Bartenders are responsible for mixing drinks and serving them either directly to customers or through waiters and waitresses. Bartenders often have to interface directly with customers, taking orders, checking IDs, collecting payment, and cleaning the bar area. Bartending can be a fast-paced career, and bartenders must be able to accommodate customers in a patient and diplomatic fashion. Bartenders most commonly work in restaurants, bars, hotels, and clubs. Work hours are usually in the late evenings, weekends, and holidays, with nearly half of bartenders working part time.
Generally, no formal education is required to become a bartender. Many bartenders receive all of their training on-the-job. However, many others attend bartending school or take bartending classes. During training, bartenders are taught how to mix drinks and use bar equipment. They are also introduced to basic sanitary procedures in the bar or kitchen.
Employers seeking to hire bartenders often administer the Criteria Basic Skills Test (CBST), which assesses basic job readiness and trainability through grammar, math, communication, and attention to detail. Trainability is essential for bartenders to be able to learn and adapt to a new work environment. Because bartenders are also responsible for working face to face with customers, many hiring managers also administer the Customer Service Aptitude Profile (CSAP). This personality test evaluates a candidate’s personality traits to determine how suited he or she is for a job involving a great deal of customer interaction.
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Rank in HireSelect:
262 out of 1,100
Median wage in U.S.:
Expected growth rate 2016-2026:
Number employed (2016): 611,200
Education level of Bartenders: