We're building a new service – your feedback will help us to improve it.

Bar person

Bar staff serve drinks in venues like pubs, clubs, wine bars, hotels and leisure centres.

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £12,000 to £35,000 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: Variable per week

1. Entry requirements

There are no set entry requirements, but customer service experience may be helpful.

You'll usually need to be at least 18 to work in a bar, although you could start a relevant apprenticeship at 16.

2. Skills required

You'll need:

  • the ability to get on with a wide range of customers
  • numeracy skills
  • the ability to remember drink orders

3. What you'll do

You could work for a large chain or an independent business. You'll be responsible for creating a welcoming, friendly atmosphere and talking with customers.

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

4. Salary

Starter: £12,000

Experienced: £17,000

Highly Experienced: £20,000 to £35,000 (bar manager)

You may be paid by the hour at the national minimum wage.

Your salary may depend upon experience, the type of bar or restaurant and its location.

Tips from customers can increase your earnings and some organisations offer subsidised food and other benefits.

These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

Hours will vary and you're likely to work shifts including evenings, weekends and public holidays. Seasonal work is common.

You may have to work in a noisy, hot or crowded environment. You may be asked to lift heavy items like crates of drinks.

6. 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.

Related careers

You may be interested in:

Last updated: 13 April 2017