Bar staff serve drinks in venues like pubs, clubs, wine bars, hotels and leisure centres.
Salary range: £12,000 to £35,000
How to become a bar person
You can get into this job through:
- a college course
- an apprenticeship
- applying directly
You can take a college course to learn some of the skills and knowledge needed in this job, which will help you find work in the industry. Courses include:
- Level 1 Award in Introduction to Employment in the Hospitality Industry
- Level 1 Award in Professional Food and Beverage Service Skills
- Level 2 Certificate in General Food and Beverage Service
You’ll usually need:
- 2 or fewer GCSEs at grades 3 to 1 (D to G), or equivalent, for a level 1 course
- 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), or equivalent, for a level 2 course
You could do an intermediate apprenticeship as a hospitality team member.
This will usually take 1 year to complete. You’ll do on-the-job training and spend time with a college or training provider.
There are no set entry requirements but it may help you to get in if you have:
- some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for an intermediate apprenticeship
You can apply directly if you’ve got some of the relevant skills, experience and knowledge needed for this job.
Employers will look for strong communication skills, good customer service, and the ability to work well in a team.
You can find out more about careers in the drinks trade from:
What it takes
Skills and knowledge
- customer service skills
- excellent verbal communication skills
- active listening skills
- the ability to sell products and services
- to be thorough and pay attention to detail
- to enjoy working with other people
- a good memory
- the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
- to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
Restrictions and requirements
You’ll need to:
- be over 18 to sell alcohol and other restricted goods
What you’ll do
Your day-to-day tasks could include:
- using a till to take orders and payments
- handling cash
- serving drinks and snacks
- keeping the bar clean and well stocked
You could work in a pub or bar, at a restaurant, in a hotel or at a social club.
Your working environment may be noisy, crowded and hot.
You may need to wear a uniform.
Career path and progression
With experience, you could progress to supervisor, deputy bar manager and bar manager.
You could also become a publican or bar manager for a hotel chain.
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