How Much Do Bartenders Make in a Year? A Guide for 2024

In the bustling world of hospitality, bartenders can be some of the busiest people in the biz. Whether they’re pulling pints or mixing the summer’s latest cocktail trend, they deserve every sweaty dollar bill left for them on the bar.

To be a great bartender, you’ve got to be fast on your feet, have a great memory for recipes (and regulars), and be personable enough to work well with a rotating group of strangers day in and day out. That seems like a lot to ask! For business owners and aspiring bartenders alike, it begs the question: how much do bartenders make?

As with any role in the hospitality sector, there are a number of variables that go into bartender pay, including salary vs. hourly pay, tips, and location. Fortunately, we’re here to break these factors down for you.

Below, we talk about current salary and wage ranges, how tips are included in pay, and other factors like location and seasonality. We even let you know how much bartenders make in certain states. Let’s dive in!

Bartender salary: What are bartenders being paid?

A bartender is someone who mixes both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks (think soft drinks or mocktails) behind the bar for patrons. Cocktails, wine, and liquor can serve as a way to enhance a meal, moment, or outing for customers. But even without the booze, many customers are going non-alcoholic these days. That means that professional bartenders are using their skills in new and expanded ways to develop flavorful and fun cocktail substitutes.

Not only are bartenders responsible for making or pouring the drinks an establishment serves, they’re often tasked with serving anyone sitting at the bar their meals. A bartender should also be a people person, making patrons feel welcome—and even solving conflicts now and again. 

How much do bartenders make per year?

While every bartender’s pay range is different, the average bartender’s salary (before tips) is $28,648.25.

Those averages were pulled from: 

  • The U.S. Bureau of Labor Services, who says the mean wage of a bartender is $17.83 per hour and the mean salary is $37,090.
  • says the average bartender makes $23,503 per year.
  • ZipRecruiter, meanwhile, says that bartenders in the U.S. make $16 per hour in wages. That works out to around $33,000 per year.
  • According to, the average bartender’s salary is around $21,000.

Remember that this is only the average amount taken from these sources, meaning that some bartenders are paid more—and others less. Later on, we’ll go in-depth about the other factors that contribute to a bartender’s salary, including hours worked and tips

How much do bartenders make an hour?

Just like the national average salary, the amount per hour that a bartender can make varies by state. According to ZipRecruiter’s data, hourly wage ranges between $10.78 to $17.52. In some cases, ZipRecruiter’s data shows that an hourly bartending salary can be as low as $5.29. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Services notes that there’s a small section of bartenders who make nearly $30 per hour. That’s quite an array!

Much of a bartender’s hourly wage relies on a mixture of the minimum wage required legally through the Fair Labor Standards Act and state minimum wage. As designated tipped employees, their base wage doesn’t necessarily reflect their take-home, which contributes to the range of statistics.

How much do bartenders make in tips?

How much bartenders make is usually dependent on what sort of tips they pull in each night. Bartenders are often tipped directly by customers or, in the case of working at a restaurant, get a tip-out from servers. They can also be part of a tip pool.

No matter which way you pour the vodka, tips are a massive factor in how much bartenders make overall. On average, bartenders in the US can make $150 in tips a night, but that number can skyrocket if you’re working for the right crowd—or plummet on a bad night.

If a bartender works five shifts in a week, that’s an extra $750 per week. With this average and number of shifts per week, a bartender could pull in a sweet extra $36,000 a year in tips. That potentially doubles their salary!

These factors affect how much bartenders make.

Similar to any other role at any other business, all kinds of different factors affect how much a bartender is going to make. Practically speaking, not everyone is going to start out at the highest level of pay for a bartender, nor will they always get the most tips. Things like location, shifts worked, clientele, cost of living, and experience can make a huge difference in bartender pay.

How much a bartender makes also varies from state-to-state—we go into this more below. Consider the following factors to get a clearer snapshot of what sets and sways a bartender’s wage.

Geographic location

The location of a bar or restaurant is going to greatly influence how much a bartender makes. For large markets like New York, Miami, or Los Angeles, there’s a higher chance a bartender will make more on average by the simple fact that there are more people to serve, residents and tourists alike. Bigger cities are also more likely to host fancier bars and restaurants, with more expensive drinks and a clientele willing to pay $20+ for a cocktail.

Smaller cities and towns typically don’t see cocktail lists that expensive, nor do they have as many people willing to fork out for the experience. It’s safe to say that if you want to really rake it in as a bartender, it’s best to head to the big city. By the same token, big city establishments should expect to pay their bartenders more.

Type of establishment

A bartender’s salary can depend on the type of place they work. For instance, a bartender working at a restaurant may primarily make their tips through a tip pool, which takes all serving staff’s tips together to be redistributed by percentage. A bar where a customer can tip a bartender directly, on the other hand, may yield different wage results. Bartenders at these establishments have a huge incentive to go the extra mile.

If a bartender is working an event, or even a music and entertainment venue, their tips may vary. Upscale or fine dining restaurants and high-end cocktail bars are naturally going to see higher price points and big tippers, whereas the neighbourhood dive bar or pub might rake in less dough. Chain restaurants that serve drinks might also hire bartenders, but whether that translates into great tips is another question.


Everybody’s gotta start somewhere! Entry-level bartenders shouldn’t expect the same wage as their experienced counterparts. That goes for both hourly wage and tips: as you’re learning the job, your service quality might look different compared to service from the bartender training you.

To boot, junior bartenders tend to start out as barbacks, bringing in kegs instead of mixing the drinks (though they may get stuck pouring those long Guinness pints). They may not get those prized Friday and Saturday night shifts, and might be stuck working lunch rushes when they do transition behind the bar—with customers who aren’t exactly heavy-drinking tippers.

Experienced bartenders with years, and even schooling or specialized skills, under their belt often earn more money because of how long they’ve been tending to their craft. Their service may be honed, their patience may be refined, and their customer service skills may shine all the brighter. With more skills comes more bills!


Tips varies by location, customer temperament, percentage, and level of service performed by a bartender. 

While some bartenders get tipped directly by customers, some restaurant bars are set up in a way that bartenders don’t actually interact with customers at all. When bartenders don’t have the chance to interact with—or charm—their customers, they’ve got less of a chance of earning extra tips for themselves and have to rely on serving and kitchen staff to drive those amounts up.

Shift timing

When a bartender starts their shift—and how long they work for—is a crucial factor in how much they’ll earn. From a tipping perspective, there’s more money to be made in the evenings when people are more likely to drink. A boozy brunch could be another somewhat unconventional time to make a good wage.

If a bartender is scheduled to work mostly during evenings, there’s a likelier chance their tips will be higher. Their earnings will increase accordingly.


Most places have a busy season. When that busy season begins and ends can vary from place to place. It could be the opening of patio season, or March Madness, or holiday markets in small-town Hallmark, USA.

No matter the occasion, seasonality absolutely factors into how much bartenders can make. People may be feeling more generous during the holidays or when the sun is shining—or they may be watching their wallets. On the other hand, some occasions may have built-in tipping opportunities, like when businesses book private rooms for holiday parties and related events.

If you’re looking to make some extra cash as a bartender, offering to work holidays might be a good place to start.

How much do bartenders make across the US?

We know that bartenders’ earnings vary depending on location—but what about specific locations? To give you a better understanding of income variance, we’ve gathered some bartender salary examples across the US. Plan your destination accordingly!

How much do bartenders make in NYC?

In New York City, a bartender’s average base pay can range from $41,000 to $68,000 a year. On top of that, there may be an additional $26,000 from tips. 

How much do bartenders make in Las Vegas?

In Las Vegas, the average earnings of a bartender are from $34,000 to $55,000 in base pay a year. On top of that, additional earnings can range anywhere between $21,000 to $39,000.

How much do bartenders make in California?

In California, bartenders can earn a base pay from $38,000 to $60,000 a year. The average is around $48,000. Additional pay is in the range of $19,000 to $35,000, with $28,000 as the median amount. 

How much do bartenders make in Florida?

Floridian bartenders can earn anywhere from $33,000 to $55,000 in base pay a year, with an average of nearly $28,000 of additional cash compensation.

How much do bartenders make in Texas?

Bartenders in Texas are paid a base amount ranging from $33,000 to $55,000 a year. Additional cash income ranges from $21,000 to $39,000. 

How much do bartenders make in Chicago?

In Chicago, bartenders make a base pay of $35,000 to $59,000 a year. Additional cash income bartenders can earn through tips ranges from $20,000 to nearly $39,000. 

How much do bartenders make in Arizona?

Across Arizona, bartenders earn a base pay of $35,000 to $55,000 a year with an additional cash income ranging from $21,000 to $40,000. 

How much do bartenders make in San Antonio?

In San Antonio, bartenders earn anywhere from $33,000 to $55,000 in base pay a year. On top of that, there’s an average of nearly $30,000 in additional cash income.

How much do bartenders make in Virginia?

In Virginia Beach, bartenders can earn between $33,000 and $54,000 in base pay a year, with a range of $21,000 to nearly $40,000 in cash income. Richmond, VA has a similar amount, with the highest pay base range hitting $58,000. 

How much do bartenders make in Seattle?

In Seattle, bartenders may earn a base salary between $34,000 to $68,000 a year. In addition to that, cash compensation ranges from $21,000 to $39,000.

How much do bartenders make in Colorado?

In Colorado, bartenders can earn anywhere from $37,000 to $61,000 in base pay a year. Additional cash compensation ranges from $18,000 to $35,000. 

How much do bartenders make in Hawaii?

Hawaiian bartenders can earn a base pay of $34,000 to $56,000 a year. Additional cash income ranges from $21,000 to $42,000. 

How much do bartenders make in Maryland?

In Maryland, bartenders can make in a year anywhere from $38,000 to $61,000. Additional cash compensation ranges from $23,000 to $43,000. 

How much do bartenders make in Oklahoma?

In Oklahoma, bartenders can earn a yearly base income ranging from $32,000 to $54,000, with additional cash compensation ranging from $20,000 to $38,000. 

How much do bartenders make in Pittsburgh?

In Pittsburg, PA, a bartender’s yearly salary can range from $34,000 to $57,000. Additional cash compensation can be $18,000 to $34,000. 

How much do bartenders make in Utah?

In Utah, bartenders can earn anywhere from $41,000 to $74,000 a year in base pay. Additional cash compensation ranges from $28,000 to $53,000. 

How much do bartenders make in Wisconsin?

In Wisconsin, bartenders may earn a base salary between $34,000 to $56,000 a year. Add on tips for additional cash compensation ranging from $16,000 to $31,000. 

Want to hire the best bartenders?

Salary can be a key factor when it comes to hiring, but it’s not the only thing that can bring in the best talent for bartending. If you want to have a fantastic bartender mixing this season’s hottest drinks, look for someone who works well with your team and helps keep morale high

Starting with a great interview is a solid way to identify people who will be an asset to your team. Instead of keeping track of interview performances in your head, consider using an interview scoring sheet to help you remember top talent.

We’ll even make it easy for you. With this handy free interview scoring template from our team here at Homebase, you can start scoring your bartender candidates today. Even better, Homebase can help you manage your entire business—from hiring, to scheduling shifts, to payroll. It’s a one-stop-shop that makes it easy for bars, restaurants, and other small businesses to get their work done faster, easier, and with way less headaches.

Now, if they could just help you anticipate the next big cocktail trend…

Average bartender salary FAQs

Which bartending jobs pay the most?

Bartending jobs at a restaurant, resort or hotel, brewery, and winery often pay the most money.

Where do bartenders make the most money?

Bartenders in Hawaii and Utah make the most money.

What is the turnover rate for bartenders?

According to a report by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the annual turnover rate for bartenders and restaurant workers is 75%.

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