How Much Money Do Bartenders Make?

Going into the world of bartending will give you a mix of fun and excitement. Pouring yourself to a job where you need to serve and satisfy your customers with your beverages. Juggling with taking orders and serving snacks and drinks. Well, these are the main duties of what a typical bartender does. Bartending requires skills and long-months and years of practice to make it perfect; however, your hardwork will literally pay off because of their competitive salary.

The salary of bartenders varies depending on these two things: years of experience and the type of bar he/she works. For starters, a bartender can earn $25,000 per year while a top-level bartender can earn $41,00 a year. Meanwhile, a bartender working in fancy restaurants and cocktail bars can earn $400 to $600 per night.

If you are just interested in the salary of a bartender, Well, there are other things that can vary a bartender’s salary. Aside from the expertise and the type of bar where he/she works, consider also the shift you work, wherein the best shifts are the busiest one since the more drinks you serve, the more money you will earn. Another factor that may influence a bartender’s salary is the state he/she came from. Obviously, if you come from a bigger state/city, you will earn more since there are a lot of customers to serve.

Hence, you can see below are the places and types of bar where bartenders earn a lot of money. You may consider working in one of these places.

Where Do Bartenders Make the Most Money?

If you are a type of bartender who is after the salary, then maybe you should consider working at these places since you will surely make the most money here.

Best Cities for Bartenders

According to ValuePenguin, here are the top cities in the United States where bartenders make the most money. Let’s kick off with:

1. Las Vegas, Nevada

Because of the numerous bars and casinos found in Las Vegas, it will definitely be included in the list of places where barmen and barmaids would love to work. The average salary of a bartender working in Las Vegas is around $18,500 to $27,700 excluding the tips. However, if you count in the tips, you can make up to around $45,000 to $73,000 and more.

Looking for bartending jobs in Nevada? You may check this site.

2. Atlantic City, New Jersey

If we are talking about fancy cocktail bars and dancers, well, New Jersey has it. It is known as the counterpart of Nevada on the East Coast. What makes it for bartenders to work in this place is New Jersey’s crazy party zones, where many tourists and locals often visit to party and drink.

The average annual salary for a bartender working in Atlantic City ranges from $20,000 to $27,000.

You may check this site to see the list of bartender jobs in New Jersey.

3. Brockton, Massachusetts

This place has been best for its bars and pubs, where bartenders typically can earn more money. If you work in this place, you can earn a yearly income of around $25,000. Most locals recommend Tommy Doyle’s Pub Grill and Dylan’s Bar Grill; therefore, make sure you check these bars.

Check this site to look for other bartender jobs in Massachusetts.

Types of Bars and Salaries

Knowing this information beforehand will help aspiring bartenders to know which type of bar he/she will earn the most money. 

Dive Bars

These are the usual neighborhood bars, which have a good reputation for drinkers. You will not earn much in this type of bar since only a few customers will give you tips. On a slow night, you will earn at least $40; however, on a good night you can earn as much as $200 and during extraordinary nights, you can make a maximum of $1000, which is the highest any bartender could make.

Bartenders who are just starting and gaining experience, usually start in this type of bar. Most bartenders who work in dive bars are already experienced and they may be knowledgeable enough to teach the basics of bartending for beginners.

Middle-class Bars

These types of bars usually include music bars, sports bars, and well-attended disco and dance venues. Compared to dive bars, customers who go in these bars are usually larger; however, if you want to know how much you can earn in this type of bar, well, the answer is it varies. On a slow and average night, you can earn at least $40 to $100 whereas during good nights, where the bar is full, you can earn as much as $200. 

If you are a bartender in this type of bar, be ready for a double task since you will be both a waiter/waitress (getting orders/serving orders) and barmen/barmaids  (making the orders). What differentiates this type of bar to your usual neighborhood bars is that they often get “good nights” and that means more potential income.

Clubs/Restaurants/Cocktail Bars

Well, lucky you, if you are a bartender in any of these bars since these places are fancier and customers, who usually go in these places are rich and love to give a lot of tips. Bartenders in these venues can earn A LOT of money because you can earn $40 a night even though no one orders a drink. For a slow night, you can earn as much as $150 while for good nights, it can bring in upwards of around $400 to $600.

Aside from making drinks, these places are usually excellent dining areas; therefore, they serve food as well to the customers.

High-end Resort Bars, Casinos, and Fancy Restaurants

Consider this as the bartender’s peak career. If you are already working in any of these places, well, congratulations! Since you already master the art of mixing drinks and you are no longer a newbie in the field. You are already a skilled drink master, in short.

These establishments usually accept bartenders who are expert in bartending since one could earn at least $300 on a usual night.  The wealthy customers who visit these places are the reason why you can earn a lot of money. However, you must keep in mind that resorts do not operate on a full year since there are resorts that are only open during peak seasons and last only for four to six months. Therefore, during those operating months, you make it to a point that you can earn a lot of money before the resort halts its operation.

Finally, you have already learned the cities/states and types of bar where a bartender earns the most money. However, by just knowing where are the places a bartender makes the most money will not guarantee you that will also earn the same. You need to improve your craft since bars usually look at your skills and expertise in making drinks.

Therefore, to give you some tips and advice on how to become a better bartender. You may read the below-post and take down all the tips that are listed.

Tips to Become a Better Bartender

Whether you are a pro or just a beginner at bartending, learning is a never-ending process. Hence, here are some tips that will come handy to keep you motivated in learning new tricks or drinks that will surely enhance your skills, because being skillful as a bartender will help you to earn more money.

1. Practice to Learn a New Drink Everyday

Learning and mastering different drinks every day will give you the confidence to satisfy your customers on the drinks they want. If you don’t know where to start with, you may google these 8 cocktail drinks every bartender should know. 

Start practicing and mastering these drinks until you make them perfect, and then look for another set of drinks to learn. 

2. Take Risks to Experiment with Drinks

Do not be afraid to experiment with recipes with your families and friends. You may also learn what are the good substitutes if there are instances you run out of stock. For example, if you run out of amaro, well, you may substitute orange for it. 

3. Do Not Drink While Mixing

It is an etiquette for bartenders to serve others first before you serve yourself. You may even practice this during family and friends gatherings, where you are assigned to make the drinks. Have others first taste your drinks since your goal in the first place is to satisfy your customers; therefore, if they complement your drinks that sounds good; Well, if not, take note the comments they make and apply it so that once you redo the drink you already know what to add and lessen. 

4. Have an understanding of What Your Workplace Looks Like

As a responsible bartender, you must have a checklist of the things you need in your workplace or you have that photographic memory of what your physical space looks like. For example, you missed this tool or you run out of this product, having checked this at the start of your shift will help you focus and get into the rhythm. Thus, this also helps you to become an efficient and effective bartender.

5. Know the Importance of Self-care

Lastly, as a bartender, aside from practicing awareness in the workplace, you must know that self-care is very important in your career because if you are not feeling well or you are sick, you cannot perform or do your job well. 

Therefore, you sleep early, have a well-rested mind and body, drink less, and do your job well.

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