How Much Does A Bartender Make?

By on August 11, 2010 in ArticlesHow Much Does

How much does a bartender make? Bartenders (aka barkeeper, barkeep, barman, barmaid, or tapster) earn a decent salary, better than most food and beverage service workers. Bartenders have quite a few opportunities for work, besides stand alone bars as a bartender, there are many other places that incorporate bars into their workplace, including restaurants, airline stations, catering work, hotels and other travel establishments.

Choosing the career of a bartender may be a good recession-proof occupation since bars are always busy. The bar atmosphere is a place many people choose to be whether celebrating or weathering bad times in the recession.

How Much Does A Bartender Make?
Sasha Haagensen/Getty Images

A bartender basically "tends the bar". Bartenders may be employed by the bar or as a "barkeeper", own the bar. Bartenders serve beverages behind a bar in a bar, restaurant, tavern, pub, or similar establishment. Bartenders typically serve alcoholic drinks such as wine, beer, cocktails, soft drinks as well as non-alcoholic beverages. A bartender may own the bar or may be an employee. Bartenders may also take payments from customer or wait staff, and maintain the liquor supplies, glassware and other supplies at the bar. Some bartenders are expected to know how to create a variety of popular mixed drinks. A mixologist is a bartender specializing in cocktail recipes, implying special expertise in mixing cocktails, with the ability to mix hundreds of different types of drinks.

According to a 2008 Bureau of Labor Statistics report, bartending positions will grow 8% from 2008 to 2018. Job opportunities should be excellent with the high turnover that is typical within the food and beverage industry.

Bartenders may eventually advance to a high level restaurant or resort, while some bartenders open their own businesses. Larger restaurant chains provide excellent workers opportunities to enter the company's management training program.

How much does a bartender make per hour?

In the food and beverage industry, servers and related workers held 7.7 million jobs in 2008. Out of this number, bartenders held 508,700 of those jobs.

Similar to waiters and waitresses, bartenders in public bars may receive more than half of their earnings in the form of tips. Service bartenders are generally paid higher hourly wages, offsetting their lower tip earnings. A 2008 Bureau of Labor Statistics report shows bartenders earned median hourly wages, including tips, of $8.54.

Tips make up half or more of bartender's salaries. If a bartender earned $6.00 an hour, their tips generally average out to $12.00 to $18.00 an hour as additional income. A bartender in an average bar will typically earn $15.00 $30.00 an hour between their wages and tips.

How much does a bartender make per year? shows the median yearly salary for bartenders is $18,069 to $36,453 a year. According to, bartenders in a high volume resort or establishment can earn $50,000 to $75,000 per year between hourly wages and tips. 2010 results show bartenders in restaurants at median salary rates can make a good salary per year:

Bartender $73,000

Restaurant Bartender $45,000

Restaurant Bartender Server $41,000

Did we make a mistake?
Submit a correction suggestion and help us fix it!
Submit a Correction