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Become A Bartender

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Working As A Bartender

  • Performing for or Working Directly with the Public
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Getting Information
  • Performing General Physical Activities
  • Deal with People

  • Unpleasant/Angry People

  • Outdoors/walking/standing

  • Repetitive

  • $38,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Bartender Do

Bartenders mix drinks and serve them directly to customers or through wait staff.

Duties

Bartenders typically do the following:

  • Greet customers, give them menus, and inform them about daily specials
  • Take drink orders from customers
  • Pour and serve wine, beer, and other drinks and beverages
  • Mix drinks according to recipes
  • Check identification of customers to ensure that they are of legal drinking age
  • Clean bars, tables, and work areas
  • Collect payments from customers and return change
  • Manage bar operation and order and maintain liquor and bar supplies

Bartenders fill drink orders either directly from customers at the bar or through waiters and waitresses who place drink orders for dining room customers. Bartenders must know a wide range of drink recipes and be able to mix drinks correctly and quickly. When measuring and pouring beverages they must avoid spillage or over pouring. They also must work well with waiters and waitresses and other kitchen staff to ensure that customers receive prompt service.

Some establishments, especially busy establishments with many customers, use equipment that automatically measures and pours drinks at the push of a button. Bartenders who use this equipment, however, still must become familiar with the ingredients for special drink requests and be able to work quickly to handle numerous drink orders.

Bartenders in some establishments also use carbonated beverage dispensers, cocktail shakers, commercial strainers, trigger sprayers, and ice shaver machines.

In addition to mixing and serving drinks, bartenders stock and prepare garnishes for drinks and maintain an adequate supply of ice, glasses, and other bar supplies. They also wash glassware and utensils and serve food to customers who eat at the bar. Bartenders are usually responsible for ordering and maintaining an inventory of liquor, mixers, and other bar supplies.

Some bartenders run their own bar or catering business. In addition to their standard bartending duties, these owners also are responsible for hiring, training, and supervising their staff; budgeting for and ordering supplies; and setting prices.

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How To Become A Bartender

Most bartenders learn their skills through short-term on-the-job training usually lasting a few weeks. No formal education is required.

Many bartenders are promoted from other jobs at the establishments in which they work. Bartenders at upscale establishments usually have attended bartending classes or have previous work experience.

Although most states require workers who serve alcoholic beverages to be at least 18 years old, most bartenders are 25 or older. Bartenders must be familiar with state and local laws concerning the sale of alcoholic beverages.

Education

No formal education is required to become a bartender. However, some aspiring bartenders acquire their skills by attending a school for bartending or by attending bartending classes at a vocational or technical school. These programs often include instruction on state and local laws and regulations concerning the sale of alcohol, cocktail recipes, proper attire and conduct, and stocking a bar. The length of each program varies, but most courses last a few weeks. Some schools help their graduates find jobs.

Training

Most bartenders receive on-the-job training, usually lasting a few weeks, under the guidance of an experienced bartender. Training focuses on cocktail recipes, bar-setup procedures, and customer service, including how to handle unruly customers and other challenging situations. In food service establishments where bartenders serve food, the training may cover teamwork and proper food-handling procedures.

Some employers teach bartending skills to new workers by providing self-study programs, online programs, videos, and instructional booklets that explain service skills. Such programs communicate the philosophy of the establishment, help new bartenders build rapport with other staff, and instill a desire to work as a team.

Work Experience in a Related Occupation

Some bartenders qualify through related work experience. They may start as bartender helpers and progress into full-fledged bartenders as they learn basic mixing procedures and recipes. Some bartenders also may start as waiters and waitresses.

Advancement

Advancement for bartenders is usually limited to finding a job in a busier or more upscale restaurant or bar where prospects for earning tips are better. Some bartenders advance to supervisory jobs, such as dining room supervisor, maitre d', assistant manager, and restaurant general manager. A few bartenders open their own bars.

Important Qualities

Communication skills. Bartenders must listen carefully to their customers’ orders, explain drink and food items, and make menu recommendations. They also should be able to converse with customers on a variety of subjects and create a friendly and welcoming environment.

Customer-service skills. Bartenders must have good customer-service skills to ensure repeat business.

Decisionmaking skills. Bartenders must be able to make good decisions. For example, they should be able to detect intoxicated and underage customers and deny service to those individuals.

Interpersonal skills. Bartenders should be friendly, tactful, and attentive when dealing with customers. For example, they should be able to tell a joke and laugh with a customer to build rapport.

Physical stamina. Bartenders spend hours on their feet preparing drinks and serving customers.

Physical strength. Bartenders should be able to lift and carry heavy cases of liquor, beer, and other bar supplies, which often weigh up to 50 pounds.

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Bartender Career Paths

Bartender
Waitress Teacher Consultant
General Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Office Assistant Executive Assistant Assistant Manager
Assistant General Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Office Assistant Consultant General Manager
Director Of Food And Beverage
9 Yearsyrs
Certified Nursing Assistant Team Leader General Manager
Managing Partner
9 Yearsyrs
Office Assistant Consultant Assistant Manager
Center Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Cook Executive Chef General Manager
Food Service Director
9 Yearsyrs
Certified Nursing Assistant Team Leader Assistant Manager
Restaurant General Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Certified Nursing Assistant Team Leader Project Manager
Purchasing Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Assistant Registered Nurse Registered Nurse Supervisor
Unit Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Assistant Executive Assistant Manager
Food And Beverage Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Assistant Executive Assistant Operations Manager
General Manager Of Operations
8 Yearsyrs
Technician Production Supervisor Warehouse Manager
Logistics Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Cook Sous Chef Executive Chef
Food Service Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Technician Field Service Technician Service Manager
Culinary Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Cook Executive Chef Catering Manager
Catering Sales Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Account Executive Marketing Specialist Event Manager
Sales And Event Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Account Executive Supervisor Restaurant Manager
Hospitality Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Account Executive Manager Food And Beverage Manager
Club Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Driver Foreman Business Owner
Entrepreneur
5 Yearsyrs
Event Coordinator Development Coordinator Development Officer
Manager Of Special Events
5 Yearsyrs
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Bartender Demographics

Gender

Female

55.9%

Male

36.0%

Unknown

8.1%
Ethnicity

White

65.2%

Hispanic or Latino

15.1%

Black or African American

10.9%

Asian

5.4%

Unknown

3.4%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

63.9%

French

9.8%

German

4.4%

Italian

3.7%

Portuguese

3.3%

Russian

2.7%

Japanese

1.7%

Chinese

1.6%

Polish

1.4%

Arabic

1.3%

Mandarin

1.2%

Swedish

0.8%

Greek

0.7%

Korean

0.7%

Thai

0.6%

Cantonese

0.5%

Dakota

0.5%

Hebrew

0.4%

Romanian

0.3%

Irish

0.3%
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Bartender Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

14.5%

Arizona State University

6.6%

The Academy

6.5%

University of Central Florida

6.4%

University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee

5.4%

Texas State University

4.8%

Florida State University

4.5%

Kaplan University

4.5%

University of North Texas

4.4%

University of Nevada - Las Vegas

4.3%

Valencia College

4.2%

University of South Florida

4.1%

Temple University

4.0%

Miami Dade College

3.9%

Pennsylvania State University

3.9%

College of Southern Nevada

3.9%

Ohio State University

3.7%

University of Houston

3.6%

West Virginia University

3.5%

Johnson & Wales University

3.5%
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Majors

Business

22.0%

Psychology

8.5%

Criminal Justice

6.9%

Nursing

6.1%

Communication

5.9%

General Studies

4.4%

Health Care Administration

4.2%

Marketing

4.2%

Accounting

4.2%

Medical Assisting Services

3.9%

Liberal Arts

3.5%

Hospitality Management

3.4%

Cosmetology

3.3%

Management

3.2%

Biology

3.2%

Kinesiology

2.9%

Graphic Design

2.7%

English

2.7%

Political Science

2.4%

Education

2.3%
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Degrees

Bachelors

39.0%

Other

34.1%

Associate

15.4%

Certificate

4.4%

Masters

4.0%

Diploma

1.6%

License

1.0%

Doctorate

0.5%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary
Average Yearly Salary
$38,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$16,000
Min 10%
$38,000
Median 50%
$38,000
Median 50%
$38,000
Median 50%
$38,000
Median 50%
$38,000
Median 50%
$38,000
Median 50%
$38,000
Median 50%
$88,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Eureka! Restaurant Group
Highest Paying City
Lexington, MA
Highest Paying State
Maine
Avg Experience Level
2.8 years
How much does a Bartender make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Bartender in the United States is $38,083 per year or $18 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $16,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $89,000.

Real Bartender Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Bartender Employees Only LLC New York, NY Jan 15, 2012 $42,000
Bartender Employees Only LLC New York, NY Jan 07, 2012 $42,000
Bartenders Vulcan LLC T/A Veritas Washington, DC Mar 09, 2011 $41,740
Bartender Nantucket Hotel Holdings LLC Nantucket, MA Apr 20, 2016 $34,081
Flair Bartender Kahunavile of Las Vegas Inc. CA Feb 19, 2010 $33,914
Bartender International Resorts Management LLC Sunny Isles Beach, FL Dec 01, 2015 $30,199
Bartender OS Golf Club LLC Plymouth, MA May 13, 2016 $29,427
Food Bartenders JVM Sales Corporation Linden, NJ Jan 31, 2011 $29,322
Bartender Grey Oaks Country Club Naples, FL Oct 01, 2016 $29,260
Bartender Greenwich Country Club CT Jul 01, 2014 $29,218
Bartender Greenwich Country Club, Inc. Greenwich, CT Jul 01, 2014 $29,218
Bartenders The Lighthouse Inn, Inc. West Dennis, MA May 05, 2015 $28,133
Bartender The Lighthouse Inn, Inc. MA May 05, 2014 $27,924
Bartenders Journal Square Pub Jersey City, NJ Sep 10, 2008 $26,943
Bartenders The Lighthouse Inn, Inc. West Dennis, MA May 02, 2016 $23,896
Bartender Boca West Country Club, Inc. FL Oct 01, 2013 $23,896
Bartender Mirasol Club, Inc. D/B/A The Country Club at Mirasol FL Oct 01, 2013 $23,896
Bartender The Polo Club of Boca Raton, Inc. FL Oct 01, 2013 $23,896
Bartender Boca West Country Club, Inc. FL Oct 01, 2014 $23,896
Bartender The Polo Club of Boca Raton, Inc. FL Oct 01, 2014 $23,896
Bartender Mirasol Club, Inc. D/B/A The Country Club at Mirasol FL Oct 01, 2014 $23,896
Bartender Shulvis Inc. DBA BELO San Diego, CA Jul 09, 2010 $23,771
Bartenders Anchorage Motor Inn of Ogunquit, Inc. Ogunquit, ME May 10, 2016 $22,853
Bartenders Woodcrest Country Club Syosset, NY Jan 27, 2011 $21,580
Bartender Lake Shore Country Club Glencoe, IL May 01, 2015 $21,559
Bartenders Anchorage Motor Inn of Ogunquit, Inc. Ogunquit, ME Apr 12, 2015 $21,204
Bartender Mirasol Club, Inc. DBA The Country Club at Mirasol FL Oct 01, 2012 $20,870
Bartender The Polo Club of Boca Raton, Inc. FL Oct 01, 2012 $20,870
Bartender Boca West Country Club, Inc. FL Oct 01, 2012 $20,870
Bartender Devon Yacht Club Inc. NY Apr 15, 2012 $20,870

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Top Skills for A Bartender

  1. Customer Service
  2. Beverage Orders
  3. Craft Beer
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Exemplified excellent customer service and satisfaction.
  • Take food and beverage orders, retrieve and serve items to Members according to Club service standards.
  • Help plan craft beer events in a joint team effort to entertain guests while educating them further on craft beer.
  • General Bar-tending, making drinks and taking drink orders for customers as needed, also placing and serving food orders.
  • Stimulate daily revenue by communication with personally established clientele in a high volume setting.

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Top 10 Best States for Bartenders

  1. Hawaii
  2. Nevada
  3. Vermont
  4. Maine
  5. Rhode Island
  6. New Jersey
  7. District of Columbia
  8. Delaware
  9. Washington
  10. Arizona
  • (36 jobs)
  • (159 jobs)
  • (22 jobs)
  • (48 jobs)
  • (35 jobs)
  • (236 jobs)
  • (50 jobs)
  • (41 jobs)
  • (192 jobs)
  • (172 jobs)

Top Bartender Employers

Jobs From Top Bartender Employers

Bartender Videos

Advice for New Bartenders

Bartender's Life

Bartender Career Information : Bartender Salary

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