Pub landlord, licensee, manager of licensed premises

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Publicans manage licensed premises like pubs and bars.

Salary range: £20,000 to £50,000

How to become a publican

You can get into this job through:

  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role
  • applying directly
  • a graduate management trainee scheme


You may be able to start by doing a hospitality manager higher apprenticeship.

You could then apply to become a pub landlord once you’ve built up your experience in the drinks trade.

Entry requirements

You’ll usually need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a higher or degree apprenticeship

More information


You could start as a bar person and work your way into this role by applying for promotion when you’ve got experience.

Direct application

There are no set requirements, but you’ll find it useful to have experience in customer service at a supervisory level, and some experience of bar work.

You’ll usually need to do the Pre-Entry Awareness Training e-learning course. You’ll also need to complete the British Institute of Innkeeping Awarding Body Level 2 Award for Personal Licence Holders to apply for a Personal Licence.

It’s possible for anybody with enough financial backing to buy a pub or bar.

As a manager of a pub or bar that sells food, you’ll usually need a qualification in food safety accredited by the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health.

Other routes

Some large pub chains run graduate management trainee schemes.

You’ll usually need relevant work experience and a degree in an area like:

  • business
  • marketing
  • hotel and catering
  • hospitality management with licensed retail

More information

Professional and industry bodies

You may find it useful to join organisations like the British Institute of Innkeeping and British Beer & Pub Association, for professional recognition, training opportunities and to make industry contacts.

Further information

You can find out more about becoming a publican from British Beer & Pub Association and the Wine and Spirit Education Trust.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You’ll need:

  • customer service skills
  • leadership skills
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • the ability to work well with others
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • sensitivity and understanding
  • business management skills
  • knowledge of teaching and the ability to design courses
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

Restrictions and requirements

You’ll need to:

What you’ll do

Day-to-day tasks

Your day-to-day tasks may include:

  • organising deliveries
  • making sure the bar is stocked and well maintained
  • making sure customers are served quickly
  • running the bar in line with health, safety and legal regulations
  • recruiting, training and supervising bar staff and kitchen staff
  • stocktaking
  • handling wages, book-keeping and accounts
  • building good relationships with breweries, suppliers and customers
  • carrying out plans to maximise sales

Working environment

You could work in a pub or bar.

Your working environment may be noisy and physically demanding.

Career path and progression

If you’re employed by a chain or brewery, you could progress to becoming a regional manager.

You could become self-employed and expand your business by buying additional pubs or bars.

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