The Costs: How Much Does Bartending School Really Cost?

If you’re considering a career in bartending, one of the questions you might be wondering is, How much does bartending school cost? Well, the cost of bartending school can vary widely depending on several factors. In this brief introduction, we’ll explore the typical expenses associated with bartending school and help you get a better understanding of what to expect when it comes to investing in your bartending education.

The cost of bartending school can vary widely depending on several factors, including location, the duration of the program, and the school’s reputation. On average, students can expect to pay anywhere from $250 to $1,000 for a bartending course. Shorter, basic programs tend to be less expensive, while more comprehensive courses with certifications may cost more. 

It’s essential to research different bartending schools in your area, compare their offerings, and read reviews to determine the best value for your investment. Additionally, some schools may offer financial aid or flexible payment options to help students manage the cost.

Factors Affecting Bartending School Costs

Factors Affecting Bartending School Costs



Bartending schools offer training programs for individuals aspiring to become bartenders. The cost of attending a bartending school can vary significantly depending on a variety of factors. Understanding these factors is crucial for anyone considering enrolling in a bartending school program. Here’s a comprehensive look at the factors that can affect bartending school costs:

  1. Location:
  • The geographic location of the bartending school is a significant factor in determining costs. Schools in major cities or high-cost-of-living areas tend to have higher tuition fees compared to schools in smaller towns or regions with a lower cost of living.
  1. School Reputation and Accreditation:
  • The reputation and accreditation of the bartending school can have a direct impact on the cost of tuition. Well-established schools with a strong track record in producing successful bartenders often charge higher fees. Accreditation by recognized industry organizations can also affect costs.
  1. Program Duration:
  • The length of the bartending program can vary from a few weeks to several months. Longer programs tend to cost more due to the extended training period and the depth of knowledge provided.
  1. Curriculum and Inclusions:
  • The content and quality of the curriculum can vary among bartending schools. Some programs offer more comprehensive training, covering a wider range of topics, which may result in higher tuition fees. Additionally, some schools include materials, uniforms, or bar tools in their fees, while others may charge extra for these items.
  1. Class Size:
  • Smaller class sizes often result in more personalized attention and hands-on practice, but they may come with a higher price tag compared to larger classes.
  1. Industry Experience of Instructors:
  • Bartending schools with instructors who have extensive industry experience or notable achievements may charge higher tuition fees. Experienced instructors can offer valuable insights and practical knowledge.
  1. Job Placement Assistance:
  • Some bartending schools provide job placement assistance services to help graduates find employment after completing their training. Schools offering such services may charge higher fees to cover the cost of job placement programs.
  1. Additional Fees:
  • It’s essential to inquire about any additional fees beyond tuition. These may include registration fees, textbook costs, exam fees, and uniform expenses. Make sure to factor in these extra costs when budgeting for bartending school.
  1. Discounts and Scholarships:
  • Some bartending schools offer discounts, scholarships, or financial aid options to eligible students. These can significantly reduce the overall cost of attending the school. It’s advisable to research and inquire about such opportunities.
  1. Online vs. In-Person:
  • Online bartending courses tend to be more affordable than in-person programs due to lower overhead costs. However, in-person training may provide more hands-on experience, which can be valuable for aspiring bartenders.
  1. Alumni Network and Support:
  • Schools that offer strong alumni networks and ongoing support for graduates may charge higher tuition fees. This added value can help graduates with job placement and career advancement.
  1. Location-specific Factors:
  • Local market conditions and demand for bartenders can influence the pricing of bartending school programs. In areas with a high demand for bartenders, schools may charge higher fees.

Before enrolling in a bartending school, it’s crucial to carefully research and compare different schools, their offerings, and associated costs. Consider your budget, career goals, and the quality of education you seek when making your decision. Additionally, speak with current students and alumni to gain insights into the school’s reputation and the success of its graduates in the industry.

How much is an American bartending school?

The cost of attending a bartending school in the United States varies depending on the school, the length of the program, and the type of certification offered. In general, you can expect to pay anywhere from $200 to $1,000 for a bartending school.

Here are some factors that can affect the cost of bartending school:

  • The type of school: In-person bartending schools tend to be more expensive than online bartending schools.
  • The length of the program: Shorter programs are typically less expensive than longer programs.
  • The type of certification: Some bartending schools offer nationally recognized certifications, which can be more expensive than schools that offer in-house certifications.
  • The location of the school: Bartending schools in major cities tend to be more expensive than schools in smaller towns.

Here are some examples of the cost of bartending schools in the United States:

  • American Bartending School: The cost of attending American Bartending School ranges from $175 to $800, depending on the program and location.
  • Texas School of Bartenders: The cost of attending Texas School of Bartenders ranges from $350 to $700, depending on the program.
  • BarSmarts: The cost of attending BarSmarts’ online bartending course is $99.
  • Mixology Institute: The cost of attending Mixology Institute’s in-person bartending course is $595.

It is important to note that the cost of bartending school is not the only expense you will incur when becoming a bartender. You will also need to pay for uniforms, tools, and other supplies.

If you are considering attending bartending school, it is important to do your research and compare different schools to find the best fit for you. You should also talk to bartenders who have attended different schools to get their recommendations.

How much does mixology pay in USA?

The average salary for a mixologist in the United States is $23,000 per year. However, the salary range can vary widely depending on experience, location, and the type of establishment where the mixologist works.

Here are some factors that can affect the salary of a mixologist:

  • Experience: More experienced mixologists typically earn more than less experienced mixologists.
  • Location: Mixologists in major cities typically earn more than mixologists in smaller towns.
  • The type of establishment: Mixologists who work in high-end establishments, such as fine dining restaurants, typically earn more than mixologists who work in casual establishments, such as bars and pubs.
  • Certifications: Mixologists who have certifications, such as the BarSmarts certification, typically earn more than mixologists who do not have certifications.

Here are some examples of salaries for mixologists in different cities in the United States:

  • New York City: $27,000 per year
  • Los Angeles: $25,000 per year
  • Chicago: $24,000 per year
  • Houston: $23,000 per year
  • Dallas: $22,000 per year

In addition to their base salary, mixologists may also earn tips. Tips can vary depending on the establishment and the amount of business the establishment does.

Mixologists who are interested in earning more money can do a few things to increase their earning potential. They can gain more experience, work in a high-end establishment, get certified, and develop their skills in mixology.

Benefits of taking bartending classes

Benefits of taking bartending classes


Enrolling in bartending classes can offer numerous advantages for individuals interested in pursuing a career in bartending or simply improving their mixology skills. These classes provide structured training and hands-on experience, equipping students with the knowledge and skills needed to excel in the world of bartending. Here are some comprehensive benefits of taking bartending classes:

  1. Fundamental Knowledge:
  • Bartending classes provide a solid foundation of knowledge about various alcoholic beverages, cocktails, and bar equipment. Students learn about the different types of liquor, wine, and beer, as well as their characteristics and uses in mixology.
  1. Mixology Skills:
  • Students gain practical mixology skills, including how to properly measure, pour, and mix ingredients to create a wide range of cocktails. They learn the techniques for shaking, stirring, muddling, and layering drinks, resulting in the ability to craft delicious and visually appealing beverages.
  1. Bartending Techniques:
  • Bartending classes teach essential techniques such as free-pouring, garnishing, and glassware selection. These skills are crucial for creating consistent and aesthetically pleasing drinks that meet customer expectations.
  1. Product Knowledge:
  • Understanding the nuances of various alcoholic beverages is vital in bartending. Students learn about the origin, flavor profiles, and best uses of different spirits, wines, liqueurs, and non-alcoholic mixers.
  1. Responsibility and Safety:
  • Bartending classes emphasize responsible alcohol service and the importance of adhering to legal drinking age restrictions. Students are educated on techniques to prevent over-serving customers and handle difficult situations.
  1. Customer Service:
  • Bartenders often serve as the face of an establishment, and bartending classes teach customer service skills such as communication, listening, and handling customer inquiries and complaints effectively.
  1. Speed and Efficiency:
  • Time is of the essence in a busy bar, and bartending classes teach students how to work efficiently, prioritize orders, and manage their time effectively to ensure customers are served promptly.
  1. Creativity and Innovation:
  • Bartending is also an art, and classes encourage creativity in cocktail crafting. Students learn to experiment with flavors, create signature drinks, and stay updated with current mixology trends.
  1. Job Opportunities:
  • Completing bartending classes can enhance job prospects. Many bars, restaurants, and hotels prefer hiring bartenders who have received formal training and possess the necessary skills and knowledge.
  1. Networking:
  • Bartending classes often provide opportunities for students to network with instructors and fellow students, which can be valuable for building professional connections in the industry.
  1. Certifications:
  • Some bartending classes offer certifications recognized in the industry. These certifications can make job applications more competitive and may be required for certain bartending positions, particularly in high-end establishments.
  1. Income Potential:
  • Skilled bartenders often earn a higher income than those without formal training, as they can work in a wider range of venues and are better equipped to handle the demands of busy bars.
  1. Personal Enjoyment:
  • Even for those not pursuing a career in bartending, taking classes can be a fun and rewarding experience. Learning to create cocktails and impress friends and family with your mixology skills can be a source of personal satisfaction.

Types of bartending classes

Bartending classes come in various formats and cater to individuals with different goals and levels of experience. Whether you’re an aspiring bartender looking to enter the industry or a cocktail enthusiast seeking to refine your mixology skills, there’s likely a bartending class suited to your needs. Here’s a comprehensive overview of the different types of bartending classes available:

  1. Basic Bartending Courses:
  • Introductory Bartending Courses: These classes are designed for beginners with little to no experience in bartending. They cover essential skills like setting up a bar, basic drink recipes, and customer service.
  • Online Bartending Courses: With the rise of online learning, many bartending schools now offer virtual classes. These courses often include video tutorials, quizzes, and interactive modules, making them accessible to a global audience.
  1. Advanced Mixology Classes:
  • Mixology Workshops: These courses delve deeper into the art of mixing drinks, focusing on advanced techniques, cocktail presentation, and the creation of signature cocktails. They are suitable for those looking to become professional mixologists.
  • Craft Cocktail Classes: Craft cocktail classes teach participants how to make artisanal cocktails using high-quality ingredients, homemade syrups, and unique garnishes. These classes often emphasize creativity and experimentation.
  1. Certification Programs:
  • Bartending School Certification: Some bartending schools offer certification programs that cover a comprehensive curriculum, including cocktail knowledge, bartending techniques, responsible alcohol service, and customer relations. These certifications can enhance your job prospects in the industry.
  • Responsible Beverage Service Training (RBST): These classes focus on responsible alcohol service, emphasizing the legal and ethical aspects of bartending. Many states and regions require this certification for anyone serving alcohol.
  1. Specialized Bartending Courses:
  • Tiki Mixology: Tiki-themed bartending classes focus on the history and craft of tropical cocktails. Participants learn about exotic ingredients, elaborate garnishes, and the storytelling aspect of tiki drinks.
  • Flair Bartending: Flair bartending classes teach students the art of bartending with style. Participants learn how to perform tricks, flips, and other eye-catching moves while making cocktails.
  • Wine and Spirits Education: These classes cater to those interested in expanding their knowledge of wine, spirits, and the nuances of pairing them with food. They often lead to certifications like the Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET) or Certified Sommelier.
  1. Private and Customized Classes:
  • Private Bartending Lessons: If you prefer one-on-one instruction, private bartending lessons are available. These can be tailored to your specific goals and skill level.
  • Group Events and Team Building: Some bartending schools offer group classes as team-building activities or for special events like bachelorette parties. These often include a fun and interactive mixology session.
  1. Culinary and Beverage Management Programs:
  • Culinary Institutes: Many culinary schools offer beverage management programs that cover bartending as part of a broader culinary education. These programs often explore food and beverage pairings, menu development, and restaurant management.
  1. Home Bartending Classes:
  • Home Mixology Workshops: Designed for cocktail enthusiasts who want to improve their skills at home, these classes cover the basics of cocktail making, essential bar tools, and how to stock a home bar effectively.

When choosing a bartending class, consider your goals, level of experience, and the type of bartending you’re interested in. Additionally, research the reputation of the school or instructor, as well as any certifications they offer, to ensure that you receive quality training. Ultimately, bartending classes can be a valuable investment for anyone looking to enter the industry or simply enhance their mixology skills for personal enjoyment.

Comparing Bartending School Prices

Comparing Bartending School Prices


Comparing bartending school prices can be a crucial step in choosing the right program to meet your needs and budget. The cost of bartending school can vary widely based on several factors, including location, the school’s reputation, the duration of the program, and the level of instruction. Here’s a comprehensive guide on how to compare bartending school prices:

  1. Location:
  • Bartending school prices often differ significantly based on where the school is located. Schools in major cities or high-cost-of-living areas may charge more than those in smaller towns or regions with a lower cost of living. Consider the location’s impact on overall expenses, including tuition, housing, and transportation.
  1. Program Duration:
  • The length of the bartending program can affect its cost. Shorter courses, such as weekend workshops or online classes, may be more affordable than longer, comprehensive programs that span several weeks. Decide whether you prefer an intensive program or one that allows you to learn at a more relaxed pace.
  1. Instructor Experience:
  • Schools with experienced instructors, especially those with notable backgrounds in the industry, often charge higher tuition fees. However, the quality of instruction can significantly impact your learning experience and future job prospects. Research the instructors’ credentials and reputation within the bartending community.
  1. Curriculum and Content:
  • The breadth and depth of the curriculum can vary from one bartending school to another. Some schools may focus on the basics, while others offer more extensive mixology and cocktail knowledge. Evaluate the course content and decide if it aligns with your goals and interests.
  1. Facilities and Resources:
  • Consider what the school offers in terms of facilities and resources. Schools with well-equipped bars, access to a wide range of spirits, and ample practice opportunities may justify a higher tuition fee. Adequate practice time is essential for developing bartending skills.
  1. Job Placement Assistance:
  • Some bartending schools provide job placement assistance as part of their programs. While this can be valuable, it might come with a higher price tag. Research the school’s job placement success rate and the types of connections they have within the industry.
  1. Certifications and Credentials:
  • Determine whether the school offers any certifications or credentials upon completion of the program. Certifications like Responsible Beverage Service Training (RBST) or state-specific bartender licenses may have associated fees. These credentials can be essential for securing bartending jobs.
  1. Additional Costs:
  • In addition to tuition, inquire about any additional costs that may be associated with the program. This could include textbooks, bartending tools, uniforms, and exam fees. Be sure to factor these expenses into your overall budget.
  1. Financial Aid and Scholarships:
  • Some bartending schools offer financial aid options or scholarships to help offset the cost of tuition. Check with the school to see if you qualify for any financial assistance programs.
  1. Reviews and Recommendations:
  • Research online reviews and seek recommendations from current or former students to gauge the overall value of the program. Positive reviews from alumni can provide insights into whether the program is worth the cost.
  1. Payment Plans:
  • Ask if the school offers flexible payment plans that allow you to spread out the cost of tuition over several months. This can make it more manageable for students on a tight budget.
  1. Comparative Analysis:
  • Create a spreadsheet or list to compare different bartending schools based on factors like location, program duration, curriculum, instructor experience, job placement assistance, and total cost. This can help you make an informed decision.

How much does bartending school cost?

The cost of bartending school can vary significantly depending on several factors, including location, the duration and depth of the program, and the school’s reputation. On average, you can expect to pay between $250 and $1,000 for a bartending course.

  1. Duration and Type of Program: Shorter, basic bartending courses that cover essential skills and mixology techniques are generally less expensive, often ranging from $250 to $500. These programs typically last for a week or two and provide the fundamental knowledge needed to start bartending. 

More extensive and advanced courses, such as those that include comprehensive mixology training, cocktail creation, and bar management skills, can cost between $500 and $1,000 or more. These programs often span several weeks to a few months.

  1. Geographical Location: The cost of bartending school can also vary significantly depending on your location. In larger cities or metropolitan areas, where the demand for skilled bartenders is higher, you may find that tuition fees are at the higher end of the price range due to increased competition and higher living costs. In contrast, in smaller towns or less competitive markets, prices might be more affordable.
  2. School Reputation: The reputation of the bartending school can impact the cost of the program. Established schools with a strong track record of producing successful bartenders may charge higher tuition fees. However, attending a reputable school can be a valuable investment as it may lead to better job opportunities and higher earning potential in the long run.
  3. Additional Costs: Be aware that the cost of bartending school might not cover all expenses. You may need to budget for textbooks, equipment (such as cocktail shakers and jiggers), and any licensing or certification fees required in your region.
  4. Financial Aid and Scholarships: Some bartending schools offer financial aid, scholarships, or flexible payment plans to help students manage the cost. It’s a good idea to inquire about these options when researching schools.


Part-Time vs. Full-Time Bartending School Costs

Part-Time vs. Full-Time Bartending School Costs


Choosing between part-time and full-time bartending school programs involves weighing various factors, including cost, time commitment, and your personal circumstances. Here’s a comprehensive guide on the costs associated with part-time and full-time bartending school programs:

Part-Time Bartending School Costs:

    • Tuition Fees:
      • Part-time bartending programs often have lower tuition fees compared to full-time programs. Since you’re attending classes fewer hours per week, you’ll typically pay less for the overall course.
    • Flexible Scheduling:
      • Part-time programs are ideal for individuals who have other commitments, such as a full-time job or family responsibilities. You can usually choose classes that fit your schedule, allowing you to continue working while learning bartending skills.
    • Duration:
      • Part-time bartending programs generally have a longer duration compared to full-time ones. This extended timeline may suit those who prefer a slower pace of learning or need more time to absorb the material.
  • Income Maintenance:
      • While attending part-time bartending school, you can continue earning a regular income from your current job. This can help you cover living expenses and tuition costs without taking a break from your career.
  • Networking Opportunities:
    • Part-time programs may offer fewer opportunities for networking and job placement, as they are typically less intensive. However, this can vary depending on the specific school and its connections within the industry.

Full-Time Bartending School Costs:

  • Tuition Fees:
      • Full-time bartending school programs often have higher tuition fees compared to part-time options. The condensed nature of the course and the potential for more comprehensive instruction can contribute to the increased cost.
  • Intensive Learning:
      • Full-time programs are immersive and fast-paced, which means you’ll complete your training more quickly. This intensity can be advantageous if you’re eager to enter the workforce promptly.
  • Job Placement Assistance:
      • Many full-time bartending schools offer robust job placement assistance and connections with local bars and restaurants. This can be a significant advantage in finding bartending opportunities after graduation.
  • Focus on Skills Development:
      • Full-time programs often dedicate more hours each day to hands-on training and practice, allowing you to hone your bartending skills rapidly. This intensive focus on skill development can boost your confidence and competence as a bartender.
  • Financial Considerations:
      • Attending full-time bartending school may require you to take a temporary break from your current job, which can impact your income. Consider the financial implications and whether you have the means to cover living expenses during the program.
  • Accelerated Certification:
    • If you’re seeking quick certification, a full-time program may be the way to go. You can become a certified bartender in a matter of weeks, which can be especially beneficial if you’re looking to enter the job market swiftly.

Local vs. National Bartending Schools

Bartending is a popular profession that offers individuals the opportunity to work in a social and dynamic environment. To become a skilled bartender, many aspiring professionals turn to bartending schools for formal training. 

When deciding which bartending school to attend, one of the crucial factors to consider is whether to enroll in a local or national bartending school. This comprehensive comparison aims to help you make an informed decision by examining the key differences between the two.

Local Bartending Schools:

  1. Location and Accessibility:
  • Pro: Local bartending schools are typically easier to access since they are situated within your community. This can save you time and money on commuting or relocating for training.
  • Con: The quality of local schools can vary significantly, and you might not have as many options to choose from compared to national schools.
  1. Curriculum and Content:
  • Pro: Local schools may tailor their curriculum to cater to the specific needs and trends of your local bar scene, providing you with more relevant knowledge and skills.
  • Con: These schools may not offer as diverse a range of courses or as extensive a curriculum as national schools, potentially limiting your career opportunities.
  1. Networking:
  • Pro: Attending a local school allows you to network with industry professionals and potential employers in your area, which can be advantageous when seeking job opportunities.
  • Con: The local network may not be as extensive as that of a national school, which can be limiting if you plan to work in different cities or regions.
  1. Cost:
  • Pro: Local bartending schools often have lower tuition fees compared to national ones. This can make training more affordable for individuals on a tight budget.
  • Con: Lower costs may sometimes reflect lower quality instruction and resources, so it’s essential to research thoroughly before enrolling.
  1. Duration:
  • Pro: Local programs may offer flexible scheduling options, allowing you to balance your training with other commitments like work or school.
  • Con: Some local schools might have longer programs to cover the same material, potentially delaying your entry into the job market.

National Bartending Schools:

  1. Reputation and Accreditation:
  • Pro: National bartending schools often have established reputations and accreditation from industry organizations, providing assurance of the quality of education.
  • Con: Tuition fees at national schools can be higher due to their reputation and resources.
  1. Comprehensive Curriculum:
  • Pro: National schools tend to offer comprehensive bartending programs with a wide range of courses and hands-on training, making you well-prepared for various bartending roles.
  • Con: The curriculum may not always be tailored to local market demands, potentially requiring additional adaptation when working in your specific area.
  1. Nationwide Network:
  • Pro: Attending a national school can provide access to a broad network of alumni and industry connections across different regions, potentially opening up more job opportunities.
  • Con: This network may not be as helpful if you plan to stay exclusively in your local area.
  1. Job Placement Assistance:
  • Pro: National schools often have dedicated job placement services, helping graduates find employment in various locations.
  • Con: These services might not be as specialized or effective in your local job market.
  1. Intensive Training:
  • Pro: Some national bartending schools offer more intensive and shorter programs, allowing you to enter the workforce quickly.
  • Con: The pace of these programs can be challenging for some students, and they may require full-time commitment.

Ultimately, the choice between a local and national bartending school depends on your goals, budget, and career aspirations. Consider factors such as your location, desired curriculum, budget, and long-term career plans when making your decision. Conduct thorough research, visit schools if possible, and consult with industry professionals to ensure you choose the best bartending school for your needs and aspirations.

Hidden Costs of Bartending School

Hidden Costs of Bartending School


Here are some hidden costs of bartending school:

  • Uniforms and tools: Bartending schools typically require students to purchase uniforms and tools. These can add up to an additional $100 or more.
  • Books and materials: Bartending schools may require students to purchase books and other materials. These can also add up to an additional $100 or more.
  • Transportation: If you are not able to walk or bike to bartending school, you will need to factor in the cost of transportation. This could include gas, bus fare, or Uber rides.
  • Food and drinks: You may need to purchase food and drinks while you are at bartending school. This could add up to an additional $50 or more per week.
  • Personal care items: You may need to purchase personal care items, such as soap, shampoo, and conditioner. This could add up to an additional $20 or more per month.
  • Lost wages: If you have to take time off from work to attend bartending school, you will lose out on wages. This could be a significant financial burden, especially if you are not able to get a job as a bartender right away.

It is important to factor in all of these hidden costs when considering whether or not to attend bartending school. The total cost of bartending school can vary depending on the school, the program, and the location. However, it is not uncommon for the total cost to be over $1,000.

If you are considering attending bartending school, it is important to do your research and compare different schools to find the best fit for you. You should also talk to bartenders who have attended different schools to get their recommendations.


In this post you will learn about how much does bartending school cost? Bartending school costs can vary widely depending on factors like location, school reputation, and program duration. On average, you can expect to pay anywhere from $200 to $600 for a basic bartending course. More comprehensive programs at reputable national schools might cost between $1,000 and $5,000. 

It’s essential to research and compare options to find a school that fits your budget and offers the quality of education you seek. Make an informed choice to invest in your bartending career wisely.