What does a Head Bartender do?

Bartenders take order, make drinks, and serve them to customers. Bartenders work at a variety of restaurants and drinking extablishments, including bars, clubs, hotels, resorts, casinos, and restaurants. They tend to work weekends, late hours, and over holidays.

Bartenders do not need to have a formal education, but most have a high school diploma or equivalent. Bartenders generally acquire their skills through on-the-job training. The best bartenders are friendly and outgoing, have a good memory, and display composure.

What responsibilities are common for Head Bartender jobs?
  • Provide high quality service to customers
  • Adhere to all local and national liquor laws
  • Mix and serve drinks following set standard recipes
  • Greet guests in a timely manner and take orders
  • Process cash and credit card transactions following appropriate procedures
  • Maintain a safe and clean environment for guests and team
  • Carry out all tasks with attention to detail, cleanliness, and safety
  • Assist with inventory and inventory control
What are the typical qualifications for Head Bartender jobs?
  • A high school diploma or general education degree (GED)
  • 2 years of experience in a bar or similar environment
  • Must be 21 years of age
  • Basic mathematical skills
  • Be able to work in a standing position for long periods of time
  • Strong knowledge of spirits, wine, champagne, and mixed cocktails
  • Strong customer service and interpersonal skills
  • Ability to read and speak English proficiently
Work/Life Balance
3.4 ★
Total Pay--
Career Opportunity
3.2 ★
Avg. Experience2-4 years

How much does a Head Bartender make?

$60,418 /yr
Total Pay

Base Pay


Additional Pay


 / yr
Most Likely Range
Possible Range
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Head Bartender Career Path

Learn how to become a Head Bartender, what skills and education you need to succeed, and what level of pay to expect at each step on your career path.

Senior Manager of Bartending
Head Bartender

Average Years of Experience

0 - 1
2 - 4
5 - 7
Not including years spent in education and/or training
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Head Bartender Insights

Read what Head Bartender professionals have to say about their job experiences and view top companies for this career.
MeloMelo Kava Bar
Dec 4, 2021

“You meet a wonderful and eclectic group of people and make friends I still have to this day.”

Uncle Bentlys Pub
Bartender/Cocktail Waitress
Dec 10, 2021

“Some of the managers are really entitled and treat others with little to no respect.”

Dirty Martini (UK)Dirty Martini (UK)
Nov 19, 2021

“Everyone works hard and is really friendly and you end up making really good friends.”

Beef O'Brady'sBeef O'Brady's
Jul 19, 2022

“I only gave 2 stars because money was good and I loved the regulars at the bar.”

Twin Peaks RestaurantsTwin Peaks Restaurants
Feb 11, 2021

“I loved that I got to meet so many people and the money really is great.”

Ember InnsEmber Inns
Feb 8, 2022

“management wasn't great and I was left on my own on the bar quite often.”

Red LobsterRed Lobster
Apr 25, 2020

“It is such a great atmosphere and I have really enjoyed my journey thus far.”

Pappas RestaurantsPappas Restaurants
Sep 23, 2020

“Perfect job for a college student or someone looking for a career in Hotel and Restaurant Management.”

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Head Bartender Interviews

Frequently asked questions about the role and responsibilities of bartenders

A bartender spends their day mixing and serving alcoholic and some non-alcoholic drinks to customers at a restaurant or bar. A shift might start before customers arrive in order to make an inventory of supplies, prepare garnishes, and organize glassware. During opening hours, the bartender will take orders from customers and/or servers.

An advantage of this career is the low barrier to entry, as becoming a bartender requires no formal training or experience. At the same time, it's relatively easy to find a bartender job as these individuals are needed in every bar and restaurant all over the world. Bartenders typically start work in the afternoon into the night hours, which can be appealing for people who don't like to start work early in the morning.

On average, a bartender's salary is around $60,418 in the United States. Compensation may vary based on the type of bar or restaurant and the cost of food and drinks. On busy nights or during special events, customer tips can significantly increase a bartender's pay.

Yes, working as a bartender can be hard for some individuals. Bartenders typically stand on their feet and walk around for the majority of their shift. They interact with customers and other wait staff during their shift; this can be physically and emotionally exhausting day after day.

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Head Bartender Jobs