How to Start Bartending in Los Angeles

Bartending in Los Angeles is an exciting and rewarding career path. With the vibrant nightlife and diverse culinary scene, Los Angeles offers numerous opportunities for aspiring bartenders.

This guide will walk you through the process of becoming a certified bartender in Los Angeles, including the necessary training, certification, and other essential information.


Becoming a Certified Bartender in California

Starting July 1, 2022, the California Department of Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC) requires all bartenders to earn their license before serving alcohol. Here’s a step-by-step guide to becoming a certified bartender in California:

Responsible Beverage Service (RBS) Training

Obtain RBS Training from an ABC accredited provider within 60 days from the date of hire. The training covers state laws, regulations, the societal impact of alcohol, and intervention skills training.

California RBS Certification

Register through the California RBS Portal, complete the online application, and pay the application fee of $3.00.

Select an Approved RBS Provider

Visit an approved RBS provider, such as TIPS, and select the TIPS California Responsible Beverage Server training course.

Complete the Training and Exam

Complete the TIPS California RBS training course and pass the TIPS exam. The course takes 2-4 hours, and you must score at least 70% to receive your certification.

License Validity

Your license is valid for three (3) years.


California Alcohol Laws

Understanding the alcohol laws in California is essential for anyone looking to start bartending in Los Angeles. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Age to Consume: 21
  • Age to Pour: 21
  • Age to Sell: 18 (with certain restrictions)
  • Age to Serve: 21 (with exceptions for bona fide public eating places)
  • Acceptable Forms of ID: Government-issued ID with a current description and picture.


Approved RBS Trainers

The state of California has approved more than 30 training providers, both online and in-person. Some recommended providers include Serving Alcohol and TIPS.


Other Costs and Requirements

Becoming a bartender involves more than just training and certification. Here are some additional costs and requirements to consider:

State Registration Fee

$3.00 for registration with the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control.

Minimum Age

18 years old to be a server in a restaurant, 21 years old to work at a bar.

Other Requirements

Driver’s License, Good Communication Skills, Proper non-slip bartending shoes, Knowledge of basic drink recipes.


Why Get Alcohol Training in California?

Server training helps reduce alcohol violations and makes you more hirable by quality employers. It also provides protection in the event of an alcohol-involved incident.


Community Insights

A Reddit thread in the Los Angeles community also highlights the interest in becoming a bartender and the need for reputable certification.

Ready to Start Bartending in LA?

Becoming a bartender in Los Angeles is an exciting opportunity, and with the right guidance, you can embark on a fulfilling career.

Whether you’re new to the industry or looking to enhance your skills, the National Bartenders School in Los Angeles offers comprehensive courses tailored to your needs.