How many other bartenders you will meet and how much money you will make depend in part on the industry in which you work and the part of the country in which you live. If it’s money you’re after, you should try to combine a high-paying industry with a high-paying city (although unfortunately you’d probably have a hard time finding a rail transportation job in Honolulu!).
Bartenders average a salary of around $21,630 a year, or $10.40 an hour. The lowest 10% of earners only make around $7.85 an hour, or $16,340 annually. On the other hand, the highest 10% of earners bring home $15.49 an hour or more, which is equivalent to $32,220 annually if working full time. Whether you fall closer to that bottom or top 10% as a bartender depends on a number of variables, including your experience level and how much you make in tips. Another factor that plays a role in determining your wages is by what industry you are employed. For example, you will make the most money (an average of $27,240 annually) if you work for rail transportation. Other high-paying industries include colleges, universities, and professional schools; traveler accommodations; lessors of real estate; and employment services. You have the best chance of finding work at a traveler accommodation (hotel), as this industry employs more than 37,000 bartenders. To put it in perspective, none of the other high-paying industries employ more than 2,500 bartenders, and the top industry – rail transportation – employs a paltry 50. You are much more likely to find work at a restaurant, drinking establishment (such as a bar), civic or social organization, or in the amusement/recreation industry. All of these industries employ more than 25,000 bartenders, and there are a total of nearly 540,000 people working in this profession around the country.
The states that employ the most bartenders are California, Florida, New York, Texas, and Pennsylvania. The cities that make this list include New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Minneapolis, Boston, Houston, Philadelphia, Seattle, and Washington D.C.. These cities and states employ so many bartenders because they are large cities and states, and so employ a lot of people in every profession. To determine what areas employ unusual numbers of bartenders, consider the location quotient, which is a measure of the concentration of people in a profession in a particular region. The states with the highest location quotients of bartenders are Nevada, Montana, Wisconsin, North Dakota, and South Dakota. The cities with the highest concentrations of bartenders are Great Falls, Montana; La Crosse, Wisconsin; Atlantic City, New Jersey; Las Vegas, Nevada; Appleton, Wisconsin; Green Bay, Wisconsin; Sandusky, Ohio; Grand Forks, North Dakota; Billings, Montana; and Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Just like industry, geography also affects how much money you will make. You will average the highest income if you work in Hawaii, Vermont, Washington, Massachusetts, or Nevada (where in Hawaii you will make roughly $33,190, and in Nevada you will make around $25,830). The specific cities where you will make the most are Honolulu, Hawaii; Burlington, Vermont; San Francisco, California; Boston, Massachusetts; Seattle, Washington; Blacksburg, Virginia; Las Vegas, Nevada; Barnstable Town, Massachusetts; Edison, New Jersey; and Salinas, California.