Bartender Salary By Experience
|Experience Level||Low Hourly||High Hourly||Low Annual||High Annual|
|10 Years +||$5.11||$18.89||$10,630.00||$39,300.00|
Bartenders are a fixture in American society, providing alcoholic and non alcoholic drinks and beverages to customers. They are found working in clubs, bars, hotels, and cruise ships an in any establishments that serve alcoholic drinks. Bartender and barkeeper are two terms that are interchangeably used in denoting the person who is working in the bar counter. There is a huge difference, however. As the term suggest, bartenders "tend the bar" whereas the word "barkeeper" suggests that the person is the owner of the bar.
Bartending may not be a high paying profession but those who are in this particular occupation are assigned with the sometimes difficult task of maintaining the positive atmosphere of the bar. That includes getting to know who are the regular customers and their preferred beverages and recognizing people who are too young to drink alcohol. Because of the nature of their work, bartenders must learn how to mix hundreds to thousands of different drinks. Bartenders must also possess a flair for social communication, especially with the regular customers.
There are now 512,230 professional bartenders working all over the United States, according to the most recent Government surveys. The median bartending salary in the country is $18,850 a year. Bartenders in the top 10 percent of the labor demographic earn an average bartender wage rate of over $31,860 per annum while those in the bottom 10 percent make less than $16,170 annually.
Bartender salary rates vary depending on many factors, one of which is the employer type. Every employer has its own standards in determining the salary range of their bartenders. Employers look at many things, particularly a bartender's level of expertise as well as workloads, working hours, and the stress levels that come with the position. Employers also look at the current employment trends, the number of available bartenders and the qualifications needed to become eligible.
In the United States, full service restaurants provide the most job opportunities for bartenders. Approximately 207,740 bartenders are working in said establishments and are earning an average bartending salary of $22,130 every year. Around 153,870 bartenders are employed by pubs, bars, clubs and other drinking establishments that are allowed to serve alcohol. The average pay rate for these places is $20,230 a year, which is above the national figure. Other industries that offer vast employment opportunities are civic and social organizations ($18,970) traveler accommodation and related services ($26,180) and other amusement and recreation establishments and venues ($21,770).
Bartenders working for real estate lessors are the top earners in this labor demographic. The average bartending salary for those who work with lessors is $27,350 a year. College, universities, and professional schools also pay top dollar for professional bartenders, where the average bartender pay is around $27,200 per annum. Museums, historical institutions, and similar establishments provide an average salary rate of $27,180 per year. Bartenders working in rail transportation companies get $27,000 per year. The traveler accommodation industry completes the top five high paying employer types.
It must be noted that among the top five high paying industries, all but traveler accommodation have less than 650 professional bartenders in their ranks. That means entry to these business sectors may be hard as competitions is probably stiff and the prerequisites and other qualifications may be strict.
There are no particular academic requirements to become a bartender. However, employers are keen on hiring those who have extensive training and experience in food preparation and hospitality service and management.
Many community centers and vocational schools offer training programs in bartending that typically lasts a few weeks and are administered by experienced bartenders. These courses center on many subjects, including basic customer service, teamwork, and food safety procedures. In some cases, establishments hire bartender helpers and train them on the job and promote them to regular bartender positions after they successfully meet the establishment's standards.
Bartenders who want to become certified in certain areas of bartending such as flair bartending and mixing may opt to get education from known institutions and organizations.
While there is no law that regulates bartenders, many establishments prefer to hire and pay substantial bartender salary rates to those who are affiliated with legitimate and recognized bartending associations. Among the known bartending organizations in the country are National Association of Bartenders, United States Bartender's Guild, United States Bartender Association, and the Flair Bartenders Association to name a few.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that the bartender profession will experience a 9 percent growth from 2010 to 2020, a slow growth due to the nature of the profession which includes working late nights to the small hours of the morning and low pay rates. The majority of bartenders work part time while studying or while in between higher paying occupations. Many leave the bartending industry after a few years of working.
That said, experienced bartenders who leave the business open new doors of opportunity to new ones. However, because of the limited slots available, competition is high in some areas. Bartenders who have extensive knowledge and experience and come from a bartending training school have the best prospects in finding employment.
The career path of a bartender is very limited. Many approach it as a part time or casual profession. In the United States, about 40 percent of the bartending labor demographic work part time. Most bartenders have either come to their position straight from a vocational training school or been promoted from a waiter or bartender helper position.
Advancement usually comes in the form of working in high class and upscale bars and restaurants, where the bartender salary is significantly higher compared to working in a middle-class pubs and bars. Highly experienced bartenders who also have gained exceptional bartending skills may be promoted to supervisory positions like dining room supervisor, maitre d', assistant manager, or restaurant general manager. In some cases, bartenders who want to go full time open up their own bars.
The following are related occupations to the bartender profession:
More than just serving drinks to patrons, bartenders are also tasked to keep the bar's atmosphere lively and conducive to more merrymaking. In certain instances, however, bartenders must also keep the peace, which includes denying service to minors and drunken customers, calling the police, and arranging taxi and other means of transportation for regular customers.
Bartending is treated more of a "job" instead of a "career" mainly because of its high turnover rate. However, one can make bartending a successful career with the drive and the zeal to excel.