Bartending is a wide spread field with many job options available. If you are interested in becoming a professional bartender but where not sure of your income possibilities or what type of bartending jobs are out there.
I have many friends in the industry and they all have different stories to tell. Some bartenders would prefer to work in a Country Club type atmosphere where they would dispense drinks all night or day to the waiting cocktail waitress or waiter. Fast paced drink making, fairly robotic and not too much interaction with customers. This type of bartender will earn the majority of his income from the establishment who employs him as an hourly wage and probably splits the tips with all the drink servers.
Neighborhood Bars & Restaurants
Another bartender might work at the neighborhood bar or pub and serve to a regular local crowd, yeah, like in the sitcom, Cheers. This bartender is very social and makes his money by being the popular or funny and an entertaining guy/girl to a fun and oft times a rowdy crowd. Good tip money in this type of venue. He/she works somewhat hard but has lots of fun.
Night Clubs & Tourist Destinations
In the busy tourist or night club scene bartenders handle large amounts of volume and pour, pour, pour, all night long. These types of bartending jobs require you to move at a very fast pace for hours. There is potential to make great tip money but you must have the energy to keep up with the fast pace.
A bartending career at a high end hotel, like The Omni Hotel, Ritz Carlton, Sofitel Montreal Golden Mile here in Montreal, etc. These bartenders are top of the line professionals. A clean crisp uniform, neat bar area, and excellent drink making skills are required. The rewards of these types of bartending jobs can be incredible. You can meet interesting high profile people who tip well and who generally have nice manners. These establishments usually have a nice employment package with insurance benefits and regular shifts. They usually pay on the higher end of the scale of hourly wages for hotel and restaurant venues and good tips that are usually shared and included in your paycheck. It is not unheard of to make $50,000+ per year in this career choice.
One of my best friends works on a cruise ship as a bartender. He usually works the same station and has the waiters, servers, and cocktail people constantly visiting his bar area. He is a flexible type of bartender who can converse with new people who are on the ship for the first time and have questions about drinks and the different ports of call. He makes his money from the cruise line but also receives lots of cash in tips, plus he gets to travel to all the various ports. Cruise line also often offer good benefits as well. The downside is he is somewhat captive on the ship most of the time and usually gets burned out after 6 months and must go home for a monthly visit or get “cabin fever”.
Private party bartenders have a great time and a lot of opportunity for making cash on a part time basis. You can usually work for yourself and name your own jobs. Most parties are at night allowing you to work a day job if you choose. Some private party bartenders get invited to what is called “guest parties” where the main person at the party is a famous actress or actor and you meet many important people. The connections can be invaluable. You can get paid a flat rate from the host of the party and also get lots of cash tips. If you are lucky they might even offer you a drink!
Resorts & Beach Clubs
Resorts are interesting venues for your career as a bartender. At a resort you could live in a beautiful place with local color and become wildly popular with the locals which can lead to good regular tips. You may offer advice for vacationers, newlyweds, party animals and so forth. Since you live close by you know all the best spots for having a good time; popularity always pays well in tips. You also meet all types of lonely people looking for romance. In this venue it wouldn’t matter much how much the hourly wage is. You can always count on your charming personality and good advice to keep the tip jar overflowing.
The possibilities are endless as there are bars in all types of settings all over the world. Getting trained as a certified bartender opens up this world as you can apply for the bartending jobs of your choice in the location of your dreams.
In as little as 30 hours you can become fully trained to work in any of these bartending jobs. The sooner you get the experience you need the sooner you can get to work!