T Nation

Becoming a Bartender


I just graduated with a Finance degree, but I hate office work and have been realizing that what makes me happy in life is pretty inexpensive. I've been considering going to bartending school because you can make decent money, I'm good with people, and you can have a flexible schedule; that's a big one because I love to travel.

I hear it's hard for guys to get jobs as bartenders. But I'm also looking at Chicago bartending school websites and there are a lot of positive testimonials.

Anyone have experience as a bartender? Did you like it? What kind of money did you make? How flexible was your schedule? How difficult was it to get your first job? How'd you start out?



There is nothing more trustworthy than testimonials on a bar tending schools own website. Also, bartending school is absolutely neccessary in order to become a bartender, ask any bartender.

....oh and you are the very first person to ever ask this sort of question on this website, super original thread.


Yelp & Google + reviews...


This thread has some solid information in it.

Is bartending the only thing you have considered? Do you still have interest in your field?


Thanks! I'll check it out.

I've also considered teaching and personal training. I'm seriously considering trying to become a high school teacher though. Seems like it'd be a bit more fulfilling.

As for my current field, I'm pretty neutral toward it. I just hate the culture and don't wanna spend my life in an office with Gordon Gekko wannabes.


The world needs barteders :slightly_smiling: tended bar many yrs... get a job at a dive bar as a barback.. eventually someone will get fired or quit... then ask owner for a shot. Once you work a few months as bartender at a dive you can bump up to nicer clubs. Its a great job drinkin & bangin.. Dont date co-workers they're all skanks


You have a finance degree, if youre looking for flexibility have you considered putting it to use and doing something like day-trading futures? You can trade the CL for an hour each morning and make a lot more than you ever will as a bartender.


It is a great job, if you can get in. You will have cash in your pocket and you are paid to have a social life. However, it is not a healthy life style so do not stay too long. I did it for about four years plus a year as a bar back and door man. I got to meet some great people. I worked in a resort community. In my case the job did not have or provide health insurance and if you work the door or floor you may end up with some bumps and bruises on occasion.


I traded currencies for a while, but I had to cash out to pay bills. I don't have money to trade right now. Don't really wanna be a trader full time either.


Are you basically required to drink? I just wanna make money. I don't wanna get drunk every night. Hours are whatever. I don't care about schedule as long as I have time for my workouts and chicken titties.


Its not full time if you are only doing it less than a couple hours a day.

I have never traded currencies but my "mentor" did for a long time before he started trading crude oil futures, he made the switch because currencies demanded a lot more time.

A CL contract is only a grand and there are reputable brokers that will let you open an account with $500, not like you need much money to get started. Hell even a bartender could manage that kind of an initial investment.

If you have a finance degree and have traded currency in the past i would bet you could make the transition easily.


So you trade crude futures for a living? From home? How'd you learn?


Not for a living, but as part of my living. I work nights, which frees me up to trade during the highest volume periods of the day. I know a guy who does it very successfully and he got me into it.

Started off with lots of reading, learning the trading platform, and trial and error. Simulated trading accounts using real market data. Helps tremendously to have a mentor. I wouldnt be able to do it without him, if only for the time investment that would be required on my end.

Im just throwing it out there. If there is some great appeal for you in being a bartender then go for it, but if you have a background in day trading FOREX and a finance degree, and your sole reason for considering bartending is flexibilty/freedom, then i would say its something to consider as well.


This is very intriguing to me, no disrespect and not meaning to highjack your thread OP. I am currently serving in the Air Force, and have plenty of time due to a job I am WAY too qualified for. I have a simple administration job, and went to a reputable college (no need to name drop) for security risk analysis in a focus with intelligence analytical modeling. I have plenty of down time, and if joining the Air Force has taught me anything it is always continue to improve in all facets and not squander any opportunities. For those who are curious I had a very strict upbringing, and going away to college was hard for me to cope with my new "freedom" due to my maturity at the time.

Back to the subject on hand, I am curious to learn more about this "day-trading futures" I am a quick learner, and although I do not have a mentor I did teach myself how to program in several different languages. Albeit no master in any. Still this is something that I have always been curious about, and would like to know if you have any resources that you can share with me. Anything that could get me started would be extremely appreciated.


Its ridiculous how much information there is on the markets, and im hardly qualified to be teaching others but if youre interested a few quick google searches will yield tons of great resources for learning to day trade Crude Oil(CL) from home. It takes a long time and a lot of research but anyone can learn it. It is NOT rocket science

Having a mentor is incredibly beneficial, if you know anyone that day trades, even if its not CL or even futures at all, it will be worth picking their brain. I cant even imagine how much time and money my guy has saved me.

Be warned, there are not a lot of successful traders who want to share their "secrets" with you for free though. Many consider the stumbles and losses along the way to be the price of admission.

End hijack


I hope this is helpful: http://tnation.T-Nation.com/free_online_forum/world_news_war/price_of_oil?id=6168072&pageNo=1


I tended bar all the way through college and even some in law school.

It is somewhat difficult to get a job at a "cool" place for a guy, but "cool" places are shitty and loud and smokey. Also people tip like shit.

Go find a place where tired businessmen and lawyers go -- tips will be at least 25%, generally 50%, and the drinks will be things like "Scotch" or "Scotchie Scotch Scotch" or "Double Scotch Scotch."

I had to go to some sort of certification class for insurance purposes, but it basically tells you not to over serve people. I wouldn't go to some stupid class on being a bartender. Just general alcohol service.

And, yes, the money was very good. Supported a family in school while a bartender.


Truly appreciate the advice audiogarden1, I will be conducting some serious research in the next month. Will start my own thread after I have some more general base knowledge, and then can have more experienced members point me into more specific directions. Apologies for the hijack, and good luck in your future endeavors OP. You sound like a mature young man with a good head on your shoulders...you'll be fine.


I learned ForEx from babypips.com if you're interested. And I use "learn" in the loosest sense of the word. Meaning I'm very mediocre and currently have no money to trade.