The bartending world is full of information about what it takes to become a bartender. If you're looking for information, it's hard to break through multiple articles contradicting each other. However, we're here to help!

With the help of this blog, you'll be able to navigate the world of bartender certificates and how they differ from a bartender license...


What is bartender certification?

A bartending certificate is a piece of qualification that allows someone to become a professional bartender. You need to complete a bartender course in order to obtain this certificate, which vary from school to school in duration.

Bartender license  

A bartending license is legal necessity in some parts of the world. It is a legal certificate reflecting a bartenders ability to serve alcoholic beverages. Liquor laws throughout the world differ and can even differ within countries.

Click on the link to find out all about the bartender license, legal requirements, liquor liability insurance and access to bartender license courses...

Bartending license vs certification - the differences

Bartender working at wedding bar

There is a stark difference between a bartender certification and bartender license. Bartender certification only allows you to be qualified as a bartender. This means you have all the skill requirements and training necessary to be a professional bartender and perform the job professionally.

A bartending license means you are able to serve alcohol legally in an establishment. These licenses are obtained through either a national or state bartending license programme, which will see you licensed to serve at either a national or state level. This also goes for a mixology license, which requires a similar process.

The differences predominantly lie in having the skill to bartend and being legally allowed to bartend (serving alcohol).

How to get bartender certification

Bartender pouring a drink

Getting a bartender certificate is a pretty simple process (if you exclude all the information you'll need to learn and remember). Bartending certificates are obtained through bartender schools once you've completed the whole course. Simply check out bartender courses and choose the one that's best for you!

Discover bartender courses in our schools worldwide to get your bartender certification and start your journey...

How long does it take to get bartending certification? 

This answer differs from school to school. Some offer quick bartender courses online that can be completed in days or even hours. However, there are options for in-person bartender training. These courses can last from around 2 weeks to 4 weeks.

Our bartender certification programme can be completed in 4 weeks, where you'll receive professional advice and training. Becoming a certified bartender has never been so simple!

Benefits of a bartending certification

bartender serving cocktail on bar

But what about bartender certification as a mark of ability? So far, we’ve talked about legal bartending certification, licenses and requirements. This is all still important, but now to focus on certificates of skill, so you can actually become a bartender.

Why should you get a bartender certificate? What are the benefits of a certificate in bartending? Let's go through it all…

1. Boosts your CV

Firstly, it improves your employment prospects. This is especially true, if you’re trying to find jobs in high-end bars where bartending is a skilled profession. For this reason, bartending courses find the endorsement of job agencies such as Reed or Schools like the European Bartender School offer courses in bartending, with which you can earn a bartending certification of ability to stick on your bartender CV.

2. Improves your bartender ability quicker

On-the-job training is not something bars can always afford to offer. While newbies working at a regular bar may learn a few new things, it’s unlikely they will have the chance to progress very quickly in the world of bartending. Getting a certificate can speed up this process, whilst also cementing cocktail and drinks knowledge.

3. Develops your learning further

Lastly, the world is becoming more and more service-orientated and precise when it comes to bartending, so training is certainly useful for those hoping to learn more about the trade and how bartending is properly done

But qualifications may not necessarily be accepted on their own, as many establishments look for experience, too. Don’t let this subtract away from a certificate, however. To have bartender certification and experience is a perfect combination for employers, so definitely consider it.

It’s the skills and knowledge that are picked up that’s the most important. Knowing drink recipes and being able to make them during a service is what's expected and looked for. A certificate from a bartending school can offer a prospective bartender more fantastic opportunities than compared to the uncertified bartender.

Do you need bartender certification to become a bartender?

For those wanting to become a professional bartender, certification certainly helps build a career. Bars and restaurants are on the look for experience these days, but this doesn't mean you should skip education. Learning all about bartending from professionals is an excellent way to be one step ahead of the competition.

Find out about our bartender certification below and how it will help kickstart your bartending career!

EBS Bartender Certification 


European Bartender School offers a range of bartender courses all around the world, including the 4-week International Bartender Course. With this you have hands-on experience of making cocktails in a bar environment from experienced and professional bartenders. A prestigious organisation with a widespread network, European Bartender School carries a mark of quality with its name, along with the assurance of excellent training. Learn more about this bartending course through the link above. 

Final thoughts

So, in terms of a bartending certification, it's a good idea if you're looking for a comprehensive route into bartending. There’s no better way to kick off a career in bartending than with a sound and clear introduction to the fundamentals, along with the useful concepts and skills that will pave your way to success.

And don't forget the bartending license! Do your research beforehand so when an employer asks for your license, you can actually give it to them.

Want to learn how to become a bartender? Read our blog about our top tips when pursuing bartending! ​