Although mixing drinks in bars and restaurants is their most important duty, bartenders have other responsibilities. Employers expect the person behind the bar to make guests feel welcome, keep the interests of the establishment at heart and remain professional at all times. A bartender who can do these things well can take home a good amount in tips daily, one of many benefits they enjoy.
No Degree Required
Years of schooling are generally not required to be a bartender, which many see as a benefit. Bartenders aren't required to have college degrees, and although some private companies offer training programs for bartenders, few employers require it. Employers are more interested in skills and experience. Some bartenders learn on the job, teach themselves to mix drinks from a recipe book or work their way up from other jobs at their establishment.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, bartenders earned from less than $7.60 an hour to $15.14 an hour in 2010. However, bartenders also receive tips. In a busy establishment with generous customers, the tips they receive per hour can more than double their hourly wages. Because of tip income, bartenders typically take home money at the end of each shift. This provides a stream of income until payday, which can be helpful in an emergency or when a payment is due but payday is still several weeks away.
Tending bar can be fun. Bartenders can socialize with patrons while they work, which allows them to meet people from diverse cultures and make new friends. Also, the type of establishment can make the job seem more like a source of entertainment than work. For instance, bartenders working at a nightclub can enjoy the party-like atmosphere.
Bartenders work in shifts, which can be ideal for people who prefer non-traditional work hours. Many employers offer two shifts per day, with the first one starting at about noon and the last one ending at about 3 a.m.. These shifts leave the earlier part of the day free for rest or other commitments. Bartenders also have the option to work full time or part time.
- After the Drink Is Made: The Definitive Guide for Would-Be Bartenders; Arlene J. Sherman
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: How to Become a Bartender
- Extraordinary Jobs in the Food Industry; Alecia T. Devantier et al.
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: Bartenders: Pay
- Hospitality, Human Services and Tourism; Rowan Riley
- BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images