Best Answer: I know bartenders that make about 30,000 a year, and I also know bartenders that make more than 100k. It all depends on your level of experience, the shifts you work, and the type of place you work at.
Like another poster said, you're highly unlikely to get a bartending job with no experience. Your best bet would be to start off as a server, work hard enough so that your employer notices you, and get promoted from within. Once you have a year or two of experience, you'll be able to find more lucrative work at hipper bars and nightclubs.
It also depends on what city you live in. I've tended bar on both coasts and in the Midwest, and the difference in what I took home at the end of the night was definitely noticeable. If you live in or near a major city on one of the coasts, you'll probably make at least 3 times the money you would in the center of the country. The cost of living is higher, though, so it pretty much evens out.
In a lot of ways, being a bartender is a lot like any other job. Don't expect to pull in the big bucks until you have at least a few years of experience and impeccable references. For better or worse, it's also about who you know. Once you get your foot in the door, make connections. Talk to other bartenders and bar owners. If a lucrative position opens up, most bar owners will approach bartenders they know before they hire an unknown.
that for a lot of people, especially in major cities, bartending is a career. People spend years working their way up in order to get the really good positions, and tend not to leave once they get them. You have to have patience and a strong work ethic.
To answer your question with a few specifics, you'll probably start out at the bottom of the ladder. You'll be working day shifts and maybe some weeknight shifts. Some day bartenders get paid a small hourly wage [usually $6-8 an hour] plus tips, but many do not. As a bartender just starting out, don't expect to make a ton of money. You'll probably make a bit more than your retail or office peers, and you'll likely work shorter hours. Remember that most of what you make will be cash, though, so the temptation to spend it is greater than when you get a bi-weekly paycheck. Learn to budget.
As you move up and get the better shifts, that's when you'll start seeing more money. On a busy Saturday night at my bar, it's not unusual for each bartender to walk home with $500 or so for 8 hours work. But, again, you have to put in your time and work hard for it.
Despite what some people think, bartending is a legitimate career choice, and one that you'll be able to make a decent living doing. If you enjoy it, work hard, and perfect your skills, there's no reason that you won't be able to make excellent money.
Source(s): Professional bartender in Boston.
Amber · 5 years ago