How To Become a Bartender (With No Experience)

How to Become a Bartender With No Experience
  1. Get a Bartending License. …
  2. Get Hired as a Barback. …
  3. Start at a Restaurant Bar. …
  4. Find a Bartending Mentor. …
  5. Learn How to Pour Drinks. …
  6. Practice Mixology. …
  7. Be Patient and Available. …
  8. Don’t Rely On Bartending School Alone.

How to Become a Bartender With No Experience – 7 Steps

How to become a bartender

If you’re considering this career, there are a few steps you can take to become a bartender. Consider the following:

1. Earn a high school diploma

While a college degree isnt required to become a bartender, you should have a high school diploma or GED. You should also be old enough to serve alcohol and tend bar in the state where you intend to work. Depending on the state, you must be at least 16 years old to serve alcohol and at least 18 years old to tend bar in a licensed establishment.

2. Attend bartending school

Attending bartending school isnt a requirement, but it can teach you the basics of mixing drinks and serving alcoholic beverages to customers safely. Many hospitality schools offer bartending programs to those who are interested in this career path.

3. Gain experience and work your way up

Completing bartending school does not guarantee you a job as a bartender. You will still need to gain on-the-job experience working in a bar or restaurant setting. Many bartenders begin their careers as waiters or runners before advancing to bartending roles.

4. Work as a barback

Similar to finding a job as a waiter and working your way up, being a barback is a great way to transition into bartending. Unlike a waiter, however, a barback is more directly linked to bartending. You’ll learn all the tools of the trade alongside the pros, which could help you advance more quickly. You also don’t need bartending experience to become a barback.

5. Practice your skills

Once you can mix and serve drinks to customers, its important that you practice your skills. Get as much practice as possible to perfect your craft. You should also do some research to learn about new mixing techniques, bartending terms and taste profiles.

What does a bartender do?

A bartender is a professional who works in a restaurant, bar, hotel, club or other establishment mixing drinks and serving them to customers. They may serve customers from directly behind the bar or through wait staff. Many bartenders also assist in maintaining product inventory and supplies for the bar where they work.

Common duties of a bartender include:

What skills should a bartender have?

If you’re considering a role as a bartender, here are some essential skills to have:

In addition to soft skills, you’ll also want to acquire some technical skills in this field, including the following:

What is the average salary for a bartender?

The average salary for a bartender depends on a variety of factors, such as experience, skill level and location. A bartenders salary also depends on their hourly wage and the tips they receive from their customers. Bartenders who work in busy restaurants or popular bars may make more money than those who work in smaller establishments. For the most up-to-date information from Indeed, please click on the salary link below.

Frequently asked questions about being a bartender

Here are some frequently asked questions about becoming a bartender:

Where do bartenders usually work and what are their typical work hours?

Bartenders typically work late evenings and on weekends in restaurants, bars, clubs, hotels and other food and drink service establishments. Bartending is a demanding job that requires working under pressure during busy hours to provide quality service to customers.

What is the long-term career outlook for a bartender?

Bartenders who gain work experience are more likely to obtain jobs with busy, successful establishments and advance in their careers. Some bartenders are promoted to restaurant management positions while others choose to open their own bars.

Which laws guide the bartender profession?

Several laws regulate the service of alcohol to customers. These laws vary from state to state, but here are some common laws and regulations that bartenders must adhere to:

The age requirements for bartending are different from state to state. In most states, adults between the ages of 18 and 20 can work as bartenders, while other states require bartenders to be at least 21 years old.

Licenses are not required for bartenders to work in most states. However, some states may require bartenders to attend classes to learn about state alcohol service laws and obtain an alcohol safety certification. In other states, a certification may not be legally required, but may still be required by some employers.

Bartenders should be aware of alcohol sales hours, which can vary by state. For example, in California, alcoholic beverages may only be served in licensed establishments from 6 a.m. to 2 a.m. daily.

Bartenders are not permitted to serve alcohol to anyone under the age of 21. They are expected to request an acceptable ID that displays the customers name, picture and date of birth to prove they are of legal drinking age.

Bartenders are also not permitted to serve alcohol to highly intoxicated customers. A person who is intoxicated can be identified from their appearance, speech and other indicators. Its a bartenders responsibility to keep an eye out for these signs.

In some states, its considered illegal for a bartender to consume alcohol while working, while in other states that decision is left up to the employer.


Does bartending make good money?

Do Bartenders Make Good Money? Yes, bartenders do make good money, especially when tips are involved. In 2019, the median income in the US was $31,100. Though this is about $5,000 higher than the median bartender salary, that’s not including tips.

Is bartending hard to learn?

Many people go into bartending thinking that it’s a really easy job and that they’ll just be hanging out at the bar all day. While it’s true that it’s a social job with a lot of fun aspects, it’s also hard work, both mentally and physically. Seriously.

How long does it take to become a good bartender?

The state of California requires 40 hours of class curriculum to obtain your bartending license. These 40 hours are broken down into two hour classes, each one covering one of ten chapters. Every class is divided into two parts; one hour of lecture and one hour of lab time behind the bar.

How much can you make as a bartender?

If you’re willing to work hard, put in the time (minimum 3-5 years) and become the best bartender you can be, you can get there too. As far as averages go, after surveying over 100 bartenders, ‘The Real Barman’ estimates the average income to be around $25-$35 per hour. That totals to about $50k-$70k per year.

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