 San Luis Obispo, CA $32,180 $19,620 490
52 Napa, CA $33,270 $19,330 340
53 South Bend, IN $21,190 $16,120 870
54 Akron, OH $20,200 $17,230 1,670
55 Decatur, IL $22,920 $17,990 380
56 North Port, FL $27,490 $17,450 1,560
57 Santa Rosa, CA $30,620 $19,290 950
58 Toledo, OH $19,520 $17,180 1,640
59 Gulfport, MS $20,330 $16,120 880
60 Omaha, NE $20,800 $16,980 2,960
61 Medford, OR $23,870 $19,450 340
62 Las Vegas, NV $28,070 $16,720 12,190
63 Port St. Lucie, FL $26,430 $17,640 650
64 Albany, OR $24,560 $19,590 150
65 Santa Maria, CA $30,700 $19,480 780
66 Fort Lauderdale, FL $29,020 $17,450 3,820
67 Ann Arbor, MI $30,200 $17,730 510
68 Brunswick, GA $28,060 $16,190 160
69 Panama City, FL $25,610 $17,360 520
70 Orlando, FL $35,720 $17,410 5,330
71 Detroit, MI $22,920 $17,460 3,040
72 San Antonio, TX $23,700 $16,220 4,920
73 Indianapolis, IN $24,440 $16,200 3,730
74 Palm Bay, FL $25,680 $17,530 1,030
75 San Diego, CA $30,790 $19,180 6,390
76 San Rafael, CA $28,370 $19,370 540
77 Providence, RI $22,180 $18,860 3,700
78 Youngstown, OH $18,760 $16,980 1,360
79 Sebastian, FL $24,490 $17,290 420
80 Champaign, IL $22,340 $17,990 700
81 Flint, MI $22,920 $17,440 530
82 Fargo, ND $19,780 $16,100 1,050
83 Louisville/Jefferson County, KY $20,440 $15,920 2,220
84 Lewiston, ID $20,880 $16,640 100
85 Tucson, AZ $27,300 $17,280 1,510
86 Salinas, CA $29,030 $19,150 800
87 Yakima, WA $24,100 $20,000 250
88 Chico, CA $26,300 $19,080 550
89 Ocean City, NJ $24,780 $18,590 630
90 Miami, FL $32,330 $17,450 4,260
91 Grand Rapids, MI $21,210 $17,410 2,500
92 Monroe, MI $21,480 $17,540 170
93 Punta Gorda, FL $24,070 $17,280 350
94 Muskegon, MI $21,210 $17,430 290
95 Elgin, IL $23,490 $18,150 1,170
96 Victoria, TX $29,050 $16,440 130
97 Cape Coral, FL $23,910 $17,320 1,660
98 Gettysburg, PA $22,390 $16,400 330
99 Fort Wayne, IN $20,820 $15,870 1,140
100 Battle Creek, MI $23,800 $17,610 160