Is Bartending School Worth It?

Bartending is a difficult but thrilling career that involves mixing cocktails and fetching pints for a crowd of delighted customers on a night out. Bartending has many potentials, and if your institution encourages tips, you can make a lot of money. So, if you want to work as a bartender, what is the best way to get started? Is it preferable to go to a bartending school or learn on the job? Bartending schools are controversial, but are they worthwhile? Let’s get started.

Is Bartending School Worth It?

The answer is that it depends on what you want to accomplish. Bartending school can be expensive, costing anywhere from $50 to $500 or more for a course that usually lasts around 40 hours. You’re taught to mix colored water and use foam garnishes in bartending school, yet neither of these skills will help you make drinks (except a professional school). Alcohol tastings and thorough histories are included in some of the top institutions, but there is no substitute for studying. Most people can learn to mix drinks at home by purchasing a book or watching YouTube videos.

The primary purpose of bartending schools is to make money. There is never a guarantee that a school certificate will lead to employment; however, some bartending institutions, provide support along the route, from education to education job placement. It all depends on where you go and what you want to accomplish in the end.

When Bartending Schools can be a nice idea

A respected certification, such as one from the Bartending School in California, can provide you with opportunities to travel, a greater range of cocktail expertise, and assistance in starting your profession. Professional school might offer you the edge you need to become a mixologist and master a specialized talent.

If you’re only looking for a weekend job or a job pulling pints in a pub, bartending school may not be worth the money and time, but if you want to advance your abilities – skills you won’t be able to learn from your current employer – and do a job in bars and travel, bartending school is for you.

What questions should you ask your bartending school?

If you still believe that bartending school would be a viable alternative – even if only to obtain a little information – then you should ask the following questions of your potential program:

  • After graduation, how long does it take your grads to get a professional bartending job?
  • Is it okay if I speak with certain alumni about their experiences?
  • Do you aid in job placement?
  • Can I chat with some of the employers you work with to find out how they feel about the graduates of your program?
  • After a year, what percentage of graduates work as professional bartenders?
  • Do you teach people about restaurant point-of-sale systems?
  • Do you teach students about health and safety issues, as well as how to deal with inebriated customers?
  • How do you teach students to handle money, improve their mental maths skills, and change giving?

It may be a waste of time, effort, and money if the course cannot provide satisfactory answers to your problems.

There are advantages and disadvantages to attending bartending school, but whether or not it is worthwhile depends on your personal situation and aspirations.

Do you have the required money?

Bartending schools can be quite costly, with some courses costing several hundred dollars. For some, this can be a major commitment, while for others, it may be unattainable. As a result, make sure you can afford to take a course.

What are your objectives?

Is it your goal to acquire a bartending job as soon as you finish the course? That isn’t always straightforward; bar owners and operators may favor candidates who have worked in a bar. If your goal is to master the fundamentals of bartending and subsequently work as a barback or server, you’ll probably be more successful.

Most companies say they don’t hire bartenders from bartending schools but rather promote from within – from the ground up. Reputable bartending schools, on the other hand, will assist you in finding work following graduation.

Working your way up is the greatest approach to become a bartender. Start as a dishwasher or glass collector in a small pub and learn from the bartenders. You can learn how to mix beverages, draw a pint, and pour wine in no time. For larger businesses, you can begin as a barback, dishwasher, server, or glass collector and work your way up while learning on the job and understanding how each cog works.

Starting as a barback is one of the greatest methods to become a bartender. A barback’s job entails aiding bartenders as well as doing the grunt work behind the bar. Being a barback provides the best education for how a bar truly operates, from getting ice and changing bottles to cutting garnishes, creating juices, and washing glassware.

This practical experience will prepare you for a career as a bartender. You’ll frequently have the opportunity to learn how to make drinks and receive on-the-job training from bartenders who require your assistance.

Live Experience vs. Bartending School

Bartending training can teach you how to make amazing cocktails, how to run a bar and other useful facts like pour sizes and beer and wine expertise. What a bartending school can’t teach you is what it’s like to work in a crowded bar with coworkers.

Maintaining composure and consistency in a crowded bar atmosphere is one of the most difficult aspects of bartending. Customer service, communication with coworkers, making drinks, and remaining organized are all challenging skills to teach in a classroom.

As a result, many bar owners prefer to recruit bartenders who have actually worked behind the bar. If you’re still interested in bartending school, there is a course that can help you become a bartender. Look for a school that provides job placement.

Bottom line

So, would you rather pay someone to teach you the skills you require, or would you rather be paid while you learn? Because bartending can be stressful and time-consuming, the only way to improve is to practice. Starting from the bottom of the totem pole may not sound appealing, but you’ll get essential experience while also earning some money. A bartending school can teach you the basics, but it’s only a piece of paper when it comes to getting a job.