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How Much Do Bartenders Make: Bartender Salary

By
Joshua Weatherwax
Table of Contents

It takes a lot of hard work to manage a bar. That's why businesses need a dedicated bartender to handle customer orders and oversee the other frontend staff.

From pouring beer and pouring wine to cash handling and menu engineering, there's a lot that goes into bartending. So, does the pay make it all worth it? What about tips?

Read on to get a look at the average bartender salary listed in a bartender job description with and without tips. Then, we'll take a look at how this varies in different states and some of the most populous cities in the US.

Average Bartender Salary: What Is Bartender Pay?

The average salary for a bartender is $26,094 without tips. To ensure the most accurate number, we took the average bartender salary from the five largest nationwide employment websites.

A bartender’s salary depends on bartending experience, location, and business size. For example, the average bartender salary in California is just over $30,400. While the average salary in Illinois is just under $27,000 in 2021. Cost of living also plays a big part in salary. So, keep that in mind.

Here’s the data we used:

  • Indeed.com - $27,330
  • Salary.com - $22,880
  • Glassdoor.com - $32,840
  • Payscale.com - $26,190
  • ZipRecruiter.com - $21,230

How Much Do Bartenders Make A Year?

Bartenders make an average of $26,094 a year without tips. This number will vary based on many factors including locations, bar theme, your particular duties, if you have a bartending license, what bartender tools you can use, and more.

How Much Do Bartenders Make An Hour: Bartender Hourly Wage

Bartenders make an average of $12.55 per hour, not including tips. Given the annual numbers combined with the fact that bartender duties take an average of 40 hours per week, this number represents a national average and may vary by state, city, and bar size.

How Much Do Bartenders Make In Tips: Bartender Salary With Tips

The average salary for a bartender with tips included is $65,094. To get a more accurate picture of a bartenders' salary with tips, let's revisit the data from above with tips added in.

Here's how we got this number:

Base average salary of $26,094 plus $150 tips daily = $65,094

As you can see, tips make a big difference for bartenders and often doubles their annual take-home. They have a lot of responsibility in keeping the drinks flowing. This number can be further increased if you possess a sommelier certification, cicerone certification, or other pertinent certification.

Do Bartenders Make Good Money?

Yes, bartenders do make good money, especially when tips are involved. In 2019, the median income in the US was $31,100. Though this is about $5,000 higher than the median bartender salary, that's not including tips. With tips, you can make more than $60,000 per year, making bartending a very appealing and lucrative career.

How Much Does A Bartender Make A Night?

On average a bartender can expect to make about $250 a night with tips included. This number can vary greatly based on a number of factors. If you're good at your job and can serve the drinks every bartender should know, you can make even more money in tips and make the other bartenders or barback jealous.

Highest Paid Bartenders: Where Do Bartenders Make The Most Money?

Bartenders make the most money in the following places: Washington D.C. at $48,000; Washington state at $39,000; Arizona at $38,000; and New York at $37,700. It's important to note that these salaries may include tips as different businesses report pay in different ways. This can greatly affect the final take home a bartender makes, so make sure you understand what is salary and what isn't. You should also check out the bartender age requirements for your state and city to make sure you're allowed to take the job.

How Much Do Bartenders Make In NYC?

The average bartender salary in NYC is $32,000 with an additional $200 in tips per day. The New York City area has experienced robust job growth in recent years, and it’s often double that of the national average. They also see a large influx of tourists seasonally, so many bars experience demand fluctuations. 

How Much Do Bartenders Make In Las Vegas?

The average bartender salary in Las Vegas is $26,150 with an additional $170 in tips per day. The Las Vegas market benefits from being a year-round tourist destination with a very high rate of alcohol and food consumption. However, there's also a lot of competition, so bars need to employ various restaurant marketing strategies to attract customers and help you earn more tips.

How Much Do Bartenders Make In California?

The average bartender salary in California is $30,400 with an additional $175 in tips per day. Since California is so large and there are multiple major metropolises, this number can vary greatly from one end of the state to the other. Do your research and stick with an area you'd be comfortable living at working in while making enough to be content.

How Much Do Bartenders Make In Florida?

The average bartender salary in Florida is $26,250 with an additional $200 in tips per day. Florida offers larger tips than many other areas due to its position as a tourist hotspot as well as their year-round warm weather, which helps drive sales of summer cocktails.

How Much Do Bartenders Make In Los Angeles?

The average bartender salary in Los Angeles is $34,000 with an additional $200 in tips per day. L.A. is one of the best cities in the US for a bartender in terms of both salary and tips. However, L.A. also has a higher cost of living, so make sure to factor in your expenses when looking at a position.

How Much Do Bartenders Make In Texas?

The average bartender salary in Texas is $28,000 with an additional $150 in tips per day. With the growth of major cities like Dallas and Austin, Texas is also seeing growth in the bar and hospitality industry. This means the average salary for bartenders is trending upward.

How Much Do Bartenders Make In Miami?

The average bartender salary in Miami is $24,000 with an additional $200 in tips per day. Interestingly, bartenders in Miami have a lower average salary than the overall state. However, tips are still high, so there's a lot of upside to working in the city.

How Much Do Bartenders Make In San Antonio?

The average bartender salary in San Antonio is $26,000 with an additional $200 in tips per day. San Antonio is lagging behind Dallas and Austin in terms of growth, so their salaries are slightly lower. However, tips are still high, so it's still a good city for bartenders.

How Much Do Bartenders Make In San Diego?

The average bartender salary in San Diego is $31,000 with an additional $200 in tips per day. San Diego offers a slightly lower salary than L.A., but it's still higher than many cities and the tips are also high. It's a great choice for a bartender in California.

How Much Do Bartenders Make In Atlanta?

The average bartender salary in Atlanta is $27,000 with an additional $250 in tips per day. While Atlanta's salary lags behind other major cities, they boast some of the highest tips in the industry.

How Much Do Bartenders Make In Virginia?

The average bartender salary in Virginia is $27,000 with an additional $150 in tips per day. Virginia offers a mid-range salary for bartenders, but has a lower average daily tip rate than their rivals.

How Much Do Bartenders Make In Arizona?

The average bartender salary in Arizona is $24,000 with an additional $150 in tips per day. Bartenders in Arizona tend to make less than those in the states surrounding them both in salary and tips. However, this isn't necessarily true in Phoenix and other larger cities.

How Much Do Bartenders Make In Chicago?

The average bartender salary in Chicago is $29,000 with an additional $200 in tips per day. Bartenders in Chicago boast a higher salary and tip range than many other major cities. However, since the city goes through more seasons than others, you may need to rely on a good menu with spring cocktails and winter cocktails to keep the sales steady.

How Much Do Bartenders Make In San Francisco?

The average bartender salary in San Francisco is $36,000 with an additional $200 in tips per day. Bartenders in San Francisco boast an even higher salary than those in L.A. with comparable tips. However, the cost of living in the city is very high.

How Much Do Bartenders Make In Seattle With Tips?

The average bartender salary in Seattle is $36,000 with an additional $200 in tips per day. Seattle offers a salary and tip range similar to San Francisco, but has a lower cost of living. This makes it a great choice for experienced and newbie bartenders alike.

How Much Do Bartenders Make In Colorado?

The average bartender salary in Colorado is $25,000 with an additional $175 in tips per day. Colorado offers a mid-range salary for bartenders, but the average tips are a bit better.

How Much Do Bartenders Make In Hawaii?

The average bartender salary in Hawaii is $28,000 with an additional $200 in tips per day. Hawaii offers a better average salary than many other states as well as higher tips. Seasonality does come into play with many tourists coming during the summer and winter months.

How Much Do Bartenders Make In Maryland?

The average bartender salary in Maryland is $32,000 with an additional $200 in tips per day. Bartenders in Maryland make a higher salary than many other states and also benefit from higher tips. Baltimore in particular is a good place with high foot traffic and tourism.

How Much Do Bartenders Make In Oklahoma?

The average bartender salary in Oklahoma is $21,000 with an additional $150 in tips per day. Oklahoma offers a lower average salary and daily tips than most other states. This is primarily due to a lack of tourists, but cost of living is also lower.

How Much Do Bartenders Make In Pittsburgh?

The average bartender salary in Pittsburgh is $32,000 with an additional $160 in tips per day. Bartenders in Pittsburgh get a higher salary than many other cities, but their tips are mid-range.

How Much Do Bartenders Make In Tampa?

The average bartender salary in Tampa is $27,000 with an additional $180 in tips per day. Bartenders in Tampa get a higher salary than in Miami, but their tips tend to be lower.

How Much Do Bartenders Make In Utah?

The average bartender salary in Utah is $29,000 with an additional $180 in tips per day. Utah offers a mid-range salary for their bartenders, but the tips are competitive with many higher-paying states.

How Much Do Bartenders Make In Wisconsin?

The average bartender salary in Wisconsin is $23,000 with an additional $100 in tips per day. Wisconsin offers one of the lowest bartending salaries in the US and the tips are also much lower. This is likely due to the location and seasonality of the region.

Working Just As Bartended

Bartending can be a very lucrative career if you have all the skills and knowledge to succeed and a market to serve. If this role is what you're looking for, make sure to create a strong bartender resume and bartender cover letter that highlights your experience and knowledge, so you can get in for a bartender interview and start making those tips.

You can also make more money by streamlining the inventory process at the bar or restaurant you work at by using BinWise Pro. This automated bar inventory system speeds up liquor inventory counting, automatically adjusts inventory levels in real-time, and gives you access to a running stream of historical data. It even comes with a free wine cellar app and inventory scanning app. All of that helps you make the most impactful decisions possible and avoid running into issues meeting customer demands, leading to higher sales and tips. Pair this with a good bartender cheat sheet and sales can soar.