Bartender  What They Do

Just the Facts


Mixes and serves drinks to patrons, directly or through waitstaff.

This career is part of the Hospitality and Tourism cluster Restaurants and Food/Beverage Services pathway.


A person in this career:

  • Cleans glasses, utensils, and bar equipment.
  • Collects money for drinks served.
  • Balances cash receipts.
  • Checks identification of customers to verify age requirements for purchase of alcohol.
  • Cleans bars, work areas, and tables.
  • Attempts to limit problems and liability related to customers' excessive drinking by taking steps such as persuading customers to stop drinking, or ordering taxis or other transportation for intoxicated patrons.
  • Takes beverage orders from serving staff or directly from patrons.
  • Serves wine, and bottled or draft beer.
  • Plans, organizes, and controls the operations of a cocktail lounge or bar.
  • Stocks bar with beer, wine, liquor, and related supplies such as ice, glassware, napkins, or straws.

Insider Info

Dig into the details and check out what people in this job have to say about their work.



Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would often handle loads up to 10 lbs., sometimes up to 20 lbs. You might do a lot of walking or standing, or you might sit but use your arms and legs to control machines, equipment or tools.
  • Work in this occupation involves bending or twisting your body more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves using your hands to hold, control, and feel objects more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves making repetitive motions more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves standing more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves walking or running more than one-third of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Picking out a particular sound in the presence of other sounds
  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person
  • Using abdominal and lower back muscles repeatedly or over time without tiring

Work Hours and Travel

  • Irregular hours
  • Weekend work

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Banquet Bartender --
  • Bar Captain --
  • Bar Manager -- Oversees all operations at the bar including staffing, employee schedules, event planning, and staff functions and responsibilities.
  • Bar Supervisor --
  • Mixologist -- Excels at creating interesting cocktails by looking at anything edible or drinkable and wondering what amazing concoctions they can make out of them.