Do You Have To Go To School To Become A Bartender?

Crafting the perfect cocktail is a challenging feat. Whether you want something simple like a margarita on the rocks or an ice-blended drink, getting the right balance of everything takes time and practice. Netflix's "Drink Masters" winner Lauren "LP" Paylor O'Brien explained to Mashed that although it may look easy, bartenders spend a lot of time learning. 

"There are several certifications people can get and plenty of classes that we can take, and I can certainly say that folks in our sector work really hard to ensure that they're very good at what they do," said O'Brien.

But is getting a certificate or going to school necessary to become a bartender? According to Chron, it depends on what state you're in. The requirements vary from location to location, but in general, most places don't require formal education. However, you'll need some training and understanding of how to make cocktails, which a certificate program or school can help with. You'll just want to make sure to do your research on the program before enrolling.

Pros and cons of bartending school

Certification classes can be vastly different depending on where you live. BinWise recommends that you look into how much the program costs and what kind of job placement success rate it has. The outlet reports that bartending school will typically take 40 hours of in-person training and cost roughly $400 to $800. That is quite a bit of a time and financial commitment that's not necessarily required by bars or restaurants. However, you will learn how to do things that most employers won't teach you on the job, like liquor history, industry legalities, and customer psychology. 

This insider info can make a school well worth the price of entry. Even though most jobs don't require formal bartending education, it can help you learn important information you wouldn't know otherwise. It's also important to consider that most places also will want you to have some bartending experience, and without that, receiving some training from a program is the next best thing. Further, BinWise notes that 70% of employers prefer word-of-mouth over hiring someone through job sites, so networking and making connections through classes seems like a promising way to get your foot in the door.