Bartenders

(NOC 6512)

in All Sales and Service

Bartenders mix and serve alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. They work in restaurants, hotels, bars, taverns, private clubs, banquet halls and other licensed businesses. Supervisors of bartenders are included in this group.

Job Outlook

Average

Read more

  • Estimate Decline sharply employment change, 2019-2021
  • Estimate -90 openings due to growth and retirements, 2018-2020
  • Estimate Moderate rate of unemployment in 2019

Compared to: All Sales and Service

  • Estimate -505 employment change, 2019-2021
  • Estimate 6125 openings due to growth and retirements, 2018-2020
  • Estimate rate of unemployment not available for these occupation.

From March until June, dining rooms, bars, and other drinking businesses were ordered to close. Though restaurants could continue to sell delivery or takeout meals, most bartenders were laid off under during this period. As of November 2020, dining rooms in the Halifax region were forced to close for a second time due to community spread of the virus. This is expected to result in a temporary increase in the number of unemployed bartenders. Many bartenders were rehired when bars and dining rooms were permitted to reopen in early June. However, occupancy and physical distancing restrictions often reduce the amount of revenue a business can generate, which may negatively affect staffing levels going forward. Employers in some communities have encountered a shortage of bartenders and other restaurant staff, in some cases forcing them to reduce operating hours. In response to COVID-19, the provincial government has relaxed liquor regulations so alcoholic beverages can be ordered with takeout. Some businesses have begun to sell prepared cocktails in response, which may represent an opportunity for bartenders even under a takeout model.

Prior to COVID-19, the number of workers in food services rose during the previous several years. Demand has increased with population and income growth, as well as the rising popularity of food delivery services. There are typically some vacancies due to high turnover in this occupation. Going forward, employment in this occupation will be linked to the health of the food services industry overall. Many restaurants have indicated an inability to recover financially from the closure in the spring. Those normally reliant on seasonal summer revenue were particularly hard-hit by the decline in tourism. Opportunities also arise due to the turnover of businesses. While the challenges of the pandemic have caused several bars and restaurants to close permanently, there have been many announcements of new ones opening.

The median employment income for the 33% of Bartenders who worked full-time, year-round in 2015 was $20,075. Across all occupations in Nova Scotia, the 59% of those who worked full-time, year-round had a median employment income of $43,600. (Source: 2016 Census)

Hourly Pay

$12.95

Minimum

$13.00

Median

$15.95

Maximum

Annual Pay

$4,300

Minimum

$14,865

Median

$25,304

Maximum

Compared to: All Sales and Service

Hourly Pay

$12.55

Minimum

$18.36

Median

$22.50

Maximum

Annual Pay

$2,949

Minimum

$16,629

Median

$45,086

Maximum

About the job

Nature of work

Bartenders mix and serve alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. They work in restaurants, hotels, bars, taverns, private clubs, banquet halls and other licensed businesses. Supervisors of bartenders are included in this group.

Job duties

Bartenders:

  • Take beverage orders from serving staff or directly from patrons.
  • Mix liquor, soft drinks, water, and other ingredients to prepare cocktails and other drinks.
  • Prepare mixed drinks, wine, draft or bottled beer and non-alcoholic beverages for food and beverage servers or serve directly to patrons.
  • Collect payment for beverages and record sales.
  • Maintain inventory and control of bar stock and order supplies.
  • Clean bar area and wash glassware.
  • Ensure compliance with provincial/territorial liquor legislation and regulations.
  • May train and supervise other bartenders and bar staff.
  • May hire and dismiss staff.

Sample job titles

  • bar attendant
  • bar steward
  • barkeeper
  • barman/barwoman
  • bartender
  • bartenders supervisor
  • head bartender
  • lounge supervisor-bartender
  • managing bartender

Skills

You should be friendly, well-spoken, well-groomed, and enthusiastic about the service. Good organizational and mathematical skills are necessary. You must be pleasant to both your customers and co-workers, even when working under pressure. The ability to remember details and orders is essential. You must also be able to move gracefully and quickly. Bartenders are on their feet most of the time and often have to carry heavy trays glassware, requiring physical fitness and stamina. For some positions, knowledge of a second language is an asset.

Job requirements

  • High school may be required.
  • College or other program in bartending or completion of courses in mixing drinks is usually required.
  • Responsible beverage service certification may be required.

Other considerations

Progression to managerial positions in food and beverage service is possible with experience.

By the numbers

Quick look

1,245

employed in 2016

55.4%

employed full-time

0.8%

self employed

57.8%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
42.2%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
33.7

median age

Compared to: All Sales and Service

102,605

employed in 2016

56.4%

employed full-time

5.8%

self employed

60.1%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
39.9%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
37

median age

Where will I likely work?

52.2%

Halifax

19.1%

Cape Breton

10.8%

Annapolis Valley

9.6%

North Shore

8.4%

Southern

Compared to: All NS Occupations

47.0%

Halifax

15.6%

North Shore

12.9%

Annapolis Valley

12.7%

Cape Breton

11.8%

Southern

Top Industries of Employment

72.9%

Accommodation and food services

9.5%

Other services (except public administration)

8.0%

Arts, entertainment and recreation

3.0%

Public administration

2.0%

Educational services

What is the age of Employment?

30.0%

25-34

26.0%

15-24

16.0%

35-44

12.0%

55-64

12.0%

45-54

5.0%

65+

Compared to: All Sales and Service

30.0%

15-24

17.2%

45-54

17.2%

25-34

16.1%

55-64

13.8%

35-44

Top levels of education

36.1%

High school

$16,577 median annual income
23.3%

Bachelor

$13,727 median annual income
16.5%

College Diploma

$16,873 median annual income
13.3%

Less than high school

$7,964 median annual income
6.4%

Apprenticeship

$15,330 median annual income

Compared to: All Sales and Service

39.8%

High school

$15,705 median annual income
19.7%

Less than high school

$9,866 median annual income
19.5%

College Diploma

$20,644 median annual income
9.9%

Bachelor

$21,262 median annual income
8.0%

Apprenticeship

$21,234 median annual income

Education & training

Adult high school/secondary diploma programs

This program is typically offered at the high school level.

The Nova Scotia School for Adult Learning (NSSAL) administers, coordinates, and supports the development and delivery of adult education programs through learning partners in Nova Scotia. Our learning partners include the Nova Scotia Community College, Adult High Schools, Université Sainte-Anne, and community-based learning organizations that offer tuition-free programming across the province. NSSAL offers clear, accessible pathways from adult basic education to a high school credential or GED, empowering Nova Scotians to achieve their learning and employment goals.

Institutions providing this program

Universite Sainte-Anne

Siège Social: 1695, Route 1

Pointe-de-l'Église, NS B0W 1M0

(902) 769-2114

Nova Scotia Community College - Adult Learning

PO Box 220

Halifax, NS B3J 2M4

(866) 679-6722

Adult High Schools

Various, NS

Community Learning Organizations

Various, NS

Bartending/bartender

This program is typically offered at the trades/college level.

This instructional program class includes any program that prepares individuals to professionally prepare mixed alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages and related products and manage bars, lounges, and beverage service operations in the hospitality industry. These programs include courses in mixology, oenology, accounting and cash management, inventory and cellar management, bar and lounge management, applicable laws and regulations, customer service, and labour/employment regulations.

There are no schools in Nova Scotia offering this program.

Employment requirements & contacts

No regulating bodies were found under this occupation profile

Contacts

Restaurant Association of Nova Scotia
2830 Agricola Street Unit 1
Halifax, NS B3K 4E4
Tel: (800) 665-3463
Fax: (902) 429-0659
Nova Scotia Tourism Talent
2089 Maitland Street
Halifax, NS B3K 2Z8
Tel: (800) 948-4267
Fax: (902) 422-0184
Nova Scotia Tourism Human Resource Sector Council
2089 Maitland Street
Halifax, NS B3K 2Z8
Tel: (902) 422-5853
Fax: (902) 422-0184

Additional resources

There are no additional resources for this occupation.

Job postings

There are currently no job postings for this occupation.