Frequently Asked Questions

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

In New York (and most states) you have to be 18 or older to serve alcohol?

Do I need a ‘Bartenders License’ to bartend in New York or any other state?

NO! One does not need a ‘license’ or ‘certification’ to work as a bartender. However, we do have a lot of bar & restaurant staff (barbacks, servers and even bartenders) coming into our school at the request of management.

Bartending is no longer just a part-time job to make some extra cash or to get one through college. For many it has become a lucrative career. You cannot walk into an establishment and apply for a job without having learned the required knowledge & skills of modern day bartending and mixology. Owners and managers do not have the time to train people with zero knowledge of bartending. Going to bartending school is not about the certificate – its about the training! A reputable bartending school – a school that teaches all aspects of modern bartending and mixology – is the best and fastest way to land a bartending position. Just do your homework and choose a reputable bartending school that provides you with the more than just the basics of bartending.

The New York Bartending School has an excellent training program. A high percentage of New York Bartending School graduates are working – so we must be doing something right!


Is this certificate good in any state?

YES. National & world-wide.

Do Bartending Schools use Real Alcohol?

Imagine throwing away over 5,000 drinks that you prepared during the entirety of the course. That’s a lot of booze right? Also a lot of money! So, yes, all bartending schools use colored water. However, at the New York Bartending School we use both colored water (necessary for the repetition learning process) and real alcohol in our advanced seminars on spirits, liqueurs, wine, beer and classic & signature drinks.

What do I look for when choosing a bartending school?

The modern bartending school is focused on providing a working education in the art, knowledge and skills of bartending and mixology. However, bartending schools are far from equal – so before you register to any bartending training institution, thoroughly research your options.

  1. Visit the facilities and sit in on a class in progress. Take a free bartending class, if offered.
  2. Compare the facilities and curriculum of several bartending schools.
  3. You should be learning BEHIND a bar, not at a desk.
  4. There should never be more than two students per cocktail station. Count the number of soda guns to establish the number of cocktail stations; double that number and that’s the maximum number of students that should be in the class.
  5. The modern day bartending school should include mixology and wine classes.
  6. Colored water is necessary for the repetition learning process in memorizing drinks, but a modern bartending school should include real alcohol in their mixology program.
  7. The bartending school should provide a job placement assistance program that includes (a)-an on-line job site, (b)-resume assistance, (c)-a job placement seminar, (d)-affiliation with a real bars to guest bartend – to achieve the behind the bar confidence upon graduation.
  8. Beware of bartending schools that inform you that you need a license to bartend. Beware of advertisements…like those on craigslist that state “bartenders wanted – no experience – make $300 to $400 a night” – yes they are a scam! Beware of unlicensed bartending schools (not licensed by the New York Education Department)! Beware of schools that have no hands-on-training; you cannot learn from a book or sitting at a desk! Beware of