How Much Does Bartending School Cost?
Want to become a bartender? Then perhaps you’ve considered going to bartending school. Bartending school can be a great way to jump into the world of bartending.
Before we answer the question “how much does bartending school cost?” it’s important to know what exactly you will gain from taking a bartending course.
What will I learn in bartending school?
The answer to this question does tend to vary depending on which school you go to. Generally speaking any decent bartending course will have you learn the following:
1) Drink recipes, and more drink recipes, and even more. You’ll be able to get the chance to gain experience actually mixing and serving these drinks.The more you practice you have, the more the recipes will be committed to memory.
You should also expect to learn and memorize the most popular drinks. It’s also important to note that yes you can simply buy a drink recipe book, however bartending school will give you practice actually making the drinks.You will also gain face to face guidance from an experienced bartender. Both of which you can’t get from simply reading a book.
2) Attending and finishing many bartending schools will give you a TAM certificate. TAM stands for Techniques of Alcohol Management. The TAM program teaches you:
A) Professional and ethical conduct while serving alcohol
B) Techniques and skills used in the prevention of illegally selling alcohol to minors
C) Skills used for reducing alcohol related accidents.
Some states, counties, and cities require at least one TAM certified employee on the premises at all times.These laws vary from the state level all the way down to the city level. So it’s important to research your local laws.Because of this being TAM certified is a great career move. It can give you a leg up on other bartenders trying to land a job that you want.
It can also help you keep doors open. It would be disappointing to have the chance to land a great bartending job in a different city but you can’t because you’re not TAM certified.
3) Bartending school should also teach you basic customer service skills. A bar can be a hectic environment and giving great customer service is crucial.After all most of your money comes from tips so it’s important to give your customers good service. Bartending school should aim to give you the confidence behind the bar that you need.
This way you’re not fumbling around with a drink recipe book while a thousand customers are yelling orders at you resulting in a lack of customer service. Great service results in great tips which in turn gives you more money. Simple enough.
So…How much does bartending school cost?
Unfortunately there’s not a simple dollar amount that all bartending schools cost. It really just depends on where you take your course at. There are also many online bartending courses that you can take.Expect to drop anywhere from $400 to $1000 for a course in a brick and mortar location. Expect less than that for an online course.
The question “how much does bartending school cost?” should only be one question out of many that you ask a potential bartending school.
Shop around, go to the school and ask questions. What exactly will you teach me? Will I gain practice mixing drinks? Who is my teacher? How many years of experience does he/she have? Upon completion will I be TAM certified?
Also, don’t just visit the school and ask questions. Try to find referrals from others who have taken the course. Look for reviews online about the school.
Many bartending courses are great, but many are crappy. Shopping around for a good bartending school is just like shopping for anything else expensive. Find reviews and see what other people have to say.
Is bartending school right for me?
Some bartenders shun the idea of going to bartending school. Some feel it is unnecessary and a waste of time and money.
Don’t be discouraged by them. Taking a bartending course is a personal decision that you make.
Yes it is true that you can get a job as a bar back and work your way up to become a bartender through experience. But many feel more comfortable taking a course, learning drink recopies, and gaining experience from an actual instructor.
It’s also important to remember that bartending school gives you confidence behind the bar before you walk onto your first job. On that same note, many bartending schools will actually help you find your first job.
Also keep in mind a bartender will make more money in tips then a bar back. Hypothetically speaking, let’s say you don’t attend bartending school and instead become a bar back.
You may be working as a bar back for several months before a bartender position opens up. Several months is more than enough time to make up the cost of attending bartending school.
When all is said and done it’s your career, and your decision to take a bartending course or not.
Just make sure you shop around and research any potential schools.