Home Jobs & Education What Is the Average Bartender Salary?

The BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics) tells us that the average bartender salary for the fiscal year of 2014 was $19,050. This translates to $522 per week and $9.16 per hour.

Of the bartenders that were included in the national survey, 10% earned considerably less than the average. The yearly pay for these, according to PayScale, was $11,762, which also translates to $3.38 per hour. An encouraging fact may come from statistics regarding the top %10 of this profession. These end up earning more than twice over the average, with $45,020 per year and $11.68 per hour.

For the bartender job, wage inequality is less persistent, though still very much present. According to the Labor Statistics Bureau, for the year 2014, there were 103,000 male bartenders and 113,000 female bartenders. For these, the average weekly pay for men was $634, while the average for women stood at a modest $459.

Here are areas that pay the best bartender salary in the US:

Industry Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage
Scenic and Sightseeing Transportation, Land $13.95 $28,190
Traveler Accommodation $13.44 $27,950
Beer, Wine, and Distilled Alcoholic Beverage Merchant Wholesalers $13.33 $27,720
Grocery Sales $13.06 $27,160
Travel Arrangement and Reservation Services $12.71 $26,450

What Is the Average Bartender Salary?

Bartender Salary by Location

The average bartending salary differs on account of location. States with higher touristic potential have greater wages for their bartenders. However, that does not necessary mean that the same states offer high levels of employment. The highest paying state offered its drink preparing personnel $36.290 as a yearly wage. On the other end of the spectrum, the salary per year plummets to $17,460.

The following table lists the states where the bartender salary is the highest. Note the difference between the first state and the second state while keeping in mind the touristic potential:

State Hourly mean wage Yearly mean wage
Hawaii $17.45 $36,290
Virginia $14.52 $30,190
Washington $14.13 $29,390
Vermont $13.84 $28,780
District of Columbia $13.20 $27,460


The bartender salary isn’t the only employment factor candidates should look for. The employment rate is also a decisive statistic. States that rank highest on bartender salary may have very few positions opened for the job.

State Employment Hourly mean wage Yearly mean wage
California 57,450 $11.89 $24,720
New York 41,760 $11.41 $23,740
Texas 37,580 $10.83 $22,530
Florida 37,540 $12.20 $25,370
Pennsylvania 31,220 $9.68 $20,140


Bartender Salary Change Over Time

Depending on how much time a bartender spends on a job, he or she may end up earning more as time goes by. There are also other factors that influence the bartender salary change over time:

  • Entry level experience. A bartender that’s just starting out should expect to earn less than any national, state, or job average. The usual decline from the bartender salary national average for entry level employees is 7%.
  • Job experience. An employee with experience in serving drinks and preparing beverages may increase the average salary by up to 9%, according to PayScale.
  • Career experience. Likewise, an employee that has spent half his working days in a bartender job may also increase his/her pay by 9% over the average. Longer experience can result in an increase of up to %12.

Image source: workable.com

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Gabrielle Moreno

Hi, my name is Gabrielle, but all my friends call me Gaby. Having a degree in foreign languages, I first intended to develop a career in translations, but then I realized human interaction is more satisfying and got engaged in educational projects. Writing is my second best skill after teaching. I started writing about jobs and education based on my experience of not knowing what career path to choose. Sharing my knowledge and experience is the most rewarding aspect of my work, especially when I see it really touches people. Therefore, I look forward to reading your comments, thoughts and opinions. Feel free to contact me.


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