How Long Is Bartending School?

One of the first inquiries people have when considering a job in bartending is how long bartending school lasts.

Despite the fact that the answer to this question can vary depending on a number of variables, we can provide you with some broad information to give you a better idea of what to anticipate.

It’s crucial to realize that there is no universally applicable answer to the topic of how long bartending school lasts. While some programs can be finished in a matter of weeks, others may take many months.

Your program’s length will be determined by a variety of elements, such as the curriculum you’re using, how much time you can devote to studying each week, and how quickly you can pick things up.

The majority of bartending schools often provide courses that may be finished in one to four weeks. These courses are meant to give you the knowledge and abilities you’ll need to be a successful bartender, and they often combine classroom education with practical experience.

To select a program that meets your needs and your schedule, conduct your homework and bear in mind that the length of your program may vary based on the school you choose.

Basics of Bartending School

Bartending school is a great way to learn the skills necessary to become a successful bartender.

In this section, we will discuss the basics of bartending school, including the curriculum, class schedule, and equipment.


The curriculum of bartending school will vary depending on the school you choose. However, most schools will cover the following topics:

  • Mixology: This includes learning how to make a variety of cocktails, including classic and modern drinks.
  • Beer and Wine: You will learn about different types of beer and wine, how they are made, and how to serve them.
  • Bar Operations: This includes learning how to set up and maintain a bar, as well as how to handle cash and credit card transactions.
  • Customer Service: You will learn how to interact with customers, handle complaints, and provide excellent service.

Class Schedule

The class schedule of bartending school will also vary depending on the school you choose. However, most schools offer flexible schedules to accommodate students’ needs.

Some schools offer day classes, while others offer evening or weekend classes. Most schools offer a range of options to fit your schedule.


The bartending school will provide you with the necessary equipment to learn and practice your skills. This includes:

  • Bar Tools: You will learn how to use a variety of bar tools, including shakers, strainers, jiggers, and muddlers.
  • Glassware: You will learn about different types of glassware and how to use them for different types of drinks.
  • Alcohol: You will have access to a variety of alcohol to practice making cocktails.

Certification and Licensing

When it comes to becoming a bartender, there are two types of certification you may need to obtain: a bartender certification and a bartending license.

In some states, you may need both to legally work as a bartender. Here, we’ll break down what each entails and how long it takes to obtain them.


Bartender certification, also known as mixology training, is a type of certificate obtained through coursework.

The coursework covers a deep understanding of the aspects of bartending, including drink recipes, garnishes, appropriate glassware, and customer service.

Most professional bartending schools offer certification courses that range from a few days to a few weeks, depending on the intensity of the program.

At our bartending school, we offer a 40-hour program that covers everything from the basics to advanced mixology techniques.

Our classes are broken down into two-hour sessions, with one hour of lecture and one hour of lab time behind the bar.

Once you complete the required 40 hours of class time, you will take a written test and a practical exam to obtain your certification.

Bartending License

A bartending license is a state-issued document that allows you to legally serve alcohol in a commercial establishment.

The requirements for obtaining a bartending license vary by state, but most states require you to complete a state-approved alcohol server training program.

These programs cover the laws and regulations surrounding the sale and service of alcohol, as well as techniques for identifying and preventing intoxication.

In California, for example, you must complete a 40-hour course to obtain your bartending license. The course covers topics such as alcohol laws and regulations, responsible alcohol service, and techniques for identifying and preventing intoxication.

State Requirements

It’s important to note that state requirements for certification and licensing vary widely. Some states may require both a certification and a license, while others may only require one or the other.

Some states may also have specific requirements for the length of the certification course or the content covered in the training program.

At our bartending school, we make sure to stay up-to-date on the requirements for certification and licensing in each state, so you can be confident that you are getting the training you need to legally work as a bartender in your area.

Program Options

When it comes to bartending school, there are several program options available to choose from.

Whether you prefer a part-time program, a full-time program, or an online bartending school, there is a program that can fit your schedule and needs.

Part-Time Program

A part-time program is perfect for those who have other commitments, such as work or family, and cannot attend school full-time.

These programs usually take longer to complete, ranging from a few weeks to a few months, depending on the school and the curriculum.

Part-time programs are ideal for those who want to learn the skills and knowledge needed to become a bartender but cannot commit to a full-time program.

Full-Time Program

A full-time program is designed for those who want to complete their bartending education quickly and efficiently.

These programs usually last anywhere from one to four weeks, with classes held during the day or evening. Full-time programs are perfect for those who want to become a bartender as soon as possible and have the time to commit to an intensive program.

Online Bartending School

Online bartending schools are becoming increasingly popular, as they offer the flexibility to learn at your own pace and on your own schedule.

These programs usually range from 15 to 40 hours and can be completed in as little as one week.

Online bartending schools are ideal for those who want to learn the basics of bartending or for those who want to supplement their existing knowledge.

When choosing a program, it’s important to consider your schedule, budget, and learning style. Each program has its own advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to do your research and choose the program that best fits your needs.

Whether you choose a part-time program, full-time program, or online bartending school, you can be confident that you will gain the skills and knowledge needed to become a successful bartender.

Cost and Financing

When it comes to bartending school, one of the main concerns is the cost.

The cost of bartending school can vary depending on the location, the duration of the course, and the curriculum.

On average, a 40-hour program can cost between $300 to $800, but this price can go up to $1000 – $1500 depending on the state, the course, and the curriculum.

It’s important to note that the cost of bartending school is an investment in your future career.

While it may seem expensive, the skills and knowledge you gain from attending a reputable bartending school can help you land a job in the industry and potentially earn more money in the long run.

There are also financing options available to help offset the cost of bartending school. Some schools offer payment plans or financing options, while others may offer scholarships, grants, or student loans.

It’s important to research these options and determine which ones may be the best fit for your financial situation.

When considering the cost of bartending school, it’s also important to think about the potential return on investment.

A career in bartending can be lucrative, with the potential to earn tips and work in high-end establishments. By investing in your education and gaining the necessary skills and knowledge, you can set yourself up for success in the industry.

In summary, while the cost of bartending school may seem daunting, it’s important to view it as an investment in your future career.

With financing options available and the potential for a high return on investment, attending a reputable bartending school can be a smart decision for those looking to break into the industry.

Learning Experience

At bartending school, we offer an immersive learning experience that prepares students for success in the industry.

Our program is designed to provide a comprehensive education that covers everything from mixology techniques to customer service skills.

Individual Student

We understand that each student has their own learning style and pace. That’s why we offer personalized attention to ensure that every student receives the support they need to succeed.

Our instructors work closely with each student to identify their strengths and weaknesses and tailor their education accordingly.

Mock Bar

Our mock bar is an essential part of the learning experience. Here, students can practice their skills in a simulated bar environment.

This allows them to gain hands-on experience with the tools and techniques they will use in a real bar setting.

We provide a wide range of ingredients, equipment, and recipes to ensure that students can practice making a variety of cocktails.


Throughout the course, we provide regular testing to ensure that students are retaining the information they are learning. This includes written exams as well as practical tests where students must create cocktails under time pressure.

Practical Exam

The practical exam is the culmination of the course and is designed to test everything that students have learned.

During the exam, students must create a series of cocktails while under time pressure. They are evaluated on their technique, accuracy, and speed.

Lab Hours

In addition to classroom instruction, we also offer lab hours where students can practice their skills outside of class time.

This allows them to get additional practice and hone their skills before entering the workforce.

Overall, our bartending school provides a comprehensive learning experience that prepares students for success in the industry.

With personalized attention, hands-on practice, and regular testing, students can be confident in their abilities when they enter the workforce.

Please drink responsibly, be fully accountable with your alcohol consumption, and show others respect.

Written by Paul Kushner

I have always had a deep interest in the restaurant and bar industry. My restaurant experience began in 1997 at the age of 14 as a bus boy. By the time I turned 17 I was serving tables, and by 19 I was bartending/bar managing 6-7 nights a week.

In 2012, after a decade and a half of learning all facets of the industry, I opened my first restaurant/bar. In 2015, a second location followed, the latter being featured on The Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.

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