Bartenders are responsible for mixing and making drinks for customers. They typically work in bars and restaurants, and they can take orders from the wait staff or directly from customers. Bartenders are also responsible for opening bottles of beer and other drinks that do not require mixing. Some take on additional responsibilities, including ordering new alcohol, stocking supplies and keeping an eye on patrons. The experience that bartenders possess make them suitable for other positions including bar managers, barmen and brewmasters.
Bartender Education Requirements
More than 40 percent of bartenders have a high school diploma or a GED, while nearly 30 percent of all workers have some type of college degree. Though bartenders do not need a college degree, many employers require that they possess some training or a certificate from a bartending school. Attending a licensed school teaches the workers how to mix and pour specialty drinks. They also need experience with different types of bar tools and commercial products, including bar code readers that keep track of how much alcohol they pour. Good bartenders also need strong customer service and math skills to communicate with customers and keep track of bills and tabs.
Bartender Job Market
Bartender jobs will grow at an average rate between 2012 and 2022. Statistics show that the number of available jobs will increase from 551,100 to an additional 65,600 by 2022. This indicates a growth of 12 percent, which is right around the same rate reported by other food and beverage industries. Though many bartenders work for restaurants and bars, private clubs, caterers and other venues need trained bartenders as well. While it isn't likely that the industry will change much over the coming years in terms of technology, restaurants and other companies will still need bartenders capable of making new drinks and bringing in more business.
The average median salary for bartenders working in the United States is $28,000 per year. Bartenders typically make an hourly salary of $2 to $5 an hour with the remainder of their salary coming from the tips they receive from customers.