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.
How to Become a Bartender
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.
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.
This occupation supported 551,100 jobs in 2012 and 580,900 jobs in 2014, reflecting an increase of 5.4%. In 2012, this occupation was projected to increase by 11.9% in 2022 to 616,700 jobs. As of 2014, to keep pace with prediction, the expected number of jobs was 564,200, compared with an observed value of 580,900, 3.0% higher than expected. This indicates current employment trends are better than the 2012 trend within this occupation. In 2014, this occupation was projected to increase by 10.9% in 2024 to 640,900 jobs. Linear extrapolation of the 2012 projection for 2022 results in an expected number of 629,800 jobs for 2024, 1.7% lower than the 2014 projection for 2024. This indicates expectations for future employment trends are about on track with the 2012 trend within this occupation.