Frequently Asked Questions


  • How old do I have to be to work as a bartender and how much do bartenders make?
  • In New York the law is 18 or over to serve alcohol. How much bartenders earn depends on the city and the type of establishment you are working at. There is no denying that bartending is a very lucrative job. In New York bartenders average $250 to $400 a shift, with some making way more than that.



  • What is a bartending license?
  • What you are referring to is a 'bartender certification' - a diploma awarded by a bartending school for completion of the course.

  • What do I look for when choosing a bartending school?
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    • Bartending schools are far from equal when it comes to the quality of training. Unfortunately there are a lot of scam bartending training programs, like groupon bartender certification deals, unlicensed schools, and on-line certification scams that are giving the industry a bad name. Which is why you REALLY need to visit and compare at least two bartending schools, check that they are licensed and then sit in and monitor a class in progress.

    • When you walk into the classroom does it look and feel like a real bar? How many cocktail training stations are there? Counting the number of soda guns will tell you how many stations. Double that number and that’s the maximum of students that should be in the class (5 stations; 10 students maximum (two at a station).



    • Modern bartending schools provide a lot more than basic drink making. Bartending may not be rocket science, but it is also not just about memorizing some basic drinks. It makes little difference whether you are looking to bartend part-time to make some extra cash, or you want to make a career out of it – you still need to learn all aspects of professional bartending to land a job. That includes: wine knowledge and service, beer knowledge and service, spirits & liqueur knowledge and service, POS registers, customer service, up-selling, opening/closing procedures, alcohol awareness, garnish preparation, etc.


    • No school, regardless of trade, can guarantee any graduate a job, in fact it is against the law. However; a good bartending school should provide some type job placement assistance program. At the New York Bartending School we have a job placement director for one-on-one assistance and a job listing website. We work with a lot of bar managers, owners and liquor/wine and catering/event companies in New York City, as well as many charities, providing bartenders for their events.