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Frequently Asked Questions on Bartending


How old do I have to be to bartend in New York?

In New York you need to be 18 or over to serve alcohol.


Do I need a license to bartend in New York?

There is no such thing as a bartenders license, and certification is simply a diploma provided by the school upon completion of their course. Neither one is required by law to work as a bartender anywhere in the United States. Bartending skills, knowledge, efficiency and personality are the determining factors when hiring bartenders. It's the training you receive from a bartending school that provides you the you the skills to do the job; certificate without the skills is like rowing a boat without a paddle. At the New York Bartending School, we provide top notch bartender training along with a realistic job placement assistance program, and although our certification is good for any establishment that may request it, we would rather consider it to be a validation of attending a bartending school that actually teaches the hands-on skills to land a job - a bartending school recognized by the bar & beverage industry.


What should I look for when choosing a bartending school in New York?

The level of training can vary immensely from one school to another. So when choosing a bartending school we suggest you compare several schools. Take your time to research your options. The bartending school with the best training is the best school for you. Without the right training everything else is meaningless!


  • A hands-on trial class is an excellent way to see the facilities and evaluate the quality of training. If not available then at least sit in on a class; cross off your list any bartending school that does not allow you to view a class in progress.
  • Review the school's training manual to make sure it's up-to-date and that it covers the entire spectrum from classic drinks to trendy drinks served in the bars, restaurants and clubs of today. Bartending is not just about making drinks, so do make sure they offer training in wine, spirits, beer, alcohol awareness, POS/micros registers, etc.
  • At the New York Bartending School our reputation, our facilities and our training speaks for itself! This is why we tell students to (a)-Visit our bartending school, (b)-Sit in on a class, (c)-Attend our introductory hands-on trial class (d)-Talk to the students, instructors and job placement director, (e)-Visit other bartending schools to compare.


    What should I Avoid when Choosing a Bartending School in New York?

    • Bogus certification courses advertised on Living Social, Groupon and Craigs List.
    • On-line bartending school certification.
    • Bartending agencies, unions and associations (there is no such thing).
    • Any school that informs you that you must have a license or certification to bartend!
    • Any school that guarantee you a job!
    • Signing up to a bartending school BEFORE you actually visit it and sit in on a class!
    • Signing up to any bartending school BEFORE you compare it with at least one other school!
    • Overcrowded bartending schools; bartending schools that have for example only 5 stations and 20 students; there should be no more than two students per fully-stocked cocktail station.

    I have heard that bar owners do not hire from bartending schools. Is that correct?

    We would not have thousands of our NYB graduates working in some of the busiest bars throughout the United States if this was true. However, some disgruntled bartenders and owners may feel this way. Unfortunately too many wannabe bartenders went to the cheapest route possible; a scam bartending school or took an online bartending course - their mentality being that all bartending schools are the same - so their surmise is that the most convenient and cheapest bartending school they can find will suffice. Unfortunately they find out the hard way when they apply for a job and the head bartender or manager puts them behind the bar to test their skills. The student got ripped off, never lands a bartending job so he bad mouths all bartending schools whenever he gets the chance. Meanwhile the bar manager that hired him has the opinion that bartending schools suck! It is these rip-off bartending schools that give the good bartending schools a bad reputation! Unfortunately, just because a bartending school is licensed by the State, does not necessarily mean they provide quality training! Which is why we keep pushing you into researching your options before enrolling in any bartending school (even ours). Research you options! It REALLY is all about the RIGHT training!


    Will I be guaranteed a job after I graduate from bartending school?

    I will answer that with another question: "Is anyone guaranteed a job when they graduated from college"? Of course not! The degree of job placement assistance offered by ANY school varies immensely, but none can guarantee you a job! It is the manager/owner of the bar that is doing the interviewing. A school can prepare you for the interview and provide assistance and job leads. The amount of actual job leads that come into a school is dependent on the reputation of the training from that bartending school. As we have said several times 'It is not the certificate that will land you a job; it is the RIGHT TRAINING, your PERSONALITY and your PERSISTANCE!

    At the New York Bartending School we are proud of our job placement assistance program because it has helped thousands of graduates find a job after graduation. We provide job hunting seminars, one-on-one assistance and a job placement site that posts real job leads. We provide graduates with every tool they need to land a job. It's these resources combines with our graduate's personality, persistence and determination that accounts for our success, and our students success in finding a bartending job. Check out our blog for more info on job placement and our photo gallery to view our graduates at work.


    Does the New York Bartending School provide payment plans?

    We offer an interest-free payment plan. Call us at 212.768.8460 to schedule what payment plan works for you. We're more than happy to help you start your career training.


    Does the New York Bartending School provide flexible schedules?

    Our students can mix and match classes, even take the course over again as often as they want at no additional fee.


    I do not drink and know little about alcohol. Will this be a problem?

    No. It all boils down to a comprehensive curriculum and unique teaching from qualified licensed instructors. You can even retake the entire course as many times as you want, whenever you want. and you will never have to pay another dime. Your success means our success - so we want you to be the best you can!


    New York Bartending School, Inc 68 West 39th Street, NY, NY 10018 / 212.768.8460


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