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How to Become a Bartender in New Jersey

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Bartenders serve alcoholic beverages to patrons in restaurant bars, clubs, hotels and other social venues. Working as a bartender in New Jersey can be a challenging and rewarding job, considering bartenders earn money from tips in addition to hourly wages. According to the United States Department of Labor, bartenders in New Jersey made an average hourly base wage of about $12.50 in 2009, not including tips, compared to average hourly wages of $8 in Montana and Wisconsin. If you enjoy working with people and are familiar with alcoholic beverages, consider pursuing a career as a bartender in New Jersey.

Practice making common mixed drinks, such as a cosmopolitan, margarita, mojito, pina colada, Bloody Mary and Long Island iced tea at home to perfect ratios of liquor, sugar, fruit and other ingredients.

Visit tastings or sampling events at local New Jersey wineries and breweries to familiarize your palate with the flavor nuances in different types of beer and wine you will be serving as a bartender.

Enroll in a bartending school near your New Jersey town to learn hands-on instruction in mixology--mixing drinks--as well as customer service skills related to bartending. Towns in New Jersey that have a bartending school include Little Falls, Eatontown, Edison, Paramus and Linden. Bartending classes can teach you about the origins of beer, wine and liquor, followed by instructions on pouring draft beer and preparing multiple drink orders at once.

Create a resume for potential employers that highlights your bartending certification, customer service skills and previous work experience. Write a career objective that states your desire to work as a bartender in a New Jersey restaurant, club or bar. Include your name, address, phone number and email address at the top of the page, and proofread your resume for grammatical errors before printing.

Look in local newspaper classified ads and search Internet job boards for bartending job openings in New Jersey. Visit restaurants, bars, clubs and hotels in your area to inquire about bartending positions and fill out job applications on-site.

Call establishment managers or human resource liaisons to follow up on your job applications and negotiate the possibility of a job interview. Offer to work at the bar one night for free to demonstrate your bartending skills to potential employers and increase your chances of getting hired.

Continue to network with family members, friends and neighbors who work at restaurants and clubs to help you find a bartending job. Ask contacts in the service or restaurant industry if they can recommend you to colleagues for bartending job openings.


According to the Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control, you must be at least 18 years old to work as a bartender in the state of New Jersey.