Being a bartender can be a lucrative job, thanks to the tips you can earn in addition to the hourly pay you receive. However, working as a bartender can be difficult, since it requires coordination and a wide knowledge of drinks to mix. In order to be a bartender, you may need to take some classes to learn about the industry as well as get hands-on training.


Bartending

It is not required for a bartender to be licensed, but many restaurants require completion of classes to avoid liabilities. It is important for the bartender to have knowledge of alcohol and its effects. Bartenders need to know how to serve alcohol responsibly. In addition, going to bartending school makes an applicant competitive.


Courses

Bartending classes include equipment classes, which teaches you how to use the tools in a bar, as well as mixology classes, which teaches you how to mix drinks. There may be other classes on subjects that are important to learn such as pouring techniques, which may help you increase tips. Classes on alcohol awareness and safety may also be part of the curriculum.


Cost

Bartending school may be expensive. In California, bartenders may pay $250-500 for a 4-week class. Maryland Bartending states that bartending school may cost $500-800. Depending on the city you’re in, bartending schools may be more expensive if there is more demand. You may also need to pay for materials that you will need for your classes, if the school don’t provide them.


Free Classes

Some companies may offer free classes, which may include introductory courses. These are suited for people who are curious about what bartending classes are like, or who want to survey classes before enrolling full-time. The Pacific Bartending School offers free classes, which are held on Mondays.


Salary

Bartenders can work either part-time or full-time. Bartenders may earn an average of $49,000 a year, according to Indeed.com. Bartenders may also gain promotions or take other jobs within the restaurant to increase their income. A sommelier, a person who helps customers pair wine with food, can earn $28,000-$80,000, according to CNN.com.