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Schools to Get a Bartender License

Bartending schools train food service professionals for a career in bartending. Bartenders are involved in the areas of mixology, customer service, and alcohol awareness. Students must comply with national and local standards, while maintaining the code of conduct for the establishment they work for. Bartenders work with customers directly, and must learn presentation skills, excel at customer service, and learn how to work in a fast-paced hospitality environment.

Job Description and Responsibilities of Bartending School Graduates

Graduates are expected to:

  • Provide exceptional customer service
  • Learn the basics of mixology, the art of mixing drinks.
  • Become skilled in profit pouring
  • Have a comprehensive understanding of wine, liquor, and beer products
  • Ensure they are maintaining legal responsibilities and are compliant with guidelines
  • Educate and make recommendations to customers and clients
  • Keep the bar area clean
  • Enforce local and state drinking laws
  • Serve food to people seated in the bar area
  • Learn how to monitor inventory and supplies

Career Options After Bartender School

Students who attend bartender schools can choose to work in:

  • Cafes and bistros

  • Restaurants

  • Hotels

  • Airports

  • Catering companies

  • Casinos

  • Social halls

  • Amusement parks

  • Event promotion companies

  • Independently owned business

  • Their own business

Bartending School Training & Certification

Bartending schools can provide both basic and comprehensive training for prospective bartenders. Students will be involved with drink preparation and service styles, and learn about sales, product knowledge, and customer service. Bar etiquette is an important part of training, and flair bartending is the professional level that falls into the performance bartending category.

Bartenders must learn how to work under pressure, be efficient, and enjoy shift work. A bartending school can offer experienced instructors who demonstrate and teach students with hands-on classes. This may take place in a bar setting, and gives students a chance to observe and learn from direct experience.

Every state has different licensing laws for alcohol service, and bartenders must be between the ages of 18 to 21 years old. Aspiring bartenders must complete a formal training program and obtain certification. These courses vary by state, but most are at least 40 hours and longer programs can offer job placement assistance. Many employers look for completion of the Beverage Alcohol Sellers and Servers Education and Training Program (BASSETT). This program can help a bartender become certified easily. Some establishments require certification through the Responsible Alcohol Management Program (RAMP). Each state's liquor control board sets the conditions for permits and certification requirements at each establishment.

Bartending School Accreditation

The Professional Bartending Schools of America program accredits many schools in over 38 states. In addition, the regional state associations are responsible for accreditation of other bartender schools around the country. Accreditation is also available through the International Council on Hotel, Restaurant, and Institutional Education; the Commission on Accreditation of Hospitality Management Programs; and the Accreditation Commission for Programs in Hospitality Administration.

Bartending School Graduates Earning Potential and Employment Prospects

Bartending school can help increase the minimum starting wage of the average bartender. Continuing education in can also increase the options for a long-term career. The food and beverage industry is an attractive and thriving segment of the economy, and job opportunities are expected to increase faster than average through 2014. Bartenders made a median hourly wage of $7.42 (including tips) in 2004. Related occupations include:

  • Cocktail Bartending

  • Restaurant Management

  • Bar and Liquor Sales Management

  • Flair Bartending

  • Hospitality Management

  • Cooking and Catering


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