Bartenders mix and dispense alcoholic and nonalcoholic drinks in hotels, restaurants, cocktail lounges, and taverns. Besides mixing ingredients to prepare cocktails and other drinks, they serve wine and beer, collect payment from customers, order supplies, and arrange displays of bar stock and glassware. Bartenders, or their assistants, may also prepare fruit for garnishes, serve simple appetizers, replenish chips and pretzels, wash glasses, and clean the bar area. Approximately 644,100 bartenders work in the United States.

Quick Facts


Median Salary



Employment Prospects



Minimum Education Level

High School Diploma



Part-time experience



Business Management


Personality Traits

Hands On


Earnings for this occupation cover a broad range and are influenced by such factors as the bartender's experience, his or her ability to deal with the public, and even where he or she works. In August 2019, reported the average salary for bartenders was $21,349. The U.S. Department of Labor reports that full-time bartenders had median hourly wages of $12.88 in May 2018. A person work...

Work Environment

Many bartenders work more than 40 hours a week. They work nights, weekends, and holidays, and split shifts are common. They have to work quickly and under pressure during busy periods. Also, they need more strength than average to lift heavy cases of liquor and mixers.

Many bartenders feel the difficulties of the job are more than offset by the opportunity to talk to friendly customers, ...


Employment for bartenders is expected to grow faster than the average for all careers through 2028, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Bartending jobs are readily available because of the high turnover in this field. Many people work as bartenders only for a short time as they pursue other careers, or while they are finishing school. Others view a bartending position as the first step o...