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All You Need to Know About a Career in Bartending


The profession of bartender involves much more than just mixing drinks, it requires an immense understanding with the customers and innate confidence to carry your act with gusto and precession. Hence this blog all about a career in bartending and how you can pursue one!

What is Bartending?

What would you call a cross between a juggler, a mind-reader, a janitor, a wine-expert, a music jockey, a performer and a comedian? Everyoneman? The Man Who Knew Too Much? Well, as much as any Hollywood director would like to make a superhero by those names, this is in relation to something far more “normal”. Behold, the Bartender!

How many of us actually aspire to be the person on the other side of the bar, the one who is in charge of serving the drinks rather than drinking them. Well, I am pretty sure the phrase “I want to be a Bartender” won’t be as common as all the wannabe engineers and doctors out there. But, then again, how much do we actually know about this elusive yet amazingly interesting job of bartending.

As a career opportunity, bartending falls under the same category as food & beverages, especially within the tourism and hospitality industry. On one hand, bartending was an aspect that was included as a compulsory professional trait within the field of hotel management. On the other hand, the course of bartending within the field of hotel management essentially consisted of aspects such as understanding the myriad types of drinks as well as the innate knowledge of “what mixed with what forms what”, which essentially falls under the more technical-sounding term, of Mixologist.

Education Required

As mentioned above, bartending forms an integral, almost omnipresent aspect of hotel management as all the students of this profession are essentially given training related to understanding different alcoholic spirits as well as their respective properties. Moreover, the practice of bartending in hotel management courses essentially involves the study of terms and connotations related to the practice, such as “how many ounces are equal to a quart of whiskey”, what is the difference between a “Bloody Mary” and “Sex on the Beach”, and “what would you give a person if they ask for a bourbon”.  

On the other hand, there are several aspects related to bartending which cannot be taught in any hotel management school. This includes the ability to empathetically connect with your audience and give them a good time, to be charismatic and confident enough to showcase your mixing skills, to learn the art of juggling and playing around with glasses, and to be comfortable with being the center of attraction and constantly being in control of your act.

There have been people who have gotten into the field just by pure curiosity or passion, while others take special courses to get the know-how of the profession. Either way, the thing to understand is that you do not require a license for bartending. It is similar to how you do not require a degree to perform on stage but a degree in music always helps if you want to do so.

A career in Bartending

Owing to the innate spontaneity of the profession, there are no degree courses for bartending as such. On the other hand, diplomas, as well as certificate courses, are offered by various training centers, schools and institutes. These certificate courses and training programs are essential for individuals who want to enter the hospitality industry as well as professionals who want to touch upon their skills.

To pursue a career in bartending no such degree is required although one can take up certificate and diploma courses that last for a period of 1 to 2 weeks for most programs. Additional courses could be pursued further in order to earn more useful certificates like‘ServSafe alcohol’. This certificate can be earned by passing the National Association Education Foundation’s qualification examination.

Enrollments into such courses require a GED certificate or high school degree. In order to make oneself comfortable with the aspect of measurement in the mixing of drinks, a background in Mathematics can be a boon. Moreover, aspects such as juggling tricks as well as developing communication skills are also an integral part of the course.

There are no eligibility criteria as far as bartending is considered, owing to the aspect that anyone with the flair and the charisma for the profession can make it large in the field.

Top Indian Institutes in India

Indian Institute of BartendingDiploma in bartending, Craftsmanship course in bartending, Certificate course in Wines & Spirits, a Certification course in Bar Flair 10+2Chennai
Tuleeho Wine AcademyCertificate in Professional Bartending10+2Bangalore
Liquid Art Bartending SchoolCertificate course in beverage management and bartending, Certificate course in professional bartending, Certificate course in mixology and basic flair bartending, Advanced flair bartending course, Flair bartending course, certificate course in basic bartending.10+2Hyderabad
Chennai Institute of BartendingProfessional Bartending Course, Professional Bartending Teamleader Course, Master Bar Management Course, Diploma in Hotel Management & Catering10+2Chennai

Top International Institutes

European Bartender School4-week international bartending course, 2-day mixology course,10 days advanced bartending courseLas Vegas, New York, Sydney, Berlin, Milan, Phuket and many more
Bols Bartending AcademyCocktail introduction, basic bartending, advanced bartending, master bartending, international bar management, group coursesAmsterdam
AAA International Bartending School40-hour Bartending/Mixology Certification, 20-hour Bartending Essentials CertificationNew Jersey
Elemental Mixology, Los AngelesAdvanced 24 hour crash courses for professional bartendingPortland, US

Fee Structure

Diploma courses in bartending in Indian institutes would cost anywhere from Rs. 40,000 to Rs. 70,000. On the other hand, the fees for certificate courses usually range from Rs. 9000 to Rs. 20,000, depending on the type, of course, that is being pursued. Diploma courses in international markets such as the United States, especially places like New York and Los Angeles, can be as low as 99$ and can go up to 1250$, depending on the number of days that the course will be held for, the institute conducting it, as well as the inherent information offered by the same.

Job Opportunities and Salaries

There are quite a few employment opportunities with relation to bartending as a profession, including places like hotels, restaurants, bars as well as caterers. In terms of the average salary of a bartender, it can be very rewarding if you learn to perfect the art of socializing as well as the art of magic intoxicating potions. The average salary of a bartender can range from 1 to 2 lakhs, and advanced professional realms, it can go as high as 10 lakhs per year.

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