What Bartenders Do

Bartenders mix drinks and serve them directly to customers or through wait staff.

Work Environment

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, on weekends, and on holidays. Some work part time.

How to Become a Bartender

Most bartenders learn their skills on the job. No formal education is required. Most states require workers who serve alcoholic beverages to be at least 18 years old.


The median hourly wage for bartenders was $12.00 in May 2020.

Job Outlook

Employment of bartenders is projected to grow 6 percent from 2019 to 2029, faster than the average for all occupations. Overall job prospects are expected to be very good because of the need to replace workers who leave the occupation.

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