Senior Barista Career Path

Are you thinking of becoming a Senior Barista or already started your career and planning the next step? Learn how to become a Senior Barista, what skills you need to succeed, how to advance your career and get promoted, and what levels of pay to expect at each step on your career path. Explore new Senior Barista job openings and options for career transitions into related roles.
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How to Become a Barista

Baristas prepare tea and coffee drinks for customers in coffee shops, restaurants, hotels, and other settings. While you'll receive on-the-job training, there are skills that a barista needs that you can't learn in a classroom. Successful baristas excel at communication, teamwork, and multitasking. Remember that coffee shops and restaurants are fast-paced workplaces where anything can happen. If you enjoy interacting with all sorts of people, and can work under pressure, then you're ready to take the following steps:


Apply for an entry-level coffee shop position

If you don't have previous experience working in a coffee shop, you'll need to apply for an entry-level position, such as a cashier, table busser, or server. Working in an entry-level position will give you a chance to observe the baristas and familiarize yourself with the coffee shop's processes. Be sure to assist the baristas with whatever they need, such as restocking coffee bar supplies and cleaning up. An appreciative barista might be willing to provide you with training and management will see why you're an excellent candidate should a barista position open up.


Consider pursuing a degree

While baristas aren't required to have any formal training outside of the workplace, pursuing a degree in food service management might be worth it if you want to advance your career. It isn't uncommon for a barista with a quality education to become a kitchen manager or shop manager. Plus, if you work for a major chain, a degree could qualify you for a job in the corporate office.


Complete a barista certification

As you gain experience working in a coffee shop, consider completing an online barista certification. You can complete the coursework on your own schedule, and you'll learn everything from the history of coffee to different coffee brewing techniques. Earning a certification will prove to your employer that you have the necessary barista skills, and you'll be able to answer questions that curious customers might have.


Practice your barista skills at home

Basic coffee brewing equipment, such as an espresso machine, coffee grinder, or milk frother, is a worthy investment if you want to hone your barista skills. Invite friends over and let them order beverages, so you can get used to accommodating different tastes and customizing drinks. Your friends can give you feedback that will help you refine your techniques.


Apply for barista jobs

Once you have experience working in a coffee shop, it's time to start applying for barista jobs. Don't limit yourself to conventional coffee shops. Many restaurants and hotels have coffee bars that require baristas to staff them. Depending on where you land a barista job, you may start in a probationary period where a veteran barista supervises you. You'll pass probation when you prove that you know the menu and how to interact with customers.

Seniority Levels


Senior Barista

2 - 4Years of Experience
$50,136 /yrTotal Pay
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Lead Barista

5 - 7Years of Experience
$42,126 /yrTotal Pay
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Barista V

No Years of Experience Reports
$53,276 /yrTotal Pay
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Total Pay Trajectory

Senior Barista Career Path

Seniority Levels

Related Careers in the Retail & Food Services Industry

Interested in other Retail & Food Services careers? Below are occupations that have high affinity with Senior Barista skills. Discover some of the most common Senior Barista career transitions, along with skills overlap.