Occupation Code: 513201

Be a Bartender





A Bartender serves alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages from behind a counter in a bar, pub, tavern, or similar establishment. 

Bartenders are a very important part of the business as they contribute to the atmosphere.

Some Bartenders develop ‘flair’ for pouring drinks which forms part of the in-house entertainment, like in the films ‘Cocktail’ and ‘Coyote Ugly’.

Bartenders depend on tips for most of their income, so the more skills they have, the more they interact with the crowd and do their job properly and promptly – the more tips they will get.

Bartenders are expected to be able to mix cocktails.  Someone who specialises in cocktails is called a Mixologist.

Becoming a Bartender may also be your first step to entering the hospitality industry.  Once you get a foot in the door, show a good work ethic and are responsible – you may be able to work your way up the ladder to restaurant or food and beverage manager etc.

What does a Bartender do?

  • maintains the supplies and inventory for the bar
  • is attentive at all times and making sure the customers are served quickly and efficiently
  • makes sure the customers are the right age to drink
  • keeps the bar area clean
  • polishes glasses
  • takes payment for drinks
  • maintains enough ice and preparing enough garnishes
  • mixes cocktails
  • remembers the favoured drink of regular customers
  • listens – as some customers use the Bartender to ‘offload’ on

Are you … ?

  • friendly and positive?
  • organised?
  • a multi-tasker?
  • observant?
  • confident?
  • a showman?  Do you have flair?
  • willing to work long hours – particularly at night and weekends?
  • capable of dealing with drunkards?
  • a good listener?

How do I become a Bartender?

A lot of places will give you on-the-job training.

You will work alongside someone with experience and learn the ropes from them. 

The more experience you collect – the more your skills will improve – the more tips you will get in the end.

Studying some short courses will give yourself more skills will be extremely advantageous.


Offers short (1 to 5 day) courses on many areas of bartending from basic bartending to Masterclass cocktail mixing and ‘flair’ courses.

  • BARTENDER WORKSHOP:  (Countrywide) 

Level 1 International Bartending Certificate  (4 days)
Level 2 International Bartending Certificate  (4 days)


Offers a 5 day Bartending 101 Certificate. 
On completion of the course a written examination and a stringent practical examination will determine whether students pass or not. 


OTHER CAREERS TO CONSIDER: Mixologist or Wine Steward/Sommelier

Is becoming a Bartender or Barmaid the right career choice for me?

See below for more info.