Bartending can be a lucrative and exciting career in Alaska, but it’s essential to understand the requirements and job market before pursuing this path.
The job market for bartenders in the Land of the Midnight Sun can vary by region and season, with peak tourism months offering the most opportunities. Anchorage, Fairbanks, Juneau, and Sitka are all cities with thriving bar scenes and job prospects for skilled bartenders.
Read on to learn more about the requirements and opportunities for bartenders in Alaska.
Bartending License Requirements for Alaska
To become a bartender in Alaska, you’ll need to complete approved alcohol server training and be at least 21 years old.
Do You Need a Bartending License in Alaska?
Yes, in Alaska, all servers of alcoholic beverages, their supervisors, and security personnel working in licensed businesses must complete approved alcohol server training within 30 days of employment. Additionally, to maintain their certification, each server, supervisor, or security person must renew their training every three years.
For a list of approved training courses, see the Alcohol & Marijuana Control Office website.
Training can be done online or in person, depending on the trainer. Courses usually take four to five hours and cost between $40 and $70. Here are three currently listed on the website:
- Alaska CHARR, Training for Alcohol Professionals website
- Alaska Hospitality Retailers’ website
- Rserving website
Check the official AMC website for the latest list.
Minimum Age Required To Serve Alcoholic Beverages in Alaska
The minimum age to bartend or serve alcohol in Alaska is 21, according to the APIS.
To order a drink, you must be 21 or over.
What Is the Job Market Like for Bartenders in Alaska?
The job market for bartenders in Alaska can vary depending on the region and time of year. According to the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development, the job market for bartenders in Alaska is projected to grow by 5.6% from 2019 to 2029
During the peak tourism season, which typically runs from May to September, there is a higher demand for bartenders in popular tourist destinations such as Anchorage, Fairbanks, and Juneau. However, during the off-season, job opportunities can be more limited.
What Cities Are Good Places for Bartending Work?
Several towns and cities in Alaska may offer good opportunities for bartending work, depending on factors such as population size, tourism, and the number of establishments that serve alcohol, including:
- Anchorage – Anchorage is the largest city in Alaska and has a bustling bar scene with a variety of bars and restaurants that cater to both locals and tourists. Bartenders in Anchorage can earn higher wages and tips during the peak tourism season from May to September.
- Fairbanks – Fairbanks is the second-largest city in the state and also offers a variety of bars and restaurants that provide job opportunities for bartenders. Bartenders with experience working in high-volume bars and restaurants or who possess specialized skills, such as mixology or knowledge of local ingredients, may have an advantage in finding employment in Fairbanks.
- Juneau – Juneau, the state capital, has a vibrant downtown area with several popular bars and restaurants that offer job opportunities for bartenders. The city is bustling during the summer when cruise ships dock in the port, bringing in many tourists.
- Sitka – Sitka is a scenic coastal town known for its thriving seafood industry and also has a growing bar scene with opportunities for skilled bartenders. Bartenders in Sitka can expect to work in a more intimate and personalized setting, catering to locals and visitors.
If you’ve never been to Alaska, do some online research before visiting, websites like the Alaska.gov website have some information on finding work.
In conclusion, becoming a bartender in Alaska requires completing approved alcohol server training and being at least 21 years old.
The job market for bartenders can vary depending on the region and time of year, with peak tourism season offering higher demand for bartenders in popular tourist destinations. Anchorage, Fairbanks, Juneau, and Sitka are among the cities in Alaska that provide good opportunities for bartending work.
With the right training, skills, and experience, bartending can be a rewarding career in The Final Frontier.
If you’re interested in bartending in other American states, we’ve written an article about bartending requirements across America here.