Illinois Bartending Classes and Resources

Do Happy Hour Like It's Your Job: Ditch that 9-5 for Cold, Hard Cash and Unbeatable Job Security

In this tough and sometimes lackluster job market, you might be wondering if a career exists in Illinois where you can enjoy being out-and-about, easily make customers happy, and earn actual cash on a daily basis - instead of living paycheck to paycheck or getting paid just a few times a month. Throw in a little job security by virtue of customer demand, and it sounds too good to be true, right?

Add to all this some promising statistics:

Considering the above stats, it's easy to see why bartending in Illinois is considered one of the most exciting, lucrative, promising career choices available in today's competitive job market.

Job Security...It's Always Five O'clock Somewhere

It goes without saying that people around the world universally like to indulge in a few cold ones, a fine pinot noir, or a favorite artisan-crafted cocktail after a rough day at the office. The good news is, those bars, nightclubs and restaurants-and the people who patronize them-aren't going anywhere even during the greatest of economic downturns. In fact, studies have shown that when the economy is in the dumps, sales of alcohol actually increase.

If you're the type that loathes being stuck inside and chained to a desk all day and you're looking for a career that is socially active in Illinois never boring and has a promising future, check out some common bartender traits to see if you fit the description:

If any of the above sounds like familiar, becoming a professional bartender might be the best choice you'll ever make for your wallet, your sanity, and your future career prospects.

It's a Skill You Can Truly Take Anywhere

Professional bartending in Illinois can open doors wide across the service industry spectrum and at varying levels in today's economy. Bartenders are in high demand in all types of venues, from luxurious hotels and sold-out concerts to swanky special events and exclusive outdoor weddings-and at every happy hour, local's corner bar, and social event in between.

A good bartender should know everything from how to change a keg to how to mix a proper Love Sizzurp, and they're expected to be able to adapt to any situation spur-of-the-moment. Any bartender worth his or her salt is just as comfortable slinging drinks as they are in talking an unruly patron out of playing yet another rendition of 'Sweet Caroline' on the jukebox.

In fact, in many niche markets, a bartender is expected to know more than basic drink recipes, like how to make a Cuba Libre (that's a rum and coke, for those not yet in the know). A veteran bartender won't flinch when asked for a Velvet Goldmine or a Sazerac. A reliable bartender is skilled at multi-tasking, and can often be expected to harness the skills of a bar back-otherwise known as the bar stocking assistant--and cocktail server, in addition to being master of all things mixology.

If you're not sure that confining yourself to a single job description is for you, check out these exciting alternative takes on a potential career path in bartending:

And those trends don't seem to be going anywhere. According to industry experts, the era of the craft cocktail is just beginning. In 2016, we can expect even more libations in line with seasonal produce and themed menus.

Convinced yet? The Opportunities are Endless

If you're thinking about getting into the service industry in Illinois but don't have any experience-don't worry. While you'll be hard-pressed to find a general restaurant manager or food and beverage director at any respected establishment who hasn't spent some time behind the stick to get to where they are today, bartending can help open those doors for you-in fact, it's often a prerequisite to any decent-paying restaurant management position.

To learn more about what it takes to become a professional bartender, consider these steps to make a seamless transition from your day job to your new career:

School is (Not) Out for Summer

Unless you have tons of front-of-house service industry experience and a dedicated manager willing to give you a chance behind the bar, you will likely need at least some formal training and probably a responsible vendor license or two. But hey, that's why you will get paid the big bucks, and (mostly) in cash, right?

To be fair, bartending (especially during those profitable weekend shifts) is often a coveted position that takes years to work up to. Why not give yourself an edge by showing up with credentials?

There are as many bartending school programs that allow you to work in Illinois as there are bars. Deciding between an online course, a local course, or one that specializes in a certain part of the market (think: casinos) can be a difficult choice. Here are some key points to consider before making the leap:

Cost of Attendance

Bartending classes can last from one day to two weeks and cost between $149 and $600, including all books, supplies, and materials.

Additional requirements

If you're looking for an exciting service-industry skill that has substantial cash flow, a stable future, and an ever-expanding career path-bartending may be exactly what you've been searching for. If you don't have tons of experience behind the bar and don't have time to struggle your way up the service-industry ladder for the next few years, a certificate from a licensed bartending school may be just what you need to get your foot in the door.















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