How To Become A Bartender In Australia: A Complete Guide

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Students want to know how they can become bartenders in Australia with no experience.


Are you a friendly and outgoing person with an excellent memory and likes serving people? Do you look for a profession to unleash the creativity within you? Then, bartending could be the perfect option for you.


Bartenders make and serve customers' food and alcoholic/ non-alcoholic drinks in licensed settings such as hotels, restaurants, bars, pubs, resorts, nightclubs, cafes, casinos, cruises and events companies.


Bartenders do not need formal education, but completing a Certificate II or III in Hospitality will provide you with the desired industry knowledge and job-specific skills.


To become a licensed bartender, you must complete a Responsible Service of Alcohol certificate from an accredited training institute in Australia.


If you want to learn how to become a bartender in Australia, this article will help. You will learn about the necessary educational requirements, the skills needed for the role, bartender courses and license, and the job outlook.



1. Who Are Bartenders?


Bartenders also called mixologists, barkeeps, barmen, or barmaids, are skilled professionals who prepare and serve alcoholic and soft beverages for bar-goers in a licensed establishment.


They mix classic Australian cocktails such as Ginger Beer, Jagerbombs, Archie Rose, 666 Vodka, Tamborine Mountain Bundaberg Rum, and more.


Based on the customer's preferences, they prepare the perfect drink that matches their expectations and gives them a pleasurable experience.


The bartender's job is varied. They keep introducing innovative cocktail mixing methods, garnishing variations, and captivating ways to present a drink to gauge their customers' interests. This improves the success quotient of an establishment.


Furthermore, bartenders also maintain the materials and inventory for the bar.



2. Reasons To Become A Bartender In Australia


Bartending is an exciting profession that presents immense employment opportunities and high earnings. You get to visit new places, meet new people (locals and backpackers), and create countless experiences to last a lifetime. What more would a party nomad desire?


So, here are a few compelling reasons that make bartending a popular career choice for several backpackers in Australia and worldwide. 


  • Bartending is a fun-filled job that allows you to work anywhere and meet diverse personalities of different backgrounds. This makes the profession exciting and enjoyable.


  • Being a bartender in Australia, you get several opportunities to share love and care with people and become a part of others' happy moments. The feeling you get by making someone's day better makes the job emotionally satisfying and meaningful.


  • This is one profession where people highly admire your creative skills. So, if you are creative and innovative, then this is the best-suited career for you.


  • If you dislike working in a typical 9 to 5 job and want a well-paid job with a flexible work schedule, then bartending could be a good choice. 


  • If cocktails interest you and you want to impress your friends and family with your cocktail preparation skills, then bartending can make it happen.


  • The sky is the limit for those with brilliant people and creative skills. With consistent efforts, the platform can help you become a famous drink-mixing artist who knows how to treat customers with nothing but the best. Once experienced, you can quickly secure a job in any bar worldwide.



3. What Does A Bartender Do?


A bartender performs the following set of duties and tasks:


  • Greet and engage in a friendly chat with customers

  • Help patrons choose their ideal drink. 

  • Inform patrons about newly introduced varieties of drinks

  • Prepare, mix, and serve different alcoholic drinks such as cocktails, beer, cider, wine, and beverages like coffee and soft drinks.

  • Clean and maintain the area where drinks and food is prepared.

  • Re-stock bar area whenever needed 

  • Operate EFTPOS machine and POS terminal.

  • Perform admin tasks such as keeping control of the stock, maintaining orders, processing payments, and handling the cash register. 

  • Collect and wash glasses.

  • Communicate with a security professional and Bar Manager in cases of an incident.



4. What Skills Are Needed To Become A Bartender?


Aussies are highly critical of the perfect beer pour. So, the common pour technique would not help you make the grade here.


A bartender has to be skilled in the art of mixing, dispensing, and presenting the drink. The desire and passion for discovering the latent talent to invent new things in life will help you become a successful bartender.


If you can relate to a maximum of the below-listed skills, you make an ideal candidate for this job.


  • Good knowledge of drinks such as spirits, cocktails, and beers 

  • Genuine interest in serving people

  • Positive, uplifting and happy personality

  • Creative skills

  • Strong customer service and interpersonal skills

  • Friendly and courteous demeanour 

  • Good memory 

  • Flexibility

  • Able to manage emotions 

  • Administrative abilities

  • Able to create a dynamic and cozy atmosphere

  • Like to stay updated with bartending trends 

  • Customer focused 

  • Excellent communication skills

  • Able to handle pressure

  • Physical stamina and fitness



5. Qualifications To Become A Bartender In Australia


In Australia, bartending is a career you can only enter and start working with specific qualifications. There are a few industry requirements that you must follow to work legally in the country.




6. Steps To Become A Bartender In Australia


You can become a bartender with just an RSA certificate. However, to become a successful bartender, you need to have two more things along with a license, i.e., skills and grit.


If the role appeals to you, here are the steps to get into this profession.



Step 1: Get Legal Knowledge About The Industry


A bartender must comply with state-level liquor protocols and workplace health and safety laws before serving alcoholic beverages. This requires you to have a good understanding of the state's laws for working as a bartender.



Step 2: Obtain A Bartending License


A bartender has to be licensed to serve alcohol in Australia. For this, you need to complete an RSA certificate


As different states have different licensing requirements, it is essential to obtain an RSA certificate relevant to the state where you want to work. Several TAFE institutions, private training institutes, and hospitality schools conduct this course for students throughout Australia.


The license is valid for three years. You need to renew it within three years of completing the RSA program. You must complete a Responsible Service of Gambling certificate to work in gaming legally.



Step 3: Learn About The Industry


It would be best if you had more than a bartending license in Australia (RSA certificate) to get a job. Having experience and liquor knowledge will improve your job prospects.


Having a hospitality background helps you a lot when working as a bartender. Certificate II in Hospitality (SIT20316) or Certificate III in Hospitality (SIT30616) is ideal for those who want to know how to become a bartender without experience.


The above qualifications will help you get the much-needed knowledge to work in the hospitality industry. Several RTOs train you in an online setting and help you obtain the certificate from the convenience of your home.


You can also consider taking a few other related courses, such as:




Step 4: Find Work


With the necessary license and proper training, you are ready to apply for jobs. The following ways will help you in your job hunt:


  • Seek the assistance of your training course provider to get introduced to potential employers.

  • Register on social media platforms to stay updated on job openings, industry developments, and trends. "The Melbourne Bartender Exchange" is a great Facebook group to make professional connections and find positions in bartending. 

  • Build a network with bartenders and managers by frequently visiting a bar or pub when they are least crowded. Generally, local clubs or pubs are willing to give new and inexperienced bartenders a try.



7. Courses For Bartenders In Australia



Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) Online


The certificate gives you an overview of the legal responsibility and obligation of serving alcohol to customers.


It also guides about ways to identify alcohol-affected customers, assist a customer in drinking within permissible limits, and refuse to offer alcohol to intoxicated customers. Several TAFE institutions provide this course for students in online delivery mode.


Presently, the below RTOs offer this course in Australia:




Certificate II in Hospitality (SIT20316)


This bartending course online in Australia is for aspiring beverage attendants who want to develop an exciting profession in the thriving hospitality industry.


The course will teach you practical skills to deliver outstanding customer service in diverse hospitality settings. You can attend this course at any of the following RTOs in Australia:





  • TAFE South Regional

  • TAFE Gippsland

  • TAFE Central Regional



Certificate III in Hospitality (SIT30616)


It is another nationally accredited certification in hospitality that helps students develop a firm foundation of working skills to work in the dynamic hospitality industry. 


Following are the RTOs that offer this certification course in Australia:





  • Training

  • Wodonga TAFE

  • Suni TAFE



8. How Old Do You Have Be To Become A Bartender In Australia?


In Australia, you must be at least 18 years old to be legally eligible to serve alcohol.



9. How To Become A Bartender In College?


Summer, Winter, Spring breaks, and weekends are ideal periods for college students to earn an additional income. Here is how you can become a bartender while studying in college.



Step 1: You must meet the legal age of 18 and above.


Step 2: Get a state-specific bartending license.


Step 3: Choose any of the below ways to get an entry in this field:


  • Become a server at any restaurant bar, as they aren't as busy as lounges, nightclubs, and taprooms. Obtain several years of experience. Look for a bartender to help you get a job in a bar.

  • Start bar backing and get a minimum experience of six months to a year and look for bartending jobs.

  • Attend an RTO that offers flexible bartending courses to teach bartending concepts and practical skills like mixing cocktails and more. These courses are conducted in the morning or evening batches so that students can take the course at their convenience.


A few training schools also coach students for interviews, help them craft an impressive resume and even contact bars for placement services.



Step 4: Aspiring bartenders who want to know how to become a bartender at 18 in Australia must master the skill of pouring drinks correctly to seek a balance between mixers and liquors.


Get a few commonly used bartending tools and practice pouring drinks yourself home. Jiggers, a cocktail measuring tool, can help you make balanced drinks with the right amount of alcohol to give the best taste.



Step 5: Practice mixing different drinks and creating cocktails. Learn about syrups and bitters added to cocktails to improve their taste.


Stay patient, humble, and available to other bartenders while working as a barback. It takes time to develop bartending skills. Inexperienced bartenders may need to work overtime and in shifts till they get skilled and gain the trust of other bartenders and the bar manager.


The best course to earn a reputation with customers and management is to gain as much work experience as possible, stay updated with new developments and regulations, and remain flexible and committed.



10. What Are The Working Conditions For A Bartender?



Daily Activities


Besides serving liquor and beverages, a bartender also performs administrative tasks, including handling customer orders, inventory, stock control, managing the cash register, and processing payments.


The job requires a lot of physical stamina as bartenders are on their feet for several hours.


During peak hours and weekends, a bartender may need to cater to several customers at one time. They need to work in a team and under pressure environment.



Nature of Employment


Bartending is one job that gives you the flexibility to work part-time, full-time, and even temporarily based on your requirements. 


Part-time jobs are a good way for those who want to pay off student loans and stay financially afloat.



Work Hours


Bartenders generally work irregular hours, on weekends and long shifts.





Familiar places where bartenders are employed include:


  • Hotels

  • Restaurants

  • Catering provider firms

  • Private parties

  • Pubs

  • Night clubs

  • Cruises and more



11. Employment Opportunities For Bartenders In Australia


Licensed bartenders have limitless options available for employment. 


They can work in a variety of licensed establishments in the hospitality sector in the following positions:


  • Food and beverage attendant

  • Function attendant

  • Cafe Attendant

  • Barista

  • Senior bar attendant

  • Guest service agent

  • Function host

  • Caf attendant

  • Gaming Attendant

  • Espresso coffee machine operator



12. Job Growth For Bartenders in Australia


Over the years, bartending has evolved from being a part-time profession to one of the decorated job options for creative and zealous individuals.


As per the government employment website, "", bartending has a strong career prospect with a projected 2.5% job growth rate in Australia.


The creative cocktail preparation methods, alluring acts of juggling the blenders, and enticing everyone with the fad of mixology encourage more and more youngsters to pursue a career in the industry.


With a rewarding yearly salary beyond $40,000, this well-paid profession is the future of the Australian employment industry.



13. How Much Do Bartenders Make In Australia?


Good bartenders earn more through tips than their salary. 


A happy bartender keeps his customers in the same emotional state. Satisfied customers will spend more money on beverages and leave hefty tips. Taking on extra shifts is another good way to earn more.


The average bartender's salary in Australia is 37,500 AUD per year, equivalent to $18 per hour.


City Comparison of Earnings in Australia:


  • Brisbane: 40,100 AUD

  • Sydney: 39,000 AUD

  • Perth: 38,700 AUD

  • Adelaide: 37,300 AUD

  • Melbourne: 37,600 AUD

  • Gold Coast: 36,000 AUD

  • Canberra: 34,000 AUD

  • Wollongong: 34,700 AUD

  • Newcastle: 33,900 AUD

  • Gosford: 32,900 AUD



Based on Experience


  • Less than two years of experience: approx. 22,900 AUD per year.

  • Between 2 and 5 years: 28,100 AUD per year (23% more than those with below two years of experience)

  • 5 to 10 years: 39,800 AUD per year (42% more than those with 2 to 5 years of experience)

  • 10 to 15 years: 46,500 AUD per year (17% more than those with 5 to 10 years of experience)



Based on Education


  • High School: 30,300 AUD

  • Diploma or Certificate holder: 48,900 AUD (61% more than those with only high school qualification)



Salary increment


A bartender observes a salary increase of approx. 9% of salary increment every 16 months.



14. Conclusion


Bartending is a great career option for travellers, university students, part-time workers, and hospitality workers with a knowledge and passion for wines, cocktails, and more.


People with the ideal bartending personality, and comfortable working weekends, must complete an RSA certificate and skill up for bartending jobs. 


Stay humble and willing to learn, and you will quickly see your dream become a reality.


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