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Bartending School and Making Money: The Facts

Many people choose bartending school as a great way to get into bartending and make money. Bartending school is a necessary step in the process because you will quickly learn the skills to become a great bartender. American Bartenders School classes are taught by professional bartenders who have worked in the industry. You will quickly find that if you are a good bartender, you will make money.

Like any profession, if you have a skill, people will want to hire you. If you are particularly good at this skill, then people will be fighting over you to work for them. Bartending school will give you those skills that bar managers, restaurant owners, club owners, or hotel managers need in a bartender. A good bartender brings in customers and keeps them coming back. A good bartender gets better tips. Simply, a good bartender makes money.

Bartending School to Make Money



For some people, this is what is most important. If you go to bartending school, graduate and get a job,  how much money should you expect to make?

At any normal bar, you should expect to make anywhere from $250-300 per night in tips. Work 3 nights per week and that’s already close to $1000 per week, just in tips. 5 nights per week and you can be bringing in $1500 per week just in tips alone.

Here you should consider a few things. Tips depend on where you work and how well you work. As we will get into a bit later, you can expect larger tips at certain types of bars. How well you work is up to you. A customer is going to tip based on a few factors, but one of the most important things is how good of a bartender you are. The only way you will really learn this is by going to bartending school. American Bartenders School is set up to help you succeed in the industry. Our teachers are teaching here everyday to make you the best bartender that you can be. We want to put you in the best position to make as much money as you want.

Bartending School to Making More from Tips!

Like we said, people tip bartenders for all kinds of reasons. We know that science has a few offerings as to how you can increase your tips as a bartender. It isn’t uncommon for customers to form close bonds with their bartender. Bartending in NYC will especially get you closer to folks with money to spare. One bartender on the Upper East Side said he received an $1800 tip on a $60 bill. Another bartender who bartends on East 58th st. in Manhattan, struck up a conversation with a customer about the high cost of her rent. The customer ended up tipping $1500!

We aren’t going to say that this will happen to you all the time, because we’d be lying. But the great thing about bartending school is that our instructors help teach you how to interact with customers. We show you the correct way to create and serve drinks so that you deliver quality results to your customers time after time. Like a great cup of coffee, customers appreciate consistency. So, if you are a good bartender, you will get rewarded.

Sometimes, however, you get lucky and get a great customer. Aside from what you may read in the news, there are folks out there who just want to be nice! Take the case of this bartender who needed money for his dog’s surgery. The customer left a tip of $1000 to help pay for the surgery. Or how about this story of a customer who left a $2000 tip for a bartender and waitress at a restaurant.

The bartender is a special figure in the bar. Some bartenders refer to the bond with customers as ‘sacred’. Bartender Patty Ford has worked in NYC at Wollensky’s Grill in Manhattan for over 30 years. He’s served drinks to so many famous people that he could write books about the things he has seen and heard. However, when asked if he would ever divulge a secret, “No, trust is a sacred bond I have with the customer.” They were also apparently great tippers!

Bartending School to Make Your Own Hours


Once you graduate from bartending school and get a job as a bartender, you will slowly realize that the more you work, the more money you will make! If you work at a large bar, the bar manager may need more bartenders per night. If you work at a restaurant, the manager may only need a handful of bartenders each night. Each bar also has different hours of operation, sometimes opening at 11am, others can open at 3pm – making bartending the anti-‘9-5’ job. Bartending school is great because it prepares you for any type of situation.

Some bartending shifts start around 4-6pm and end late. So, if you are a night owl, bartending in NYC is perfect for you. However, land a gig at a restaurant or hotel and the hours may change. If you are bartending at a bar that serves brunch, your shift may start in the morning. Being willing and able to work any shift will ensure that you will make the most money. Our instructors at American Bartenders School can offer tips and tricks of the trade when it comes to working late hours. Since each instructor is a professional bartender, they have some inside knowledge when it comes to working late nights or early mornings.

Again, the great thing about bartending is that you are in charge of how much you make. If you only want to work a few nights per week, you can. This is one of the perks of being a bartender.

Bartending School Graduates and Opportunities to Work

The other thing that bartending school will help you with is job placement. American Bartenders School has an entire staff dedicated to finding and posting jobs on a job board. We also help you with your resume, and give you interview tips. As a graduate, you are granted lifetime access to the job board. So after bartending school, you will find that there are a range of work opportunities.

Aside from the standard bar or restaurant, NYC is full of work venues for hungry bartenders. There are nightclubs, catering services, and restaurants. If you really want to get rich as a bartender in NYC, you certainly can.

The amount of restaurants in NYC has been growing steadily for years. Gothamist tells us that the number of restaurants has grown 42% in just 10 years. That is an amazing growth rate for any industry. US Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 43 percent of bartenders worked in a restaurant or eating establishment in 2012.


Working up the Ladder

Some bartender shifts pay better than others. The top spots to work in the city usually want bartenders who have training and confidence that you will get from bartending school. According to a piece of research by NYMag, you could easily bring in $500-600 per night working in one of many nightclubs in the city. Moving even further up the ladder, is hotel bartending. Most hotel bartenders are union members and can make $17 per hour PLUS tips AND benefits!

Talking to some bartenders in the city at hotels, and you could easily be bringing in $100,000 per year, like this NYC hotel bartender in this Huffington Post article.

Auditioning by Day, Bartending by night

Say you graduate from bartending school and wish to work at night but during the day you want to pursue your dream of becoming an actor or musician. With bartending, you are free to pursue a day career if you want to as well. Bartending school gives you the skills to be a great bartender and get a job, but it is up to you on how you want to use them. Some bartenders are aspiring actors, others are writers, some musicians. The great thing about bartending is that you can make money at night and still have daytime to work on what you like.

A famous playwright, Robert Askins, who wrote Broadway show Hand to God, bartended while getting his show off the ground. He says that he still bartends. Or there’s also Rachel Potter, contestant on X- Factor while also a bartender.

Having the skills to succeed and make money is what is most important from bartending school. Why not make money doing something fun while pursuing your dreams?

Bartending School and the Ranks of the Rich and Famous

Speaking of making money…let’s look at a few millionaires who got their starts as bartenders. Celebrities like Jon Stewart, Dave Matthews, and Sandra Bullock all held jobs as bartenders while pursuing their dreams. Sandra Bullock and Jon Stewart were bartenders right here in NYC!

Remember the 2000 movie Coyote Ugly? Maria Bello, who played a bar manager in the movie about the famous bar, also bartended before her career took off. Other notables include Bruce Willis and Michael Fassbender.

The service industry is one of the few that are flexible enough to pursue your dreams while still making enough money to live in the city. Within the service industry, bartending is arguably the one where you will have the most fun. Like Jon Stewart or Bruce Willis, you are the star of the show at a bar. Folks look to you to get their night started and keep their fun times rolling. Not many other jobs can say that.

So, do you want to make money? If the answer is yes, then bartending school is where you want to start. You will learn the tools you need to be successful in the business and get a head start on the competition when it comes to getting a job.

Sign up now to get bartending today!