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Mixologist: Job Description, Duties and Requirements

Mixologists require training, but no formal education. Learn about the job description, duties and necessary skills to see if this is the right career for you.

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A mixologist is another name for a bartender, who makes and serves drinks, typically alcoholic ones. Mixologists should be friendly, swift, and good listeners. Training occurs on the job so professional training is not required, though helpful bartending courses are available.

Essential Information

Mixologists, or bartenders, have good customer service and communication skills, in addition to a knowledge of beers and cocktails. Individuals interested in applying for one of these positions will need to be at least 18 years old; a high school diploma may also be helpful.

Required Education Variable; a high school diploma and on-the-job training OR completion of bartender and mixology courses
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)* 10% for bartenders
Median Annual Salary (2015)* $19,530 for bartenders

Source: *United States Bureau of Labor Statistics

Mixologist Job Description

Mixologists serve alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages to restaurant and bar patrons. They may serve beer and wine, make classic drinks or create new recipes for cocktails. Mixologists are also responsible for ensuring that their bars run smoothly and efficiently.

Job Duties

Mixologists ensure that bars are stocked with glasses, garnishes, drink mixes and ice. In some establishments, they must order bar supplies from outside vendors. They also process cash and credit card payments from customers and verify that patrons are old enough to drink before serving them alcohol. Other responsibilities include keeping the bar neat and clean. Mixologists might be asked to set up bars before they open and perform closing procedures at the end of business hours. They may also serve food.

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Job Requirements

Education Requirements

When hiring mixologists, employers often prefer job candidates with high school diplomas, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov). These beverage service professionals may receive training on the job or enroll in bartender and mixology courses offered by community and technical colleges.

Topics of discussion can include safety and sanitation practices, customer service skills and methods for developing new recipes. These classes may also help aspiring mixologists meet licensure requirements in cities or states that regulate the sale of alcoholic beverages by restaurant or bar employees. In some states, this entails completing a course in responsible beverage service. Other states may also require applicants to be fingerprinted.

Job Skills

Businesses look for applicants who have friendly personalities and good customer service skills. Knowledge of human behavior and psychology may also be helpful when serving patrons. Excellent communication skills are also a plus. Additionally, mixologists must have the ability to stand behind bars for long periods and repeatedly lift materials weighing anywhere from 10-50 pounds. They will also need to be 18 years of age or older, according to the BLS.

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), jobs for bartenders were expected to grow by 10% through 2024. In 2015, the median annual wage for bartenders was $19,530; however, the BLS noted that many earn significant tips that are sometimes even higher than the regular wages.

A bartender typically only needs a high school education and certain skills to become qualified, and should also be of legal age. Training programs in mixology are optional, but beneficial.

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