Anyone could be a bartender, but it is not an easy job to do. Bartending in college is a good part-time gig for a college student since it’s mostly a nighttime job and a well-paying job in the 21st century.
Students have a lot of doubts and misunderstandings about bartending in college. The bartender is not just someone who fills glasses for customers, makes cocktails but also a person who has a helpful ear when we got problems or when we need a friend. So becoming a bartender in college can also improve your people skills and many more.
So, let’s take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of becoming a bartender in college for a student.
Bartending in College Pros
Even though bartenders don’t make much money, it does pay quietly well compared to other food service jobs. If you are working in a crowded place, then your pay is going to be better, hoping you will get tipped a lot.
2. Working at Night
Working at night is a good thing for most students who have classes or internships during the day time. You can work part-time as a bartender at night without skipping classes or hanging out with your friends in the evening.
3. Working Experience
As with every part-time job, bartending in college will also give you some working experience that you can include on your resume. Even though it is not much, it’ll help your resume stand out from the most.
4. Skills and Knowledge
Bartending is a part-time gig that will help you build a lot of skills such as communication skills, career skills, financial skills, and also a lot of knowledge about liquor, federal laws, policies, and pros and cons of most of the drinks and how to make them.
5. Free Alcohol
Not everyone can get free alcohol. But as a bartender, since you are working with alcohol, you can get free drinks almost every day, and maybe you will be able to get free drinks for your friends. Destressing after a rough exam season at a bar with your friends with free drinks, wouldn’t that be a wonderland.
6. Own a Bar
Working as a bartender for a few times will increase your knowledge about drinks, how the bar operates, how to communicate with people and make friends. With this gained knowledge, if you ever think about starting your own business, such as a bar, you won’t have to learn everything again since you already know what to do.
7. Become an Expert
After making drinks for quite a while, you will have a better understanding of how to make a mixed drink, what goes into it, the effects of the drinks, and what is the safe limit. You might still be in college working a part-time job as a bartender, but you will be someone who understands alcohol, and also, someone gets to feel what unhealthy drinking habits look like and what it does to you.
8. Make More Friends
Bartender often has to make small talk with their customers and listen to what they have to say, as you already know. Even though this is the sometimes unbearable thing, you can still make friends with some people you would never have met before, which will help you in life and in your career.
9. Party Tricks
As you already know, bartending will teach you a lot of things, and only one that will be useful during your college years will be learning party tricks. They will come in handy when your friends are throwing parties; everyone will want to know what is your secret talent is.
Bartending in College Cons
Not every person who comes to the bar will tip you handsomely, and there are some people who won’t even tip you. Usually, people tip 2-5% of their drink tab; that means if you have a customer with a 50$ drink tab, you might get a 5$ tip. However, if they didn’t want to tip, you won’t get paid much for bartending. So, your income totally depends on tips.
2. No or Little Crowd
Almost all of the bars are filled with various types of people in the evening and night. But if you work in a bar that won’t get much crowd chances of you getting tipped is lower. That means you get paid less for working long hours at night.
3. Unbearable Customers
Incredible customer service means more tips. However, there are some customers that you can’t bear talking with, or some people will insult you. You might have to bear all of those insults just to get paid better.
4. Working Hours
When bartending in college, you will have to work at night. That means you won’t get much time to have a social life in college and if you had to study after work, then you won’t have much time to sleep either. Sometimes you might even have to cancel your weekend plans with friends if you get called in for work.
5. Alcohol Addiction
Free drinks are one of the great things you get out of working at a bar. However, that will change if you get addicted to alcohol. If you have a history of getting addicted to stuff or a history of alcohol abuse, then bartending is probably not the part-time job you want.
6. Bar Fights
Bars are not always someplace; you can cool down and have fun. When some people can’t take insults, they are going to get into fights. You might have to deal with that, and you could get hurt in the process.
How Much Do College Bartenders Make
Bartenders usually earn 8-12$ per hour depending on the place of work it can change. This is a job that mostly depends on tips, so if you work in a bar that always full and get reasonable tips, you could earn 100$ per day.
There will be nights that you won’t get many customers, which means little to no tips. However, you could still earn 1000$ per month on average, and this could go up if you work in a very busy bar filled with customers.
Common Bartending in College Myths
Bartending is Not Fun
Bartending is a fun job compared to other part-time jobs for teens and college students. However, it could be exhausting sometimes since not all customers are friendly and for many reasons. You have to manage all that and cope with the stress by yourself most of the time.
Bartending is for Boys
While most bartenders were males in the past, there were even laws that stated females can’t bartend but were repelled later. In this era, 60% of bartenders are females according to the Bureau of Labour Statistics.
Bartenders need Certificates to Start.
To start a job, you do need some kind of educational certificate. However, bartending does not require a certificate to start. Rather than spending money to get a certificate from a bartending school, you can start as a bar back and learn your way up.
Bartenders have to Memorize Regulars.
Think about how many customers a bartender has to serve in a night, a lot of it’s a busy bar. Most of the customers will be regulars, its impossible for anyone to know what that person’s favorite drink or even their names.
Bartenders need to Know Every Drink when Starting.
Bartenders do have to know popular and basic drinks, but not all of them. Even bartenders look up recipes when customers order a drink that the bartender is not familiar with.
Bartenders have to listen to everything.
Well, this is almost true. Since bartending is a gig that mostly depends on tips, you may have to talk and listen to your customers. That does not mean that you have to take insults and harassment from the customers.
Bartenders do not get tipped well.
Tip also depends on how well you treat customers and is it a crowded bar or slow bar, however you will get tipped well when you are a friendly person. But some people won’t tip you at all. Still, you could make more than over 1000$ in a month just working at night.
Should You Start Bartending in College?
As you know, bartending can be a pretty fun and exhausting gig, especially for a college student. If you have time to work at night, you won’t miss any classes or study time, and you really need the extra income to pay for things in college, then bartending is a pretty much awesome gig you will enjoy.