Bar person

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

Average annual salary (starting - experienced): £12,000 - £35,000

Typical hours (a week): 39 - 41

Related videos on a bar person

How to become a bar person

You can get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • applying directly


You can take a college course to learn some of the skills and knowledge needed in this job, which will help you find work in the industry. Courses include:

  • Level 1 Award in Introduction to Employment in the Hospitality Industry
  • Level 1 Award in Professional Food and Beverage Service Skills
  • Level 2 Certificate in General Food and Beverage Service

College (Entry requirements)

You'll usually need:

  • 2 or fewer GCSEs at grades 3 to 1 (D to G), or equivalent, for a level 1 course
  • 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), or equivalent, for a level 2 course


You could do an intermediate apprenticeship as a hospitality team member. This will usually take 1 year to complete. You'll do on-the-job training and spend time with a college or training provider.

Apprenticeship (Entry requirements)

There are no set entry requirements but it may help you to get in if you have:

  • some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for an intermediate apprenticeship

Direct application

You can apply directly if you've got some of the relevant skills, experience and knowledge needed for this job. Employers will look for strong communication skills, good customer service, and the ability to work well in a team.

More info

Further information

You can find out more about careers in the drinks trade from:

What it takes

Skills & Knowledge

You'll need:

  • customer service skills
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • active listening skills
  • the ability to sell products and services
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • to enjoy working with other people
  • a good memory
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

Restriction & Requirements

You'll need to:

  • be over 18 to sell alcohol and other restricted goods

What you'll do

Day to day

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

Working environment

You could work in a pub or bar, at a restaurant, in a hotel or at a social club. Your working environment may be noisy, crowded and hot. You may need to wear a uniform.

Career path and progression

Career path & 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.

Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.
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