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How to Become a Bouncer at a Bar

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People mistakenly believe that huge muscles are all you need to become a bouncer at a bar or nightclub. In fact, employers often look first to personal qualities such as a calm demeanor and intelligence. These qualities help in your primary role, which is to prevent and stop fights and illegal activities rather than add fuel to them.

Education and Training

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics does not have a job category specific to bar bouncers. However, it does report that a high school diploma is the only formal education requirement for the more general "security guard" role. According to California-based Night Club Security Consultants, some states require training and certification for bouncers through a licensed security training service provider. Even if you do not legally need it, training prior to the interview impresses employers who would rather hire someone prepared to step right into the job. It is also a good idea to do adequate research on bars you apply with so you understand the kind of clientele they have and what they might need from their bouncers.

Responsibility and Judgment

Exhibiting the right skill sets during a job interview can help you land a job as a bar bouncer. Clubs and bars that serve alcohol rely on bouncers to check identification at the door and to monitor activities inside the venue. Let potential employers know techniques you might use to recognize fake IDs, and how you might decide when you need to step in before fights erupt on the premises. Bars also have major liability risks when someone is injured on the premises. Therefore, you need to convince potential employers of your ability to make sound decisions outside the door and inside the facility. When you approach patrons in a conflict, owners much prefer that you exercise calm and diplomacy as opposed to flexing your muscles. Training addresses these key roles and prepares you to sell yourself well during the interview.


Neil Kokemuller has been an active business, finance and education writer and content media website developer since 2007. He has been a college marketing professor since 2004. Kokemuller has additional professional experience in marketing, retail and small business. He holds a Master of Business Administration from Iowa State University.

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