Best Bartending Schools in San Diego

  • By: BT Staff
  • Date: January 20, 2024
  • Time to read: 4 min.

Are you looking to start a career as a bartender in San Diego? Check out our list of the best bartending schools in the city, offering top-notch training and the skills you need to succeed in this competitive field.

Bartending Schools Around San Diego, California

Here is a list of some of the best-rated bartending schools in San Diego.

Gaslamp Bartending School

Gaslamp Bartending School offers a unique program that guarantees the best bartending training and success rate. The school’s founder and head instructor, Nino Nunziante, is a renowned hospitality industry leader in San Diego with over 15 years of bartending experience at the hottest bars and restaurants in the city. With Nino’s expertise in bar management and consulting, Gaslamp Bartending School provides knowledge and training that cannot be found anywhere else.

Unlike other schools, Gaslamp Bartending School spends a college semester’s worth of time working one-on-one with its students rather than relying on books or over-packed classes. With this approach, students can achieve elite bartending status in just 1-2 weeks, and the school extends the program for free until they pass. The school’s priority is its students’ success, and the program is highly structured to ensure they receive the best training.

Gaslamp Bartending School has two locations, this one in San Diego and the Inland Empire Bartending School in Riverside.

8340 Clairemont Mesa Blvd #202 San Diego, CA 92111

Phone: (858) 334-3756


National Bartenders School & Staffing

The National Bartending School offers an educational experience with flexible scheduling six days a week. With a world-class mock bar for practical training, knowledgeable staff and instructors guide students on their mixology journey.

They teach skills such as opening and closing procedures, mixology of over 200 drinks, free pouring, inventory control, liquor laws and liability, customer service, bar setup and breakdown, garnishes, working under pressure, and using bar tools.

In addition to the core mixology course, the school offers flair bartending, bar management, and TIPs certification options. The program emphasises practical experience and instruction to streamline drink knowledge.

5140 Waring Rd., San Diego, CA 92120

Phone: (619) 281-2345


Mixology Classes

In addition to these two well-known schools, several cocktail and mixology classes are offered by other companies.

Snake Oil Cocktails

Snake Oil Cocktail Company’s real-world-meets-virtual-world interactive mixology experience combines physical and virtual interactive elements, with Snake Oil providing all the necessary supplies to start the party.

Their Virtual Barstool experience is designed to elevate your spirits, up your craft cocktail game, and forge a deeper connection between you and your remote team.

The 1-hour Virtual Barstool experience showcases the history and origins of various spirits and liqueurs, covering the basics of bartending, cocktail-building techniques, and how to balance the perfect cocktail. Each team member will receive a physical Bar Kit with everything needed to make the cocktails and an invite to your private Zoom to join the virtual bar experience.


The Beverage Botanist

Are you looking to liven up your next gathering with a sustainable twist? Look no further than the private mixology workshops and spirit tastings offered by a knowledgeable guide who cares about your time. These interactive classes and tastings offer mixology education and spirits education, providing a holistic and engaging activity for your corporate team-building and special celebrations.

If you want to elevate your special occasion, consider the bartending and hospitality services this guide offers. With a focus on mindful mixology and sustainable practices, they create an intimate setting with a chic, cosy ambience that complements your discerning tastes and delivers a unique experience to your guests. With consciously curated packages, you can upgrade your special celebrations and bring enlightened drinking to your event.


San Diego Bartending Schools FAQ

How do I become a bartender in California?

To obtain a bartending certificate in California, you must attend school and complete a Responsible Beverage Service (RBS) training program approved by the State of California.

See this article on how to become a bartender in California for more information.

How old do you have to be to bartend in San Diego?

In San Diego, as in anywhere in California, the legal age to bartend is 21 years old. This is because bartenders are responsible for serving alcohol and ensuring that customers who are consuming alcohol are of legal drinking age. Additionally, bartenders must be knowledgeable about laws related to alcohol consumption and must be able to identify and handle customers who are showing signs of intoxication.

How to get a bartending license in San Diego?

In San Diego, no specific bartending license or permit is required to work as a bartender. However, before you can start making money, bartenders must complete a Responsible Beverage Service (RBS) training bartender certification program.

In addition, some employers may require additional certifications, such as ServSafe or TIPS.

Do bartenders make good money in California?

Bartenders in California can make good money, depending on their experience, skills, and the type of establishment they work in. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median hourly wage for bartenders in California as of May 2020 was $14.42, higher than the national median.

How much do bartenders make in tips in San Diego?

The amount of tips that bartenders make in San Diego can vary widely depending on a variety of factors, including the type of establishment they work in, the level of experience they have, and the quality of service they provide. On average, bartenders in San Diego can earn between $20-$40 in tips per hour worked, in addition to their base hourly wage.

Hopefully, this has provided information on choosing the best bartending school for you.