Growth Trends for Related Jobs

How to Become a Bartender in Los Angeles

careertrend article image
margarita image by Karin Lau from

Los Angeles offers fun in the sun and celebrities around every corner. The City of Angels also plays host to an abundance of bars, clubs and hot nightlife spots. For an enterprising individual, bartending provides a great source of income, as well as a thoroughly enjoyable way to make a living. To succeed in Los Angeles, potential bartenders must not only know California’s rules and regulations regarding alcohol, but they must also have strong personal networking connections in order to help them find a job.

Know California’s laws on alcohol. If you are not yet 21 years of age, you cannot legally bartend in California. Additionally, you cannot serve alcohol to anyone under the age of 21. Take some time to learn the regulations before applying for a bartending job. California’s Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control has a link to these regulations on its website.

Familiarize yourself with alcohol. While you do not need to go to a bartending school, such an institution will teach you how to identify drinks and mix them. If you do decide to enroll in a bartending school, find one that offers career placement services. Conversely, if you choose not to go to bartending school, educate yourself about the different kinds of alcohol out there. Spend time in a bar and get to know the bartender. If you are lucky, he may give you some hints and tips.

Network with everyone you know. In Los Angeles, many employment opportunities are based on who you know, not what you know. Even if you do not know anyone in the bartending field in Los Angeles, you may still know someone who knows someone who can help you find a job.

Be personable, charming, and knowledgeable, provide good service, and sell many drinks. Establishments which serve alcohol look for bartenders who will boost their bottom line. Courteous bartenders who recommend drinks to customers will attract more patrons, and sell more alcohol. Being attractive doesn't hurt your chances of finding a job in Los Angeles, but good grooming and stylish clothing always give you a leg up on the competition.


Rachel Levy Sarfin has been writing professionally since 1998. She has written for the "Yardley News" and the Healthwise Lifewise blog, and served as the Jerusalem correspondent for the Omanoot website. Sarfin completed her Master of Arts in Middle Eastern studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.