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What Does it Take to Be a Bartender?

Job Description: Mix and serve drinks to patrons, directly or through waitstaff.

Daily Life Of a Bartender

  • Attempt to limit problems and liability related to customers’ excessive drinking by taking steps such as persuading customers to stop drinking, or ordering taxis or other transportation for intoxicated patrons.
  • Mix ingredients, such as liquor, soda, water, sugar, and bitters, to prepare cocktails and other drinks.
  • Check identification of customers to verify age requirements for purchase of alcohol.
  • Stock bar with beer, wine, liquor, and related supplies such as ice, glassware, napkins, or straws.
  • Slice and pit fruit for garnishing drinks.
  • Arrange bottles and glasses to make attractive displays.

Bartender Needed Skills

Below is a list of the skills most Bartenders say are important on the job.

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Service Orientation: Actively looking for ways to help people.

Social Perceptiveness: Being aware of others’ reactions and understanding why they react as they do.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Coordination: Adjusting actions in relation to others’ actions.

Types of Bartender

  • Barman
  • Bar Tender
  • Taproom Attendant
  • Mixologist
  • Barmaid

Are There Job Opportunities for Bartenders?

In 2016, there was an estimated number of 611,200 jobs in the United States for Bartender. New jobs are being produced at a rate of 2.5% which is below the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 15,100 new jobs for Bartender by 2026. There will be an estimated 102,300 positions for Bartender per year.

Forecasted Number of Jobs for Bartenders in U.S.

The states with the most job growth for Bartender are Colorado, Utah, and Washington. Watch out if you plan on working in Ohio, West Virginia, or Minnesota. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Bartender Average Salary

The salary for Bartenders ranges between about $17,610 and $42,230 a year.

Salary Ranges for Bartenders

Bartenders who work in Hawaii, District of Columbia, or Vermont, make the highest salaries.

How much do Bartenders make in different U.S. states?

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $21,840
Alaska $28,180
Arizona $31,320
Arkansas $21,140
California $30,850
Colorado $27,520
Connecticut $26,970
Delaware $25,310
District of Columbia $43,600
Florida $26,040
Georgia $21,590
Hawaii $55,060
Idaho $22,920
Illinois $24,280
Indiana $21,970
Iowa $21,220
Kansas $19,160
Kentucky $19,530
Louisiana $19,350
Maine $29,320
Maryland $23,500
Massachusetts $31,170
Michigan $24,070
Minnesota $23,560
Mississippi $20,100
Missouri $26,480
Montana $21,570
Nebraska $22,140
Nevada $27,590
New Hampshire $23,540
New Jersey $29,600
New Mexico $20,610
New York $34,800
North Carolina $25,510
North Dakota $20,880
Ohio $21,880
Oklahoma $21,630
Oregon $26,660
Pennsylvania $23,380
Rhode Island $27,100
South Carolina $22,010
South Dakota $22,300
Tennessee $21,180
Texas $27,240
Utah $26,380
Vermont $36,720
Virginia $26,420
Washington $35,390
West Virginia $21,740
Wisconsin $22,740
Wyoming $22,060

What Tools do Bartenders Use?

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Bartenders:

  • Web browser software
  • Facebook
  • Point of sale POS software
  • The General Store
  • Intuit QuickBooks Point of Sale
  • MICROS Systems HSI Profits Series
  • NCR Advanced Checkout Solution
  • NCR NeighborhoodPOS
  • Compris software

Becoming a Bartender

Are there Bartenders education requirements?

Bartender Degree Level

How many years of work experience do I need?

Bartender Work Experience

Where do Bartenders Work?

Bartender Sectors

The table below shows some of the most common industries where those employed in this career field work.

Bartender Industries

You May Also Be Interested In…

Those thinking about becoming a Bartender might also be interested in the following careers:

References:

Image Credit: U.S. Army Europe Images via Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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