Bartending is a great job. But there are particular challenges you need to understand. In fact, the things that make bartending such an excellent career for some, are the same things that can turn other people away. Before we dive into some of these unique aspects of bartending, here’s a summary of bartending career outlook.
Bartending Occupational Outlook
Pay: On average, bartenders make $10.84 an hour
Job Outlook: The nation is seeing an 8% increase in available jobs—faster than the average for all occupations
Required Education: Bartenders need to complete state-accredited alcohol certification
Work Environment: Bartenders can either work full- or part-time, and they frequently work nights, weekends, and holidays.
Now onto what you can expect from a bartending career!
Bartending is Social
If there’s one constant in bartending, it’s that no matter where you work, bartending is a social career. People come into the bar for various reasons. Some are regulars, while others are looking to escape the day’s problems. On the other hand, others will come in looking to celebrate a happy occasion. While you might have customers uninterested in speaking with you, the majority of the time, you’re going to be a participant in the conversation.
If you’re a social person, this will work to your favor, as customers tend to tip better with bartenders they connect with. If you tend to be an introvert, however, bartending might not be the job for you.
Bartending is Active
Bartending is certainly not a desk job, and you need to be prepared to be on your feet for your entire shift. Whether you’re serving drinks or grabbing extra glasses from the barback, you will definitely get your steps in.
If you’re wanting a more sedentary job, bartending might not be the best option! But for those who would do anything to avoid a nine-to-five desk job, and bartending could be your perfect solution.
Bartenders are Night Owls
While occasionally going out at night certainly won’t disrupt your daily routine, working every night, or the majority of weeknights can affect you. Not only will it impact your social life, but working so many nights can affect your familial obligations.
For example, working at night means you will have to catch up on sleep in the morning, so if you have children, you probably won’t be able to take them to school. Or, you could have trouble fitting in some of life’s most basic tasks like going to the grocery store or the dentist.
There are certainly ways around working nights. After all, other professionals like nurses and restaurant owners work nights too. But you’ll have to focus on creating a schedule to ensure you’re able to complete everything on your to-do list.
Bartending is Full of Repetition
While you’ll have nights that are more interesting than others, there are many similarities when you’re bartending night after night—and that repetition can be boring. Not only are you standing for twelve hours, but you’re constantly shaking drinks, picking up crates, and closing customers’ tabs. This repetition can take a toll on your body, with some bartenders developing tennis elbow or pinched sciatic nerves.
It’s not all bad! Repetition allows you to master the skills of the job, leading you to be faster and more efficient—which means you can earn more money. Also, once you learn how to balance your tasks, you’ll be able to enjoy your shift a little bit more and not feel stressed out.
Bartenders Face Curveballs
Every job has its curveballs, but bartenders seem to face more than their fair share. With alcohol, tensions can run high. And when alcohol consumption isn’t monitored, bartenders will have to deal with excess emotions and unruly customers.
Fortunately, your alcohol seller-server training should teach you how to diffuse situations. This training will make you a much more desirable candidate as you apply for jobs or look for promotions, so it’s worth taking the time to master these skills.
Are You Ready for a Bartending Job?
Now that you understand what a career in bartending entails, is it the right career choice for you? If you answer yes, your first step to getting a job in the industry is to complete your alcohol seller certification. Sign up for your course today!