How to Become a Bartender

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Bartenders create alcoholic beverages at bars and social events. The career path to become a bartender does not require any formal education, but most employers prefer that individuals obtain at least a high school diploma or GED. Additionally, all states require bartenders to receive a license in their craft. Bartenders work for bars, hotels and resorts, cruise ships, restaurants, convention centers and banquet halls.[1]


Bartender.jpg

Flickr: tup wanders
Education None[2]
Starting pay $7.85 per hour[3]
Median pay $9.09 per hour[3]
10 yr. growth Average: 12%[2]
Related professions Cook, waitress, restaurant manager
Author Selena Robinson
 

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Contents

Bartender Job Overview

Bartenders entertain guests and make alcoholic beverages. This job requires extensive knowledge of drink mixes and recipes, in addition to mixing methods. Some bartenders also act as waiters for customers who sit at the bar, rather than a table in the restaurant. In this capacity, they perform similar duties as a server, including describing menu items, taking orders and serving meals. Good communication, the ability to think and act under pressure, and social skills are important to this job.[1]

Bartender Education

Bartenders are not required to earn a degree or have a formal education. However, restaurants, bars, and hotels sometimes prefer to hire someone who has a high school diploma or GED. To qualify for these types of positions, applicants can visit their career center for information on how to take the GED test.[4]

Bartender Training

While businesses may not require formal education to become a bartender, employees can enhance their careers and earn higher salaries through training schools and certification.[4] Some online bartending certification programs allow bartenders to learn the rules for serving alcohol within their states from their homes. For example, the Professional Server Certification Corporation offers a program especially for bartenders. More information is available at www.servercertificationcorp.com/bartending.html.

Bartender Licensing

Most states require bartenders to receive a license. State licensing varies, so aspiring bartenders may wish to consult their local licensing boards. The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms website (www.atf.gov) also provides information about bartender licensing requirements. Some cities even go beyond the state and federal licensing laws and regulate their own bars and restaurants. For example, in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, anyone serving alcohol in an establishment or at an event is required to apply for a city license.[5]

Bartending Jobs

Bartending Schools Test

Also See: How to Become a Caterer, How to Become a Barista, How to Become a Restaurant Cook, How to Become a Waitress, How to Become a Banquet Manager

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 http://www.bls.gov/ooh/food-preparation-and-serving/bartenders.htm#tab-2
  2. 2.0 2.1 http://www.bls.gov/ooh/food-preparation-and-serving/bartenders.htm
  3. 3.0 3.1 http://www.bls.gov/ooh/food-preparation-and-serving/bartenders.htm#tab-5
  4. 4.0 4.1 http://www.bls.gov/ooh/food-preparation-and-serving/bartenders.htm#tab-4
  5. http://www.ci.eau-claire.wi.us/departments/administration-services/finance/customer-services/licenses#AlcoholBeverageLicense