About Bartending

A Bartender Job Description



A bartender works in a bar or either as a stand-alone bar or a bar in an establishment e.g. a restaurant. The job description of a bartender is to mix and serve drinks and alcoholic beverages to the customers and patrons of the bar. It is the job of a bartender to know all there is to know about the beer, spirit and wine varieties and how to serve each of them. A bartender must also have the knowledge of making, mixing, and serving techniques such as shaking, muddling, stirring, and pouring.

Another important job of a bartender is the ability to provide excellent customer service to the customer, and it goes beyond giving them the best of what they want. After you take the customer’s order, you collect payment, give them change if any, recommend drinks that they should buy and interact with them by making small conversations. As a bartender, it is also your job to ensure that the bar area, which is your working area, is kept clean at all times, and the bar never runs out of drinks.


What are the training requirements for a bartender?

Many bartenders do not have formal bartending training for their jobs. In most cases, bartenders learn on their own or on the job by working either as a barback or assistant. In the same vein, some others also attend bartending schools and take bartending courses so that they can get a license or certificate to practice. There are many bartending schools all over the United States with worldwide recognition; you only have to make sure that the school you choose is licensed and accredited by your state and the programs take a minimum of 40 hours.

Students in bartending schools are taught how to use bar tools and equipment, mix various cocktails, how to pour different beverages and deliver impeccable customer service. At a bartending school, you will also learn about health and safety measures and how to stay safe on the job, handling the finances, and generally being in charge of the bar.

Are there any license or certificate requirements to work as a bartender?

Only a few states require bartenders to have a license or certificate before they can work as bartenders. In some states, only alcohol server training is enough to apply for an alcohol sale permit. Consult the liquor control board in your state to see what the minimum requirements are for bartenders so that you can know the things you can do before you can kick-off your bartending career.

How long does becoming a bartender take?

Requirements vary by state. Some states set the minimum age to work as a bartender at 18 years while some require a minimum of 21 years. Usually, the moment you clock the minimum age requirement of your state, you can start working as a bartender.

What is a bartender’s earning like?

The average annual salary of bartenders is around $24,000, and most bartenders rely on tips to supplement their earnings. Bigger establishments may pay more than this figure and also provide better opportunities to earn more in tips because they have more high-paying customers.

What are the job prospects for bartenders?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has put forward a 12 percent growth projection in the employment of bartenders between 2012 and 2020. This is as fast a growth rate as many other jobs. While there will be a growth of employment, there will also be strong competition for the available jobs. This is why we advise bartenders to improve their job prospects by setting themselves apart from the competition by acquiring formal training, certification, and skills backed up with experience.

Does bartending have long-term prospects career-wise?

Bartenders with experience stand better chances of getting more lucrative and high-paying job positions with successful establishments. A bartender who has worked for some time and has acquired various certifications can diversify easily into restaurant or hotel management or even establish their own business in the hospitality industry.

How to get a bartending job?

Just like any other job, getting a job as a bartender is best done by applying to any establishment with a vacancy for a bartender. Check out job openings in your location and apply. Attend interviews and take them seriously. Apply for jobs that align with your interests more. For instance, if you are a sports lover, it will be easier for you to fit into a sports bar than any other kind of bar that you might find boring within a short time. You can also join a network of bartenders so you can know about job openings as soon as they are available.

A bartending school can also help you with getting a job as a bartender. Most schools have contacts in the hospitality industry that they link their students with so that they can get jobs easily upon the completion of their training. Another important tip is that you should not only apply to the big jobs. Start with those small ones in your location that other bartenders are not paying attention to. That gives you less competition to deal with, and you can easily get the much-needed experience as a new bartender.

How to learn more about becoming a bartender

Bartending is a continuous learning process, as learning never stops. Even if you have done the job for many years, there will always be something new to learn every day. Have a relationship with other bartenders working in different establishments in various locations. This way, you will be able to know more about the bartending job scene in not only your location but in other locations as well.


Bartending is rewarding, and if you wish to make a career out of it, ensure that you everything possible to make you a qualified bartender. Whether you are learning on the job, taking a bartending program at a bartending school or learning on your own, there is a near-guarantee that you will secure a job once you are armed with the right training, knowledge, and certifications.

American Bartending School is conveniently reached from any of the cities in the Palm Springs – Palm Desert area; including Palm Springs proper, Indio, Cathedral City, Coachella, LaQuinta, Rancho Mirage, Desert Hot Springs, Yucca Valley, and Beaumont, California.

Since 1969 and proudly serving the community as the oldest school with behind-the-bar, hands on training classes and bartending job placement assistance.