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Best Jobs After Bartending

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A Bartending career can be a great starting point in the hospitality industry, as you’ll develop skills that make you a great candidate for a wide range of jobs after bartending. Having said that, if you’re on the fence about whether you should start a job search, here are some career paths within the hospitality industry where your acquired bartending skills can translate well.

Bar or Restaurant Management Role

If you’ve showcased your hard work, problem-solving, leadership and communication skills at your workplace, you can get a promotion to bar or restaurant manager if the position is vacant.

Alternatively, you can look for a bar or restaurant managing job elsewhere. This can end up making you more money in the long run.


Naturally, having hands-on behind-the-bar experience is necessary. This showcases that you have the practical knowledge of bar operations, mixology and customer service skills to oversee bar operations.

Having previous leadership experience in a managerial or supervisory role within the hospitality industry can also be very beneficial.

Additionally, formal education in hospitality management is a big plus. You should also possess relevant certifications, such as a TIPS, Food Handling or RSA Certifications.


A bar or restaurant manager’s salary varies depending on the type, size and location of the establishment, as well as your personal experience.

The average Assistant Restaurant Manager base salary in the US is $50,775 per year.

The average Restaurant Manager base salary in the US, on the other hand, is $69,580 per year.

Further job prospects

Experienced managers can further advance their careers to Food and Beverage Directors, Operations Managers or General Managers.

Some opt to open their own restaurants or bars, as they already have enough hands-on experience in everyday operations and have learned the business side from their managerial time.

Sales Representative

Another common career path for Bartenders. You’ve already spent most of your professional work life mixing, serving and selling drinks, so why not do it on a larger scale? Many establishments needing alcohol and liquor sales representatives employ former bartenders.

As a sales representative, you’ll help distribute to other establishments that need alcohol and spirits. You already know your way around the food and beverage industry so a successful transition won’t be too difficult.


Like any other sales job, you need excellent written and spoken communication skills to pitch products and build relationships with clients. Moreover, you must maintain those relationships and understand and meet their needs.

Then, you need to have profound product knowledge. This includes knowing all alcohol types, brands and trends.

Lastly, you’ll need time management skills to prioritize tasks and meet sales targets. Speaking of sales targets, strong negotiation skills are also a big plus.


The salary of a sales representative varies based on industry, location, company and performance.

The average base salary of wholesale sales representatives is $73,080 per year, according to BLS.

Further job prospects

After some professional development, a sales representative can branch to a few different career paths, such as Brand Ambassador, Account Manager or Marketing Strategy Developer.

Event Planner

Event Planners are in charge of organizing all types of events. Event planning includes choosing venues, managing staff, budgets and ensuring smooth operations, amongst other things. You can work on corporate events

You’ll work closely with clients to understand their wants and goals, develop proposals, set a budget manage the overall event planning process, amongst other things.


Ensuring customer satisfaction is the main goal of Event Planners.

As such, you’ll need to have outstanding communication skills, be capable of juggling between multiple tasks and have exceptional time management skills.

Moreover, you’ll often have to work evenings and weekends in different locations and attend meetings and inspections, all under tight deadlines.


The average base salary for Event Planners in the US is $62,280 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Further job prospects

Event Planners can advance into several different career paths.

They can advance to senior roles such as Event Directors at larger organizations or they can offer consulting and planning services as freelancers.


If you have a profound passion for wine, one of the career options you have is to become a Sommelier. Sommeliers are wine professionals who specialize in wine and food pairing. They curate the wine list and are responsible for teaching staff all things wine.

Sommeliers work in establishments like upscale Michelin-star restaurants and wine bars, which uphold a completely different work environment than conventional restaurants and bars. As a Sommelier, you will significantly impact the dining experience of high-end clientele.


While you may already have the practical skills needed for a Sommelier, you’ll need to acquire a Sommelier certificate from one of the following institutions as a testament to your wine knowledge and serving etiquette:

Additionally, you’ll need to develop wine-tasting skills so you can make better food-wine pairings.


A Sommelier’s salary varies greatly based on location and level of certification. Master Sommeliers make significantly more money than those with an Introductory-level certification.

The average base salary for Sommeliers in the US is $65,581 per year. Moreover, some Sommeliers make extra on bottle sale percentages.

Future job prospects

Sommeliers can advance their careers in several different fields thanks to the valuable skills and knowledge they possess about wine.

They can find employment in vineyards, where they can educate visitors on wine or perform wine tasting for quality assurance.

If you advance to the Master Sommelier title, you can become a teacher for aspiring Sommeliers in one of the institutions mentioned above.

Or, you can work in wine distribution and importing for a wine brand, where you’ll promote products to restaurants, bars, hotels and retail stores.

See a career path you like? We’ll help you make the transition!

How to Transition Out of Bartending

If you’ve decided to go on a job search, there are a few things you can do to make sure you’re prepared.

Update resume and cover letter

Your resume is your first point of contact between you and your potential employer. That being said, make sure you create a resume that showcases your personality, skills and experiences.

If you’re not confident in your ability to write a good resume, don’t worry – we have resume templates and cover letters that you can use to find inspiration.

Take classes/courses

You might have to take classes and courses to become proficient at the skills and knowledge required for your next job.

The Sommelier career is one example of this, where you’ll need to take Sommelier classes.

Managerial roles can also require a hospitality management or business school diploma.

Take advantage of your network

Don’t be afraid to reach out. If you’ve worked long enough in the hospitality industry, chances are you know some people who hire or can at least refer you to someone who is hiring.

Use social media like LinkedIn and join professional groups related to your field of interest. This can give you access to networking events and job postings.

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