Job type

Bar staff

£14k - £22k

Typical salary

38 – 41

Hours per week

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

More info

  • Serve drinks and make sure everything runs safely and smoothly in a bar
  • Sociable work in a busy environment, usually with evening and weekend shifts
  • With experience, progress to management roles or run your own bar

As a bar person, you'll serve drinks and be responsible for creating a welcoming, friendly atmosphere and talking with customers. You may also advise customers on drink and food choices.


  • Using a till to take orders and payments
  • Handling cash
  • Serving drinks and snacks
  • Keeping the bar clean and well stocked
  • Offering advice on drinks to suit customers' tastes


You could work for a large chain or an independent business. Tips from customers can increase your earnings and some organisations offer subsidised food and other benefits. Hours will vary and you're likely to work shifts including evenings, weekends and public holidays. Seasonal work is common and you may have to work in a noisy, hot or crowded environment. You may have to wear a uniform and may be asked to lift heavy items like crates of drinks.

You'll need

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

You can take a college course to learn some of the skills and knowledge needed in this job, which may 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, and Level 2 Certificate in General Food and Beverage Service.

Or, 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.


With experience, you could progress to supervisor, deputy bar manager and bar manager. If you work for a chain, there may be opportunities to become a regional manager. You could also become a self-employed publican and run your own bar.