How to Become a Certified Bartender Online

Dec 05, 2019

Find out about the different niches of bartending you might like to focus on, the online courses you can take, and what kind of legal certifications you might need to ensure you are ready to enter the world of hospitality and bartending.

Bartender Career Overview

Bartenders mix and pour drinks and serve them to customers. Bartenders typically work in restaurants, hotels, and independent pubs, bars, and breweries, and they can specialize in mixology, wine sommelier, beer brewing, showmanship, and other craft cocktail arts. Online material and courses for bartending are plentiful so you could find it easy to complete classes and obtain certifications right from your computer.

Required Skills Active Listening, Service Orientation, Social Perceptiveness, Coordination, Critical Thinking
Job Growth* 8% from 2018-2028
Median Salary (2018)* $22,550 per year ($10.84 per hour)

Source: *U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics

Steps to Become a Certified Bartender Online

While there is no formal training requirement to becoming a bartender, taking courses and earning certifications, as well as meeting state requirements, can make it easier for you to start your career in bartending. Many of these steps may be accomplished online.

Step 1- Research Online About a Bartending Focus

You can choose from a variety of bartending niches when considering a bartending career, including mixology, wine pairings, cocktail essentials, brewing and fermenting, and spirit specific drink-making, such as whiskey, tequila, bourbon, and vodka. There are several online resources you can use to read about the various areas of bartending to determine which one may be a good fit for your focus. By being a specialist in a specific area you may be a more attractive candidate for bars and pubs that have a certain target customer or market.

Step 2- Complete Courses and Obtain Bartending Skills Certifications Online

Even though there is no formal training required to be a bartender, it is recommended you have some education before starting a career in this field. There are several online courses you can choose from that will give you some education in areas of mixology, brewing, and specific liquors and spirits. Some online sources offer very short courses that you can take in a matter of a few hours, while others offer courses that are 2-6 weeks long and are more in-depth, regarding not only bartending but also customer service and showmanship.

Step 3- Obtain Legal and Safe Serving Training Required for Your State

Various states require different certifications for serving alcohol. For example, Indiana requires a Alcohol Seller Server Certification, where Nevada has an ABC Liquor License Course. You may need to take specific online alcohol server training before you can work as a bartender in your state. Most states allow you to take this training online, such as Montana's required Alcohol Seller Server Course. You must also be old enough to serve liquor, which is currently the age of 21 in the United States. By having your legal serving requirements met prior to starting your job search, you could become a more attractive candidate to potential employers

Step 4- Gain Experience in the Industry

Real life experience is important in becoming a bartender. You might want to get some practical experience in the field to ensure the role and industry is right for you. You may start by practicing mixing and serving drinks at a friend or family member's birthday party, a wedding, or bridal shower. Once you are comfortable with the basics of bartending, you can look online for freelancing or event-based bartending jobs and use your online contacts to generate leads for further experience.

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