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How to become a Bartender

Bartenders prepare, create and serve all kinds of drinks (both alcoholic and non-alcoholic) for patrons in a wide range of settings, from pubs and hotels, to cruise liners and airplanes.

If you’re friendly and outgoing, flexible with your work hours, love people and have a great memory, this could be the perfect job for you.


About you:


  • Customer focused with excellent communication skills
  • High energy levels and plenty of stamina, you’ll be on your feet for hours
  • Work well under pressure, as part of a team, at any time of day – or night


The job:


  • Greet and serve customers in a friendly manner, read whether they’d like to chat or be left alone
  • Prepare and serve drinks for your patrons, sometimes helping them to choose
  • Process payments and accurately maintain a cash register (and transaction records)
  • Keep the bar area clean and re-stocked at all times


Lifestyle impact: Medium


  • Part Time opportunities: Very high – around 71% of Bartenders work part-time (source: labourmarketinsights.gov.au).
  • Average hours for full-time workers: 42 hours a week, which is average (source: labourmarketinsights.gov.au).
  • Electricians’ salary (average) $60,000* per year (source: seek.com.au). *Salaries vary depending on your skills and experience.
  • Future career growth: Strong (source: labourmarketinsights.gov.au).
  • You will be doing most of your work indoors, potentially in a wide variety of settings.
  • You will most likely need to work on weekends, holidays, and late nights, as these are popular times for people to go out.
  • You should get as much work experience as possible, keep up with new trends (and laws), be hard working and flexible, earn yourself a great reputation with your customers as well as management.


Bartenders are most in demand in these locations:


Demand for Bartenders is highest in New South Wales and Queensland. Most work in the Accommodation and Food Services industry.


How to become a Bartender in Australia


A degree isn’t essential for entry to this career, but you must obtain a Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) Certificate before you are allowed to work as a bartender in a licensed venue.


Step 1 – Finish Year 12 with good results in English and Maths. You’ll need to be at least 18 to work in bars, pubs and clubs.


Step 2 – Undertake work experience in a hospitality or retail setting to build your customer service skills.


Step 3 – Complete an RSA Certificate, like the ones below. Note that many courses have a minimum age requirement of 17 or 18.


Step 4 – Find work as a bartender and build on your skills, and consider enrolling on short courses that could help you get a foot in the door, such as:


Step 5 – Work hard, get to you know your customers, expand your knowledge of drinks and impress your bosses. You could end up in management positions, or become a business owner and establish your own bar.


Find out more here –




Similar Careers to Bartending





Restaurant Manager


Hotel Manager


Food Technologist


Find out more about alternative careers.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


How long does it take to become a Bartender? 


Many Responsible Service of Alcohol qualifications are relatively short, meaning you could become qualified to work as a bartender within a few days to weeks.


Where do Bartenders work?


Bartenders can work in a variety of establishments, including in bars, restaurants, pubs, clubs, cafés, and hotels, casinos, cruises, function centres, as well as for private catering and event companies.


Do I need to go to university to become a Bartender?


No, you don’t have to go to university. But relevant qualifications and lots of work experience could fast track your career and open up more opportunities.


Is Bartending a good career to aim for?


If you are friendly and love talking to people, as well as have an interest in the hospitality industry, bartending could be a rewarding career for you.


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