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Career profile Bartender

Also known as Banquet Bartender, Bar Captain, Bartender, Mixologist


Also known as Banquet Bartender, Bar Captain, Bartender

Interests Profile
  • Enterprising
  • Conventional
  • Realistic
Pay Range
$17,940 - $47,690 (annual)
Required Skills
  • Active Listening
  • Service Orientation
  • Social Perceptiveness
Knowledge Areas
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Sales and Marketing
  • Education and Training
Core tasks
  • Clean glasses, utensils, and bar equipment.
  • Collect money for drinks served.
  • Balance cash receipts.
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What does a Bartender do?

Bartenders mix and serve drinks to patrons, directly or through waitstaff.

What kind of tasks does a Bartender perform regularly?

Bartenders are often responsible for overseeing or executing some or all of the following tasks:

  • Clean glasses, utensils, and bar equipment.
  • Collect money for drinks served.
  • Balance cash receipts.
  • Check identification of customers to verify age requirements for purchase of alcohol.
  • Clean bars, work areas, and tables.
  • Attempt to limit problems and liability related to customers' excessive drinking by taking steps such as persuading customers to stop drinking, or ordering taxis or other transportation for intoxicated patrons.
  • Take beverage orders from serving staff or directly from patrons.
  • Serve wine, and bottled or draft beer.
  • Plan, organize, and control the operations of a cocktail lounge or bar.
  • Stock bar with beer, wine, liquor, and related supplies such as ice, glassware, napkins, or straws.
  • Serve snacks or food items to customers seated at the bar.
  • Mix ingredients, such as liquor, soda, water, sugar, and bitters, to prepare cocktails and other drinks.
  • Slice and pit fruit for garnishing drinks.
  • Ask customers who become loud and obnoxious to leave, or physically remove them.
  • Arrange bottles and glasses to make attractive displays.
  • Create drink recipes.

The above responsibilities are specific to Bartenders. More generally, Bartenders are involved in several broader types of activities:

Performing for or Working Directly with the Public
Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
Getting Information
Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information
Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.
Training and Teaching Others
Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.

What is a Bartender salary?

The median salary for a Bartender is $24,960, and the average salary is $28,910. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Bartender salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Bartenders earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Bartenders earn less than $17,940 per year, 25% earn less than $19,620, 75% earn less than $32,130, and 90% earn less than $47,690.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Bartenders is expected to change by 32.5%, and there should be roughly 111,300 open positions for Bartenders every year.

Median annual salary
Typical salary range
$17,940 - $47,690
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)

What personality traits are common among Bartenders?


Career interests describe a person's preferences for different types of working environments and activities. When a person's interest match the demands of an occupation, people are usually more engaged and satisfied in that role.

Compared to most occupations, those who work as a Bartender are usually higher in their Enterprising, Conventional, and Realistic interests.

Bartenders typically have strong Enterprising interests. Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.

Also, Bartenders typically have strong Conventional interests. Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

Lastly, Bartenders typically have moderate Realistic interests. Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.


People differ in their values, or what is most important to them for building job satisfaction and fulfillment.

Compared to most people, those working as a Bartender tend to value Relationships, Independence, and Support.

Most importantly, Bartenders strongly value Relationships. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment.

Second, Bartenders moderately value Independence. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions.

Lastly, Bartenders moderately value Support. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees.

Psychological Demands

Each occupation brings its own set of psychological demands, which describe the characteristics necessary to perform the job well.

In order to perform their job successfully, people who work as Bartenders must consistently demonstrate qualities such as self-control, dependability, and integrity.

Below, you'll find a list of qualities typically required of Bartenders, ranked by importance:

Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Job requires being honest and ethical.
Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.

What education and training do Bartenders need?

Working as a Bartender usually requires a high school diploma.

Bartenders need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with this occupation.

Educational degrees among Bartenders

  • 5.4% did not complete high school or secondary school
  • 27.3% completed high school or secondary school
  • 34.1% completed some college coursework
  • 10.8% earned a Associate's degree
  • 19.7% earned a Bachelor's degree
  • 2.2% earned a Master's degree
  • 0.5% earned a doctorate or professional degree

Knowledge and expertise required by Bartenders

Bartenders may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as customer and personal service, sales and marketing, or education and training knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most Bartenders might want to build proficiency, ranked by importance.

Customer and Personal Service
Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Sales and Marketing
Knowledge of principles and methods for showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
Education and Training
Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
Administration and Management
Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
Public Safety and Security
Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.

Important Abilities needed by Bartenders

Bartenders must develop a particular set of abilities to perform their job well. Abilities are individual capacities that influence a person's information processing, sensory perception, motor coordination, and physical strength or endurance. Individuals may naturally have certain abilities without explicit training, but most abilities can be sharpened somewhat through practice.

For example, Bartenders need abilities such as oral expression, oral comprehension, and information ordering in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Bartenders, ranked by their relative importance.

Oral Expression
The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Oral Comprehension
The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Information Ordering
The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
Near Vision
The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
Speech Recognition
The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.

Critical Skills needed by Bartenders

Skills are developed capacities that enable people to function effectively in real-world settings. Unlike abilities, skills are typically easier to build through practice and experience. Skills influence effectiveness in areas such as learning, working with others, design, troubleshooting, and more.

Bartenders frequently use skills like active listening, service orientation, and social perceptiveness to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Bartenders, ranked by their relative importance.

Active Listening
Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Service Orientation
Actively looking for ways to help people.
Social Perceptiveness
Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Critical Thinking
Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.

What is the source of this information?

The information provided on this page is adapted from data and descriptions published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration under the CC BY 4.0 license. TraitLab has modified some information for ease of use and reading, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.

If you have any questions or suggestions about this information, please send a message.