Bartenders mix drinks and serve them directly to customers or through wait staff.
Bartenders work at restaurants, bars, clubs, hotels, and other food service and drinking establishments. During busy hours, they are under pressure to serve customers quickly and efficiently. They often work late evenings, weekends, and holidays. About 4 in 10 worked part time in 2014.
Most bartenders learn their skills on the job. No formal education is required. Although most states require workers who serve alcoholic beverages to be at least 18 years old, most bartenders are 25 or older.
The median hourly wage for bartenders was $9.39 in May 2015.
Employment of bartenders is projected to grow 10 percent from 2014 to 2024, faster than the average for all occupations. High turnover is expected to result in very good job opportunities. Strong competition is expected in popular restaurants and fine-dining establishments, where tips are highest.
Explore resources for employment and wages by state and area for bartenders.
Compare the job duties, education, job growth, and pay of bartenders with similar occupations.
Learn more about bartenders by visiting additional resources, including O*NET, a source on key characteristics of workers and occupations.