Assist the bartender with whatever needs doing.
picture of Barback

Quick Stats


Salary Range
$16,000 – $25,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Barbacks do?

A Barback is the assistant to the Bartender at a restaurant, bar or catered event. In this position, you complete whatever tasks need done so that the Bartender doesn’t have to leave his or her position at the well.

Duties include slicing garnishes and refilling olive containers, making sure the celery and straws are full, and washing glasses. You support the Bartender by replacing blown kegs, carbon dioxide cartridges, and empty liquor bottles. This requires a strong back and confident attitude. Once the Bartender has all the supplies he or she needs, you assist at the bar by taking orders, plucking empty glasses from the counter, wiping down the bar, and collecting unattended tips for the tip jar. You help the Bartender with clean-up before calling it a night…or, more likely, early morning.

After the last drink is served, you receive a percentage (generally 15-20%) of the Bartender’s tips. So, it is in your best interest to support him/her in every way possible. It means money out of your pocket if the Bartender has to leave his or her station to get supplies or refill a bottle.

Barback is a great position for someone starting out who wishes to move into Bartending. So, if you’re a night owl “who” enjoys working with people in a fast-paced environment, becoming a Barback might be the place to start.

Should I be a Barback?

You should have a high school degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.
  • Team Player: You're able to listen, communicate, and work with tons of different people.
  • Levelheaded: You hold your emotions in check, even in tough situations.

  • Also known as: Bar Back, Bar Porter, Bar Runner

    How to become a Barback

    Most Barbacks have no higher education and get on-the-job training. Think about earning a Certificate or Associate's degree to increase your competitiveness in the field. Chart?chd=s:9acbaa&chl=no+college+%2893%25%29||associate%27s+%284%25%29|bachelor%27s+%282%25%29|master%27s+%281%25%29|&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,93,93
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