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How to Become a Bartender – A Complete Guide

Do you want to learn what it takes to become a Bartender online? If YES, here is a complete guide plus requirements needed to become a Bartender with no experience.

Although being a professional remains one of the major tools through which people earn a living and are relevant in the society; human beings now try their possible bests to be relevant and reckon with in the society. While some professions don’t require any formal education or training before one could practice such profession, yet others do. For those that do not require a formal education, what it needs, is their initiative, good sense of humor and the ability to interact with people they come in contact with.

The job of a bartender is one of those professions that don’t necessarily demand its practitioner to have any special formal education before he could practice. The job only requires it’s practitioner to be sociable and have the ability to relate with people that comes their way. The truth is that this is a profession that requires its practitioner relate with people of diverse behaviors- because a bartender works in no other place than a social gathering.

What is a Bartender?

A bartender is no other person than a person who works in the bar as a bar attendant. Several names are associated with the work of a bartender, as they can also be regarded as barmen, barmaid, bar chef, etc. A bartender is that person that works in a bar to perform several roles like, maintaining orderliness, serving beverages and alcoholic drinks to customers, supplying inventory for the bar and collecting money from the customers in a bar.

The bartending profession is often a substitute work for people, especially the students that can combine the work together with their educational pursuit. Some students see it as a transitional work for them to raise money for their school fees and satisfy some of their insatiable needs. The profession of a bartender requires its practitioner to be energetic and hardworking, as he will need to be running errands just to satisfy the request of the customers that comes to the bar.

In some cases, a bartender works hand in hand with other workers in the bar just to ensure the smooth running of the bar and to offer their customers an excellent service. A bartender works together with the waiter, cocktail waitress and the authorities of the bar for efficient management of the bar.

Duties of a Bartender and their Job Description

  • Welcoming customers: It is duty of a bartender to welcome any guest that patronizes the bar where he works. The major aim of a bartender in welcoming his customers is to ensure the customers feel at home like a constant customer and not like a stranger at the bar.
  • Attending to customers: The primary and major function of a bartender is to attend to customers and part of the ways of attending to customers is by taking drinks order to them.
  • Completing transaction: A bartender is said to have completed a transaction, after welcoming guests, attending to them and having collected money for the drinks they have ordered. Completing a transaction might be hard at some point in time, especially when a bartender has to deal with violent customers that might not want to pay.
  • Screening customer: It is one of the important duties of a bartender to always perform screening on customers in ensuring they meet up the require age limit for alcohol drinks consumption. In some countries like, America, Canada, Australia and United Kingdom, it is expected that someone reach the age of 18 before he could be certify as old enough to consume alcohol.
  • Farewell customers: One of the most important functions is to bid the guests farewell when leaving the bar. Just as welcoming customers to the bar is important, it is also important to bid customers farewell on exit, as this will make them to patronize the bar next time.

Bartender Tools and Equipment

  • Writing tools: It is important for a bartender to always have writing materials in his possession, as this will enable him to practice his work diligently. A bartender needs writing materials to write up bills, phone numbers and things ordered by the customer. The writing tool needed by a bartender includes pens and jotter.
  • Bottle opener: a bottle opener is a device that enables the removal of metal bottles caps from bottles. It is often handled by bartenders in a bar, restaurant or hotel. It is important for bar owners to provider portable bottle openers for the bartenders. A bottle opener is an important tool in a restaurant and it must always be available there because customers might be able to take their drinks if the bottle opener is not provided to open their drinks.
  • Towels: a bartender needs to always be in possession of rag or bar towel. He needs towel for wiping and cleaning the bar tables and chairs and it is often used to polish glass in a bar. It is always a good idea for a bartender to always keep towels, especially small dry ones close to himself; he can always put the towel in his pocket for convenience and easy access.
  • Muddler: A muddler is thick stick material made of either wood stainless or plastic. A muddler is often handled by a bartender for mashing ingredients in a glass. It is often used to mix sugars, bitters and extract juices and oils from fruits and mints. A bartender uses muddler in making drinks like mojitos and caipirinhas.
  • Cups: A bartender often take cups along with him whenever he is taking drinks to a customer in a bar. Guests often use cup for taking their drinks, as some guest won’t like to take their drinks directly from the bottle and it is even easier and better to take drinks with cups. Cups are often of different design; cups could be made with glass, plastic or even ceramic.
  • Fruit press: This is one of the tools of a bartender. It is a device use for separating fruit solids. It is often used by a bartender in making fruit juice. You can use it to separate fruits like apple and pineapple, as it would press the fruit and separate the liquid and the solid part of the fruit.

How to Become a Bartender – A Complete Guide

Labor Market Situation for the Bartender Profession

  • According to the Bureau of Labor Statistic of the U.S, the profession of a bartender is projected to grow by 12 percent between the year of 2012 and 2022. This statistic is seen as fair as it could for an average profession to grow.
  • There is no doubt that the population of the entire world is growing higher on daily basis and it is expected of the this will give a rise to the profession and career of a bartender because more people will dine out and drink at different types of drinking places and this give rise to the number of guest that would be patronizing all these bars, restaurants, hotels and clubs where bartenders are working.
  • With the age restriction and age limit that is in place for this profession, job opportunities are expected to be open yearly for bartenders, as many workers would be leaving the occupation yearly. Even with the establishment of big restaurants in some countries like, America, Canada, Australia and United Kingdom, it is expected that the number of bartenders getting employed in these countries would increase.
  • The occupation of a bartender is a highly competitive occupation in the labor market nowadays, especially now that the occupation gives room for those who goes to Bartending School and students who are going to diverse schools to work as part time workers. It has even been suggested by experts that the need for bartending practitioners would increase greatly in the future years. The practitioners and those who are on the part of this profession don’t have to fear because the labor market is fascinating for them

Impact of the Internet and Technology on the Profession of a Bartender

  • The positive impact the internet has brought to the profession of a bartender. The internet and technology has made bartenders to be successful in their career with the innovation of technological equipment like an automated machine that helps in mixing up drinks at bar, another automated machine carries drinks along with a bartender to serve customers.
  • With the help of internet, customers can now place order for drinks and even pay for goods and services with the help of a technological system called Point of Sale System.
  • The internet and technology is serving as a setback to the profession of a bartender especially now that there is an automated machine called Robotic Bartender. This robotic bartender is a programmed machine that works in place of a bartender, as the machine can perform virtually most of the functions of a bartender and this is hindering the employment opportunity of bartenders.
  • Some bar owners now prefer to buy automated machine called robotic bartender to employing the service of able humans that can work as bartenders.

Career ideas / SubSectors That Exists Within the Bartending Profession

  • Bar Attendant
  • Bar Captain
  • Bar Manager
  • Barkeep
  • Barmaid
  • Barman
  • Drink Mixer
  • Waitress
  • Bartender Server
  • Taproom Attendant
  • Mixologist
  • Bartender Extra

Professional Bodies and Associations for Professional Bartenders

  • America Bartenders Association
  • The United States Bartenders Guild
  • Canadian Professional Bartenders Association
  • Australian Bartenders Guild
  • United Kingdom Bartenders Guild

Benefits of Becoming a Bartender

Apart from the monetary reward which is the propeller and a motivator that attracts people to the profession of a bartender, there are also other benefits that can be found in the career of a bartender. They include the following:

  • It enhances their knowledge: One of the good things about the business is the fact that there is no knowledge of the bar trade that is required for the start. It is when you join the profession that you will acquired all necessary knowledge about the bar
  • Socializing: Bartenders can socialize with guests and customers that patronize their bars or restaurants. They have the opportunity of meeting people from diverse cultures and make new friends.
  • Time management: Another thing is that the profession of a bartender gives room for the practitioner to manage their time effectively. They can work as a part time worker and still go ahead to do other things when they are off and that is why many student do indulge in the work, as it will give room for them to go to school and still return to work after school to earn money.

Factors Discouraging People from Becoming a Bartender

  • Drunk and violent customers: The profession of a bartender can be frustrating, especially when you are dealing with drunk or violent customers. Some customers often turn to something else when they are drunk and all they do is to frustrate the bartenders by indulging in violent attitudes in the bar.
  • Cleaning duties: Drinks are regularly spilled and it is the duty of a bartender to ensure the safety of its customers. The bartender takes safety measures such as frequent cleaning of drinks spilled by customers in order to prevent accident.
  • Hectic Environment: The job of a bartender can be very stressful, especially on busy nights like Fridays when customers are many to attend to. In a situation when the bar runs a shift duty, the bartender may be made to spend more hours if the job at that very hour requires an extra hand.
  • Health problems: The job of a bartender requires someone with a good health condition. This is because a bartender may spend all his working hours standing when attending to customers. As a result, it is expected that the bartender may experience back pain and foot problem and that is why a disabled or non-fit person cannot withstand such task that the profession entails. In addition, in bars that allows its customer to smoke, may expose the bartender to other health hazard especially if the bartender is asthmatic or allergic to smoke.

How Much Do Bartenders Earn Monthly/Annually?

  • In the United States

Though the geographical location, size of the company are major factors affecting the pay scale of a bartender; the average pay of a bartender is based hourly but they are also heavily supplemented with tips and it totals to about $15.82 (including $8.64 from gratuities). Furthermore, hourly earnings range from $3.23 per hour to $11.61. However, slightly less than one fifth enjoy medical.

  • In Canada

Similar to the United State, the pay of bartender differs one from one location to another, from one city to another and from one town to another. The Canadian national occupational classification code (NOC) for this is 6452.

According to the latest figures, the highest hourly average is $13.87 per hour and the lowest pay is $4.53. In comparism with different cities, the highest pay of a in Montreal, Quebec is$13.87 while the lowest average median wages earned in Fredericton/ Oromocto is $10.00 per hour. A typical full time annual salary for this occupation is in the region of $2000 -$25, 00.

  • In Australia

The pay of a bartender is a different in Australia, as a bartender earns an average wage of AUS$19.48 per hour. The pay however don’t seem to change much from experience. Due to the level of the pay, bartender tends to move on a higher position after 10 years.

  • In UK-: Similar to Australia, the average hourly pay of bartenders in the United Kingdom is E6.35. The bartender in this group don’t always have up to ten years of experience and just as in Australia, the pay does not easily change.

How Long Does It Take to Become a Bartender?

The bartender has a lot of tasks to do: from tolerating and relating with customers, to getting back to the bar owner and relating with both parts amicably. When seeing the strenuous task it takes, one might begin to wonder that it requires a lot of knowledge and expertise to be able to practice the profession successfully. The fact is that there is no spectacular ways or rules design for people in becoming a bartender.

In as much as no spectacular education is required for this profession, here are the guidelines and ways by which you can become a bartender:

  • You must be between the age brackets of 18 to 35 before you could be allowed to work as a bartender. This is actually means that the job is meant for youths and it is solely for people of age 19 or 21 in some states.
  • Find a job as a waiter, bar back, waitress or waiter, by this you could be promoted to the post of a bartender and it even pays to start with one of those jobs as it could make you to get familiar with the profession before getting the job
  • Complete bartending school; you can actually become a bartender after you’ve completed bartending school and you have obtained a certificate from there.

Generally, it takes a short period of time in becoming a bartender because it is a job designed majorly for people who want to work at bar for part time and it is on rare cases that you would see people working as a full time bartender.

Educational Requirements Needed to Become a Bartender

When you are striving to become a bartender, it is very important you have the pre-requisite requirement as this will foster an easy access into the profession. Although, no spectacular certificate is required in becoming a bartender but it is always an edge when you have completed a bartending school.

The educational requirements to become a bartender are similar in many countries. But the basic requirements in the United States, Australia, Canada and UK are that you must have completed a bartending school. Completing a bartending school is not in any way a strenuous task as it could completed within forty hours of active concentration

Do You Need Certification to Become a Bartender?

There is no special certificate required in becoming a bartender in the United States, Australia, Canada and UK because the job is not a formal profession that requires certificate but the profession requires the minimum age requirement of 18 in the above mentioned countries.

Can You Become a Bartender by Taking Online Courses?

These days, online courses and certificates are becoming more recognized in most countries of the world. One significant thing about this trend is that you can actually sit in your house or any convenient place and obtain certification in bartending. In the United States, Australia, Canada and UK you can have an online bartending certificate for an average cost of 75$ and you can get hired by having this certificate.

The Industries Where a Bartender Can Work

  • Restaurants
  • Hotels
  • Bars
  • Event centers
  • Film house
  • Games shop

Skills and Personal Traits Needed to Become a Successful Bartender

  1. Communication skills: The first and most important quality a bartender must possess is an excellent communication skill. A bartender must have a good act of communicating with the guests that patronizes his place of work to avoid ambiguity. There is no how a bartender can possibly relate with a customer in a situation where he is deficient in communication skills. In countries like America, UK and Canada to have a full grasp of English language, so as to relate well with customers.
  2. Human relation: it is expected of a good bartender to have a welcoming and nice human relation as this will foster a good rapport between the customer and the bartender, thus yielding the customers interest in patronizing the restaurant. It is believed that no guest may want to patronize a restaurant where the bartender always wear a frown face and pick up fight with them.
  3. Tolerating: A good bartender must be patient in tolerating the attitudes of customers that patronizes his place of work. It is normal that some customers could be violent especially when they are drunk but a good bartender will still always find a way of tolerating and relating with them peacefully.
  4. Knowledge: Bartenders need knowledge of a wide range of subjects and things, especially things that are going on in the bar, as some guest could be so inquisitive. He needs knowledge of the fastest route to the hospital, police station or banks in case there is need for him or any of his customers to go there. It is expected of a good bartender to know the exact types and number of goods that are available in his place of work.
  5. Time management: just like every other service oriented job, it is expected of a good bartender to know how to make judicious use of his time. At times it is always expected of a bartender to be extra ordinary fast in attending to customers, especially on Friday nights that many customers do come to the bar. Some customers are always impatient; a good bartender needs to be very fast in attending to them, so that they won’t leave in annoyance.
  6. Be calculative: it is important for a bartender to always have a sound knowledge of mathematics, as this will enable him to be calculative. If a bartender is calculative, he will be able to sort out money, especially balance of customers. Money is one of the things that used to steer arguments between customers and bartender but a smart and intelligent bartender can always handle this issue without any quarrel or dispute.

Tips and Advice That Helps To Advance the Bar Tending Trade

  • To be a successful bartender, you must always appear neat in your place of work, as no one will like to buy drinks from a dirty bartender
  • You must always be patient and attentive to listen and get the customer’s order right at all time
  • You must have a friendly personality, if becoming a good bartender is your aim
  • Adhere strictly to the instruction of the owners of the bar or restaurant where you work, if you want to remain a worker there for a long duration.
  • A great bartender works quickly, especially when serving multiple customers at a time
  • It is expected of a bartender to always screen guests, in order to meet up with the required age for alcohol consumption, before he would sell to them
  • Punctuality is the virtue of business, a bartender is expected to always make sure he opens the bar very early everyday because customer will not like to wait for bartender that opens lately all the time.
  • You must be passionate about the profession if you want to become a successful bartender.
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