How To Become a Bartender in Arizona

  • By: BT Staff
  • Date: November 25, 2022
  • Time to read: 4 min.

Bartending is a fun and lucrative job that you can do in Arizona. If you want to become a bartender in Arizona, it’s important to be prepared to know what will be required of you when you start applying at local restaurants and bars. 

Every state, including Arizona, has its own rules governing who can work as a bartender and what certifications or licenses (if any) are required). Arizona has pretty straightforward laws about bartending. The only state requirement is that all bartenders must be 19 or older to bartend in Arizona. 

To prepare to get a bartending job quickly and easily in Arizona, this article will discuss what you might want to know about before you start interviewing. We will also break down laws and other important details like certifications and wage questions you might encounter as a bartender in Arizona. 

Who Can Serve Alcohol in Arizona?

As far as the state of Arizona is concerned, anyone over 19 can serve alcohol as a bartender or server. There are no other statewide laws governing the bartending industry in Arizona.

Do You Have To Be of Legal Drinking Age To Serve Alcohol in Arizona?

The legal drinking age for purchasing and/or being served alcoholic beverages in a bar or restaurant in the United States is 21 years old. 

Most states, including Arizona, also have their own secondary requirement for what age you can serve alcohol in a food and beverage establishment. Arizona does not require alcohol servers to be 21 (legal drinking age); they require them to be 19 years of age to serve alcohol as a bartender or server. 

Laws have been known to change, so it’s important to check this information regularly if you are on the younger side of the age range. If laws change while you are a bartender, your employer will likely make you aware if the changes impact the conditions of your employment.

Does Arizona Require a Bartender License or Certification?

Although the state of Arizona does not have any specific training or certification that is required for all bartenders to complete, you may be asked to take a training or obtain a certification for your specific employer’s requirements. 

As long as you are of legal age to serve alcohol in Arizona, you can apply for any bartending job in the state. 

During the application process, you might encounter additional requirements that your potential employer may require of you, including TIPs certifications, Basic Title 4 Certification, or even company-sponsored alcohol training. This is an important question to ask when you are interviewing for bartending jobs. 

What Is Basic Title 4 Certification?

The Basic Title 4 certification is the most common certification that a bar or restaurant will likely ask employees to take in the state of Arizona. It is not required by law in Arizona, but many employers will require it for employment. 

The Basic Title 4 training is designed to educate anyone working in the food and beverage service industry on Arizona liquor laws. The training certification is good for three years upon completion and is often required for all employees in an establishment that serves alcohol. 

Are There Different Types of Basic Title 4 Certifications?

There are two main Basic Title 4 certification options: basic training and management training. Both only need to be taken every 3 years to remain current, and depending on your employer, you may or may not be required to take one or both.

The basic training is designed for servers, bartenders, bar security, and other support personnel to take. This is a general training designed to teach the basics about the most current Arizona liquor laws. 

The management training is a bit more in-depth. 

It is required for everyone who works at the management, ownership, and shareholder level in an establishment that serves alcohol. This certification covers more about daily operations, employing and managing staff that is serving alcohol, and more. 

Where Can I Take a Basic Title 4 Certification Class?

There are several different providers that offer the Basic Title 4 training in Arizona. A full list of training providers can be found on the Arizona Department of Liquor Licenses and Control website

The great thing about the Basic Title 4 certification is that most providers offer it completely online. This makes it easy to fit the training into your busy schedule without attending an in-person class that might be held at inopportune times. 

If you prefer a classroom setting, in-person class options are available, but you can choose what works best for you. 

How Much Does the Basic Title 4 Course Cost?

The cost for the Basic Title 4 certification varies between the different providers, but on average, it ranges from $20-$50.

How Much Do Bartenders Make Hourly in Arizona?

Bartenders in Arizona fall into the “Tipped Minimum Wage” category, earning $9.80 per hour. 

Many restaurants and bars may offer more competitive wages than the state minimum wage, but it will vary from establishment to establishment. Most bartenders rely on their tips for most of their income because it can greatly increase your hourly rate depending on where you work. 

Will a Criminal Background Prevent Me From Getting a Bartending Job in Arizona?

Arizona does not have any laws that prohibit someone with a criminal record from getting a job as a bartender in the state. 

Many bars and restaurants may perform their own background check as part of the pre-employment screening. If the criminal history is uncovered in the background check process, that may hinder the offering of employment depending on the company’s rules.

If this is going to be a concern for you, it’s important to be upfront with the interviewer and share your story. You might be able to work around their requirements if you offer the information willingly before it comes up in a background screen.