How to Become a Bartender – The Ultimate Guide

Welcome, DAPPS Lovers. Have you ever found yourself at a bar, admiring the bartenders as they effortlessly mix drinks and entertain guests? Do you dream of becoming a bartender but don’t know where to start? Look no further than this guide on how to become a bartender and turn your passion for drinks into a profitable career.

Why Bartending?

Bartending is a dynamic and social job that provides a great way to meet new people and earn a living. Whether you’re working in a bustling night club or a cozy pub, being a bartender allows you to connect with customers and create a lasting impression on them.

However, this job also comes with its own set of challenges. The constant interaction with people can be mentally and physically exhausting, especially during busy hours. The late night shifts can also take a toll on your health and personal life.

Strengths of a Bartender

1. Creativity: As a bartender, you can experiment with different drink combinations and create new and exciting cocktails that keep your customers coming back for more. 🍹

2. Communication: Bartenders need to be able to communicate clearly with their customers and coworkers in a fast-paced environment. 💬

3. Multitasking: To be successful in this job, you must be able to juggle multiple orders, while also keeping the bar clean and organized. 🤹‍♂️

4. Salesmanship: Upselling drinks and keeping customers happy is a crucial part of a bartender’s job. 💸

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5. Time Management: Bartenders must be able to work effectively under pressure and adapt to constantly changing situations. 🕰️

6. Memory: Remembering drink orders, preferences and names of patrons can help you build strong relationships and increase your tips. 🧠

7. Adaptability: Every bar is different, and bartenders must be able to adapt to the unique needs and preferences of the customers and the establishment. 🌟

Weaknesses of a Bartender

1. Unpredictable Income: Bartenders often earn most of their money from tips, which can vary greatly from shift to shift. 💰

2. Physically Demanding: Standing on your feet for long hours can take a toll on your health, and carrying heavy bottles and kegs also can lead to physical strain. 💪

3. Late Night Shifts: Working during the night, bartenders often miss out on family events, social activities, and normal sleeping schedules. 🌙

4. Stressful Environment: Bartending can be demanding with multitasking, communication, and time management and you must be able to handle the stress of a busy environment. 😬

5. Social Pressure: Dealing with a wide variety of people on a regular basis can be emotionally taxing and you have to maintain a polite attitude. 🤝

6. Risky Situation: Depending on the type of bar and location, bartenders often deal with situations involving intoxicated or hostile patrons, and it can be physically and mentally dangerous. ⚠️

7. Burnout: Due to the high energy drinks, extended work hours in the weekend, and overall stressful experience, bartenders may experience burnout over time. 🔥

Steps to Become a Bartender

Step Description
1 Get Trained and Certified. Sign up for bartending classes near you. Online courses are also available, but it’s always best to get hands-on experience. Look for certifications like TIPS or ServSafe, required in many states, and which serve as a plus on your resume.
2 Gain Experience. Work as a bar back to learn the ropes of the job. Once enough experience is gained, apply for bartending positions at local bars and restaurants. Network with other bartenders and attend industry events to improve your skill set.
3 Learn Your Local Laws. It’s important to know state and local laws related to drinking and serving alcohol. You don’t want to be held liable for serving underage or over-intoxicated customers.
4 Get Familiar with the Industry Tools. Practice using different types of glassware, bar tools, and equipment like shakers, strainers, jiggers and bottles. This will help you to work efficiently and create quality drinks.
5 Develop Your Personal Style. How you present yourself behind the bar will leave an impression on your customers. Practice flair bartending or other bartending tricks, and always maintain a positive and courteous demeanor.
6 Improve Your Soft Skills. Bartending is about much more than mixing drinks. Develop skills like communication, conflict resolution, and customer service to better serve your customers and improve your tips.
7 Keep Learning. The bar industry is always evolving, and keeping up with the latest trends and techniques will help you to stay ahead of the curve. Attend industry events, read industry publications, and stay up to date with the latest social media trends.
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Frequently Asked Questions

1. How old do you have to be to become a bartender?

You must be 18-21 years old based on the law of the state or country you’re living in.

2. What qualifications do you need to be a bartender?

Typically no formal education or qualifications are necessary, although some establishments may require alcohol service training or certification, depending on state laws and local regulations.

3. How long does it take to become a bartender?

The process can vary based on your level of experience and training. Certification programs can last anywhere from one week to three months. Gaining enough experience bartending could take anywhere from weeks to years.

4. What is the average income of a bartender?

The average income can vary depending on location, establishment, and level of experience, among others. In the U.S., the hourly wage ranges between $7-$25 plus tips, which can make up a significant portion of the income.

5. What are some common bartending mistakes?

Some common mistakes include inaccurate drink orders, making weak or too strong drinks, not paying attention to hygiene, forgetting to ask if customers have any food or drink allergies, and serving visibly intoxicated patrons.

6. Is bartending a full-time job?

It can be, depending on the establishment and your level of experience, you could get to work full-time. Most bartenders work part-time or have multiple jobs.

7. What should I put on my bartender resume?

You should include any experience you have relating to bartending, certifications you’ve obtained, and any relevant education. List excellent skills you have like communication, multitasking, salesmanship, etc.

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8. What should I wear to a bartender job interview?

You should opt for business casual clothing, both men and women should avoid wearing anything too revealing. Try to bring your bartending kit and any certifications you have achieved.

9. What makes a great bartender?

Being a bartender takes more than just knowing how to mix drinks. It requires excellent communication and customer service skills, attention to detail, creativity, and multitasking abilities. It’s about creating an environment that customers want to return to.

10. What are some popular cocktail recipes?

Popular cocktail recipes include the Margarita, Martini, Old Fashioned, Manhattan, and Cosmopolitan, among others. However, the recipes may vary according to the region and the bar.

11. How can I improve my tips as a bartender?

Some tips to improve tips include maintaining a clean and organized bar, being personable and attentive to customers, using suggestive selling techniques, and providing flawless service.

12. What is the difference between a mixologist and a bartender?

A Mixologist is someone who is more focused on creating unique and memorable cocktails; a bartender has a much more broad scope of service, which includes pouring beer and wine, serving food, and other customer service duties.

13. How can I find job opportunities as a bartender?

Job opportunities can come from inquiring at local bars, checking job boards, online websites, and attending industry events and networking. You could also reach out directly with resumes and portfolios even if the establishment is not hiring yet.


Being a bartender can be an exciting and challenging career path. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can gain the skills and experience necessary to succeed in the industry. Remember to always keep learning and growing and maintain a positive attitude, and with hard work, you can become a successful bartender. So, what are you waiting for? Shake up your career with a shot at becoming a bartender today.


The information in this article is intended for informational purposes only and should not be considered legal or financial advice. Always consult with a licensed professional before making any decisions related to your career or finances.

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