The Benefits And Drawbacks Of Working As A Bartender In College

The Benefits And Drawbacks Of Working As A Bartender In College

Women training pouring drinks

Many college students find it hard to balance a job and their studies. There is just so much work to do for a college student that it becomes nearly impossible for many to make some money on the side. But not every part-time job has to be done sitting inside an office during the daytime. Some interesting and fun jobs also exist, which can help students make some cash and learn new things.

If you are someone who loves the restaurant and bar industry, then bartending is something you may be interested in. It is one of the most popular essay topics on fast food among college-goers. In such essays, you can find out quite a bit about how this industry works.

Before you decide to be a bartender, though, it is a good idea to go over the positives and negatives of the occupation. These points will provide some important insight into what you can expect and help you realize whether it is something you can handle or not.

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The Pros of Bartending in College

1. You Get Tips

Tip jar

In countries like the United States where the tipping culture is very strong, bartenders can gather a solid amount of cash every day via tips. If you work in a bar that sees a decent number of customers, you can walk home with enough cash every day to meet your expenses.

Even if you don't get enough tips, you will likely receive a better wage than other jobs in the industry. It also pays to know the cost and the return of going to a bartending school.

2. You Work at Night

It can be very difficult to find the time to work during the daytime for college students. That is another reason bartending is popular. The doors of establishments like bars and pubs don't open until late evening so you can more easily manage your job with your learning. 

3. You See New Faces

Bartender talking to two women

The experience of meeting and talking with new people daily is one of the favorite things in the service industry. Working at a pub means you will also be in the business of talking and listening to customers. Between the tricks and a hectic atmosphere, you'll end up making friends too. You'll also leave with highly memorable stories and experiences throughout your career. 

4. You Can Experiment

Mixing your own drinks and making new cocktails gives even more life to this role. Working in this position will also give you a new understanding of alcohol.

On top of all that, you will also be able to see what healthy drinking should be like. And, of course, you'll get some cool points when you mix an excellent cocktail for a friend. 

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The Cons of Bartending in College

1. Your Pay is Unpredictable

Because you will rely on tipping for making extra cash as a bartender, you will always be in doubt about how much you will be taking home at the end of each month.

Your income will also depend on how popular the establishment is, what season you are working in, and how social you are. This can lead to some stress if you rely heavily on a stable income for your expenses.

2. You Will Get Tired

Boy sleeping on the desk with laptop on

Bartending at late night hours makes for long nights, leading to lazy mornings. You don't want to be tired and sleepy in the morning. This is perhaps the biggest con when bartending. You may need some drinks to stimulate your brain to study.

3. You Might Get Into Trouble

While it is great that you get to meet people, it also means that you run the risk of meeting some wrong types of customers too. Workers in such places are often treated badly, and those who like to drink too much can become violent.

Even if you're not the target or a participant in an argument, you might still need to ensure that some customers don't start a fight. It's always better to report such incidents to the authorities than to get involved yourself. 

4. You Will Be Around Alcohol

Guys about to make a fight in a bar

This may not seem like a big problem, but always being around liquor can sometimes lead workers to drink on the job. Access to free alcohol means that if a person is prone to unhealthy drinking, the gig can become difficult to manage and can even lead to some harm. 

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Working while at school is a highly rewarding activity. It teaches you significant lessons about the professional world, making you gain new skills.

Bartending alongside college is popular for these reasons, among many others. It pays well because you get tips other than being paid per hour. The times are a little flexible, so you can manage them based on your studies and develop professional connections in the service industry.

So, if you're in college and wondering whether bartending is for you or not, these are the best and the worst aspects of the role to help you decide.

There are so many great bartending colleges and online bartending courses that you can take if you want to pursue bartending. These schools will teach you all the things you need to learn as well as bartending tricks you can apply.



  • I like that you mentioned how those who bartend could mix their own drinks and make new and experimental cocktails. I believe that bartenders are highly creative people, which is coincidental because I’ve been wanting to find a place with great food and make me learn more about alcoholic drinks. Maybe I should check out bar and grill places near me so I can learn to enjoy food and drinks the way bartenders do it.


    Zoe Campos

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