BARTENDERS fill drink orders that waiters and waitresses take from customers. They prepare mixed drinks, collect payment, operate the cash register, and clean after customers leave. Most bartenders know dozens of drink recipes. They may serve food items to customers seated at the bar. Because customers typically frequent drinking establishments for the friendly atmosphere, bartenders must be friendly and helpful with customers. Bartenders are usually responsible for ordering and maintaining an inventory of liquor and other bar supplies.
Salary, Size & Growth
- $26,000 average per year ($12.50 per hour)
- A large occupation (495,400 workers in 2010)
- Expected to grow moderately (0.8% per year)
There are no specific educational requirements for BARTENDER jobs. Most bartenders learn their skills on the job by working with more experienced workers. Some bartenders learn their skills from a bartending school or take vocational and technical school courses that include instruction on state and local laws and regulations, cocktail recipes, attire and conduct, and stocking a bar. Some states require bartenders to be bonded and to have a health certificate to show they are free from any contagious disease. Generally, bartenders must be at least 21 years of age.