What is Professional Bartending Schools of America?
We are a group of professional trade schools that are licensed by each state in which we do business. Our first schools opened in 1978. We teach professional bartending as a full or part-time career. We now have 34 campuses nationwide and trained over 9,000 bartenders in 2005.
Do I really need to go to bartending school?
No, you don’t have to go to bartending school, but it sure helps! Before bartending schools, bartenders started work as waiters, busboys, and hosts. After three months to a year of working a low-paying, tedious job they eventually moved up to being a barback.
The barback is the bartender's assistant who stocks and cleans the bartender's stations. The barback will eventually help serve beer and basic cocktails. After another three months to a year, the barback can begin bartending slower shifts at the slower bars. Becoming a bartender in this manner can be a long and frustrating process.
How is going to bartending school better?
When you enroll in classes at the Professional Bartending School, we put you behind one of our fully-equipped bars, mixing drinks on your first day. You do not have to learn menial jobs that have no bearing on being a professional bartender. You concentrate on learning bartending from day one.
What about those $79 Learn Bartending Ads in the newspaper and on other websites?
There are currently two companies advertising all accross the country in the major newspapers (and many others on the internet!). They claim bartenders earn $300 per day and they will train you for only $39.00 to $79.00. The age-old rule applies here. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is! These out-of-state companies masquerade as schools. They are not licensed schools and cannot legally advertise like they do in most states.
The US Federal Trade Commission recently caused one of these companies to shut down after allegedly taking over $5 million dollars(!) from the public. Read about it here.
These companies will sell you a bartending book and after you complete an open book test, declare you a "certified" bartender. You will receive a meaningless diploma and an out-dated list of bars in your area. There is no effort made to determine if these bars even need a bartender. Many of these bars will have been closed for quite some time. This is your job placement assistance. We are very aware of how they operate. Some of our students have ordered this "bartending kit" and being completely dissatisfied with it, enrolled in our school.
The fact remains, you cannot learn bartending by sitting at home and reading a book. Bartending is a trade that is best learned by working behind a real bar with real equipment. With no experience, your only choice would be to interview for a bartending job and lie to the interviewer by telling them you know how to bartend, but your first day on the job would be a fiasco. Chances are, you would be dismissed on your first day. Professional Bartending Schools of America campuses are licensed schools that treat bartending as a profession. We are a member of the Better Business Bureau and Chamber of Commerce in most cities.
How long does your training last?
We jokingly refer to our classes as "bartending boot camp". Our Professional Mixology course takes forty hours of concentrated training over a one to five week period to complete. The course is taught in 10 four -hour lessons. By graduation you will be capable of mixing drinks at a level that will allow you to bartend at any bar in the tri-state area.
Who do I learn bartending from?
Our instructors are the best bartenders available. Their experience level ranges from 5 to 25 years in the industry. They routinely attend competitions and training seminars to improve their knowledge. All of our instructors currently tend bar on a part-time basis. Most importantly, our instructors have been trained by our upper management in the art of teaching bartending.
What if I fail a test?
Our students have an unlimited opportunity to pass our course. You may retake any test that you fail and you may re-take any class if you want to see it again at no charge. Our commitment to our students is to work with every student until they graduate, regardless of how long it may take. There are never any additional charges for our services to help you graduate. If you come to school and put forth the effort, we will help you graduate.
How does your flexible scheduling program work?
If you are unable to enroll in any of our regular class schedules, you may enroll in our flexible schedule program. This program allows you to attend school when it is convenient for you. You would simply schedule your first class during one of our regularly scheduled day, evening or weekend sessions. After your first class, you may then take any combination of day, evening or weekend classes until you graduate.
You must complete all ten, four-hour lessons, and pass the same final testing as the regular class. You have an unlimited time to finish. You do not need to call the school for permission to attend each day. You simply show up when it works for you. We are always available to answer any scheduling questions and to help you as you need it. In summary, we can work around any schedule!
How does your job placement assistance work?
Upon graduation, each student receives personalized job placement assistance. The graduate meets with our Job Placement Director to review current job openings. The graduate does not have to interview for any job they are not interested in. We have been providing placement assistance for our graduates for many years and have established a great reputation for providing well-trained professional bartenders.
Our job openings come from bar owners and managers who call us when they need a bartender for their establishment. If we do not have enough job openings for the week, our staff calls bars throughout the city to get the necessary openings for our graduates. In addition, we now offer online job placement assistance for our graduates. The graduate is welcome to use the personalized assistance program and check out our list of jobs daily from their computer at home or work. Our students have said this is one of their favorite options.
How much can a bartender earn?
A bartender in smaller cities can expect to earn $100 to $200 per day. A bartender usually earns $5 to $6 per hour plus tips. Tips are the greatest portion of a bartender's earnings and vary by bartender, establishment, and time. A part-time bartender usually works 15 to 20 hours per week and can expect to make $200 to $400 per week. A full-time bartender usually works 30 to 40 hours per week and makes from $500 to $900 per week including wages and tips.
The high hourly average pay of a bartender ($15 to $25 per hour) makes bartending attractive to most all people. Professionals prefer it because it allows them to earn an hourly rate similar to what they earn at their professional job. Bartending is attractive to college students because it allows them to earn on weekends what they could earn at a 40 hour non-tipped job.
How do I enroll in the school?
Depending on the state the campus is located in, most schools are required to conduct a personal interview prior to enrollment. We view bartending as a professional career and have committed to spend the necessary personal time with each prospective student. During the one hour personal interview, you will have plenty of time to ask pertinent questions while you are at the school, where they can best be answered. You will receive a tour of our campus and depending on time of day, will probably be able to see an actual class in session. In addition, we will take the time to review the job placement assistance program and review actual job openings with you.
Bartending is not for everyone and the personal interview/school tour will give you the necessary information to make the decision if bartending is right for you. We will take the time to answer any and all questions during your no-obligation interview. There is no charge to tour the school and you will not be pressured to sign up for any classes.
Many of our competitors will try very hard to get the prospective student to sign up and pay over the phone, without ever having seen the school or what it has to offer. Be wary of these types of "schools". Reputable trade schools, colleges and universities all require a personal visit to the school prior to enrollment. Most of our campuses offer the student the ability to sit in on the first class for no charge and make their decision after seeing our program first. Check with the local campus to see how this works.