Happy hour is coming early today as we roll through the 25 best states for bartenders.
I remember watching the movie Cocktail and wishing I could be as cool as Tom Hanks. I know that Tom Cruise starred in that movie, but honestly he just never really did anything for me. Mixing drinks is a fun hobby as well as a difficult profession. Like writing, it’s the kind of thing that can be enjoyed on multiple levels. Also, like writing, it’s the kind of thing that to do well at a professional level takes years of training and talent–yet most people from other fields assume they simply have an innate knack for it–and they are WRONG.
In the past, people may have looked at bartending as a stepping-stone career. See: Cocktail. Tom Cruise looked at that as a just-for-now movie that would help him make a little extra dough on the way to his dreams of representing Scientology and making Mission Impossible III.
However, bartending stems from a long-standing tradition. It is now–particularly due to the cocktail trend and rise in popularity of old fashion as well as new-fangled cocktails–a well-respected profession and people often choose it as their life profession. Bartenders are mixing drinks as in the case of my favorite local bar–and getting a workout doing so. They work mostly in bars, restaurants, hotels, clubs and other drinking and food establishments.
There are two ways of learning to bartend–formal and not so formal. There are bartending courses you usually plunk down a few hundred dollars to become “certified,” and then you are often used by the company running the course as a catering bartending. However, many bartenders start by becoming barbacks or as servers waiting tables, learning their skills while working on the job or a related job. It takes time to work up to bartender and there are certainly some bartenders who will not be inclined to teach their competition. Some states require the bartenders to be at least 18 years old in order to serve alcoholic beverage. The average age of bartenders is 25–the perfect age to make someone’s dreams come true, which is what happens every time I am served an old fashioned.
According to Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average hourly wage for bartenders in May 2015 was $9.39. It is estimated the job outlook to grow from 2014 to 2024 at 10% faster than average for an employment field. This means that during this period of time, a lot of job opportunities will open.
Every day people are opening more new bars, pubs, clubs, and restaurants, but old companies are expanding their business as well. Today, there is seemingly a bar or pub on every corner–especially on my corners as I live in the most bar-saturated neighborhood in Manhattan, the East Village. Many restaurants and clubs are exclusive, expensive and large which means they are in need for a professional, experienced and very skilled bartenders. If you find yourself working in one of the most elite clubs or restaurants, be prepared to receive tips bigger than your salary.
Bartending is not a simple job, it isn’t just pouring alcohol or coke in a glass. You should also know about different ingredients, where they come from, what they mix best with and how they affect the human body, check out 12 Best Alcoholic Mixed Drinks for Diabetics. Many of the mentioned places are in need of experienced and skilled bartenders who can make great cocktails, experiment with them, invent something new, have steady hands. If you are sloppy be sure that you won’t keep your job as a bartender. Also, despite all of this skills, the bartender needs to be capable of teamwork with his colleagues, be communicative and follow instructions in order to finish the job successfully.
As a bartender, you will want to work in a place where you can experiment, use your skills and receive a good paycheck for it. But, besides that, you should also look for a place with a great working environment full of positive people who love to give enormous tips–in cash.
In order to create the list of 25 best states for bartenders, we took different parameters to create the most accurate list from Value Penguin and Bureau of Labor Statistics. We considered where you can get a job easily, in which states the salary as a bartender is the highest and how many people are living in that state. The more people, the more restaurants, bars, clubs and of course bartenders. The list was sorted by the average salary that country offers. Remember we are using salary but bartenders make the majority of their earnings in tips–the average range is $300-$1000 for 4 full night shifts a week, depending on your geographical location and the type of bar.
As a bartender, you should seriously consider moving to Wisconsin because more than 5.7 million people are waiting for skilled bartender like you to show them what a real cocktail is. The approximate salary in Wisconsin as a bartender is $20,000, but don’t forget the tips that usually make up the bulk of a salary.
Even though Wyoming has only approximately 600,000 people living in it, the approximate salary for bartenders is $21,000. Here you can show your skills and earn along with experimenting with new cocktails.
23. South Dakota
South Dakota is also a less populated place, which makes it great for you to gain a following and let people taste one of your finest cocktails. In South Dakota, your approximate salary will be $21,000 plus tips, which is a great reason to move.
22. South Carolina
South Carolina is offering great living conditions, no wonder why even 5 million people are living exactly here. But, as a bartender, you should seriously consider moving to South Carolina because the average salary for bartenders is $21, 000.
More than 11.6 million people chose Ohio because of the great opportunities and living conditions it offers. As a bartender, you should consider moving to Ohio because the salary is more than $21,000, again this is without tips, and you will get the chance to work with good people who are most likely rooting for Ohio State.
20. Rhode Island
Rhode Island is one of the most beautiful places in the United States, great rocky beaches full of sailboats and a thriving community of sweatsuit lovers, in it has more than 1 million people living in it and it offers approximately $22,000 paycheck. Moving in the right direction with base salary and work environment, here you can also enjoy the beauty of Rhode Island.
19. New Mexico
The number 19 on our list of best states for bartenders is New Mexico that has 2.1 million people living in it, which means a lot of bars and clubs are in need for a skilled bartender like you. The average salary is $23,000 which is a pretty good reason to consider moving to New Mexico–here’s hoping for generous tippers.
Illinois is the perfect place for bartenders, not only because the number of its population is 13 million and the chances of getting a job are pretty huge, but because the salary is also great. With a paycheck of $23,200, once you add in those tips, you can work and enjoy it in the Windy City.
Have you forgotten about Connecticut, next in line on our list of best states for bartenders? DON’T EVER! Okay we’re calmer now. With 3.5 million people, a lot of whom are wearing salmon khakis, you should definitely consider moving to Connecticut because they are in need of skilled and experienced bartenders like you. Let them drown their sorrows. If you are still not convinced, maybe the paycheck of $26,600 before tips, will change your mind.
Maybe Oregon was the last on your list of best states for bartenders, but there are more than 4 million people who are waiting for experienced bartender like you to show them your skills and the best cocktails. Despite the paycheck of $23,800, Oregon is offers great cost of living as well as working conditions.
Texas is one of the biggest states with an approximate population of 28 million. In Texas, you can live with great conditions and get paid as a bartender approximately $24,000 a year, plus tips. You should definitely consider moving to Texas.
Number 14 on our list of best states for bartenders is Maryland that is one of the most beautiful states, with the natural beauty of the Chesapeake Bay and it is full of fun at tourist towns like Ocean City. It won’t just give you a paycheck of $24,500, but it will also allow you to enjoy your work as well as living conditions.
With 7 million people and $25,200 paycheck, Arizona is the perfect place to be as a bartender. Here you can experiment and enjoy your working day as you serve a lot of happy, likely sweaty, people.
You may have forgotten about Colorado, but it found its place on our list of 25 best states for bartenders because not only it has 5.5 million people, but a lot of restaurants and bars are opening in the Rocky Mountain State and they are offering a salary of about $25,000.
Utah also has 3 million people living in it, it is one of the best places to move if you are a bartender because they are not only offering a salary of $25,000 but also a great working and living conditions. Just remember that Utah is 60% Mormon and practicing Mormons do not drink booze. So it is time to get really good at your Shirley Temple.
10. New Jersey
We are continuing our list of best states for bartenders with New Jersey that is home for more than 9 million people and it is among the largest states. You should consider moving to New Jersey if you want to work as a bartender not only because the approximate salary is $25,800, but because of the great working as well as living conditions. Do you think the most Bruce Springsteen songs and the MTV show Jersey Shore could’ve happened without bartenders?
Nevada has one of the finest restaurants, clubs, and bars, particularly in a little town known as Los Vegas. As a bartender, you should definitely consider moving to Nevada because the average salary is $26,500 plus tips–which may sometimes be in winning chips.
If you were wondering if Massachusetts is one of the best states for bartenders, the answer is, it is yeahhhh. With an average population of 7 million and a paycheck of $26,500, you should pack your bags and move to Massachusetts now. Just keep the drinks stiff, remember what they do to tea in Massachusetts?
7. New York
You wondered when you will see New York on the list of best states for bartenders? With the countless restaurants, bars and clubs, New York is great for skilled bartenders. Like I said I cannot get to my laundromat on a weekend night without pinballing through throngs of drunk millennials and whatever comes after them. New York has an approximate population of 20 million people which means you can meet a different kind of people and get paid well, $26,500 for serving them.
Who doesn’t want to live and work in Florida, especially in one of the most exclusive, elite and expensive restaurants and clubs? Well, me for one–but certainly millions of people disagree. There are more than 20.5 million people living in Florida, and as a bartender, you will get an approximate salary of $28.300, plus tips.
Next in line on our list of best states for bartenders is California that is a great place for you to live and work as a bartender. It has more than 40 million people living in it and with the approximate salary of $30,000 you can enjoy its beauty. In California you will get the chance to work with some of the most suntanned people in the world, experiment with your skills and get paid well, don’t forget the tips which are often larger than your entire salary. Pack you bag because California is ready to taste your cocktails.
We are continuing our list of best states for bartenders with Vermont that is also a small state with approximately 650,000 people. This means here you can become famous and the most skilled bartender, and with an approximate salary of $30,000, it is perfect for you. Make sure you know how to make a hot toddy.
In Washington, next on the list of best states for bartenders, you will get the chance to serve a lot of people since the approximate population is 7.3 million people. The paycheck of $30,500 will motivate you to experiment and work your dream job with a full steam.
Maybe Alaska wasn’t even on your mind when you thought which are the 25 best states for bartenders, but with the approximate population of 750,000 and $31,000 paycheck, you should definitely consider it.
Hawaii is a little piece of heaven on Earth. Many bartenders want to move in Hawaii not only because it is one of the most beautiful places in the world, but also it offers an insanely salary of even $36,000 for bartenders. Cheeee brudda.
We hope we managed to show you which are the 25 best states for bartenders. Keep in mind that these are approximate salaries, it all depends whether you are working in a bar, club or exclusive restaurant, and also don’t forget the tip–we never do.