Become a Licensed Bartender in Louisiana

  • By: BT Staff
  • Date: January 20, 2024
  • Time to read: 6 min.

If you’re interested in pursuing a career as a bartender in Louisiana, one of the first steps you’ll need to take is to obtain a bartender license. A Louisiana bartender license is required by law for anyone who wants to serve alcohol in the state, and it demonstrates that you have the necessary skills and knowledge to serve alcohol responsibly and safely.

In this blog post, we’ll provide you with a comprehensive guide on how to become a licensed bartender in Louisiana. We’ll cover everything from the requirements for obtaining a license to the application process, training and certification, job opportunities, and more. Whether you’re just starting out in the hospitality industry or looking to take your bartending career to the next level, this post will provide you with the information you need to succeed.

Do You Need a Bartending License in Louisiana?

Yes, any individual who is employed to sell or serve alcoholic beverages in Louisiana is required to complete a Responsible Vendor Training course and obtain a Responsible Vendor Bar Card within 45 days of being hired. This is a mandatory requirement set forth by the state of Louisiana to ensure that those serving alcohol are knowledgeable and responsible in their practices.

Upon completing the RV course successfully, students are issued an RV Server Permit, commonly called the Louisiana bartender’s license or the “RV Bar Card.”

All Louisiana server permits are granted and managed by the Louisiana Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control (ATC).

Bartending License Requirements for Louisiana

In addition to getting your Louisiana ATC Bar Card, there are some other requirements before you can start bartending.

Minimum Age To Serve Alcoholic Beverages In Louisiana:

You can start bartending at 18 in Louisiana, according to the APIS. There aren’t separate classes for servers and bartenders who mix drinks as in some other states.

Louisiana Responsible Vendor Program Details

Regularly scheduled RV classes are available throughout Louisiana for $25 per person. These classes typically run for 2 ½ to 3 hours and include a test that must be passed to obtain your Responsible Vendor Server Card.

Once you have received your RV permit, it will be valid for four years, after which it must be renewed. It’s important to note that the ATC no longer mails permits to your home address.

Prospective bartenders and servers in Louisiana can take advantage of the many resources available on the ATC website’s RV section, making the registration process more straightforward. In addition, you can take the RV course in person in a classroom setting or online from the comfort of your own home. Read on to learn more about online and offline course providers, and for a full list of companies offering RV training in Louisiana, click here.

What Is the Job Market Like for Bartenders in Louisiana?

The job market for bartenders in Louisiana can vary depending on the location and type of establishment. In larger cities like New Orleans, Baton Rouge, and Lafayette, bartenders typically have more job opportunities due to the higher demand for nightlife and entertainment. However, competition for these positions can be steep due to the many applicants.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of bartenders in Louisiana is projected to grow at a rate of 8.3% from 2019 to 2029, which is faster than the average for all occupations. This growth is due to the continued demand for alcoholic beverages and the expansion of the hospitality industry in Louisiana.

Overall, while the competition for bartending jobs in Louisiana can be tough, there are opportunities for those with the necessary skills, experience, and licenses. Networking, gaining experience and having a positive attitude can help you find a bartending job in Louisiana.

What Cities Are Good Places for Bartending Work in Louisiana?

Several cities in Louisiana offer good opportunities for bartending work, depending on personal preferences and qualifications.

  • New Orleans is known for its vibrant nightlife and has many bars, restaurants, and music venues. Bartenders in New Orleans can expect to make good money, especially during the busy Mardi Gras season.
  • Baton Rouge, the state capital, also has a thriving bar scene with various establishments, from upscale lounges to sports bars. The city is home to Louisiana State University, meaning a significant student population often frequents bars and restaurants.
  • Lafayette, located in the state’s southwestern region, is another city that offers opportunities for bartenders. Known for its Cajun culture and live music scene, Lafayette has various bars and restaurants catering to locals and tourists alike.

Other cities in Louisiana with active bar scenes include Lake Charles, Shreveport, and Alexandria. Each of these cities has its unique character and culture, offering a range of options for those seeking bartending work.

How Much Money Do Bartenders Make in Louisiana?

According to websites like Indeed and Intuit, the average base salary for a bartender in Louisiana is $12.2 or $26,000 per year as of 2023, according to Intuit Mint’s data based on tax returns.

However, some bartenders may earn more than this, depending on their skill level and the type of establishment they work in. For example, bartenders who work in upscale restaurants, hotels, and nightclubs may earn higher wages and tips than those who work in more casual bars and pubs.

Louisiana Bartender License FAQ

Here are some questions people often ask about becoming a bartender in Louisiana.

Do I Need To Undergo a Background Check To Obtain a Bartender License in Louisiana?

Depending on your employer, you may need a background check, including fingerprinting and a criminal history check. This isn’t a state requirement, though.

Can You Work as a Bartender in Louisiana With a Felony Conviction?

According to FelonyRecordHub, only Indiana and Washington State have laws prohibiting you from becoming a bartender. However, other sources say in Louisiana, convicted felons are prohibited by law from working in a bar in any capacity unless they completed their sentence at least ten years ago and the crime they were convicted of was not violent.

Does Louisiana Have Dry and Wet Counties?

No, the majority of Louisiana allows the sale of alcohol. However, there are a few dry parishes and towns. The Louisiana Alcohol and Tobacco websites have a list here.

Do I Need a Bartending License to Work in Louisiana?

Yes, you need a Responsible Vendor Server Card, commonly known as the Louisiana bartending license or Bar Card, to legally serve alcohol in Louisiana.

What Is the Process for Getting a Louisiana Bartending License?

To get a Louisiana bartending license, you must attend a Responsible Vendor (RV) class within 45 days of being hired, pass the test, and receive your RV Server Permit. The permit is valid for four years and can be obtained in person or online.

Can I Take the Responsible Vendor Class Online?

Yes, you can take the RV class in person or online from the comfort of your home.

How Much Does the Responsible Vendor Class Cost?

The RV class costs $25 per person.

Can I Renew My Louisiana Bartending License?

Yes, you can renew your RV Server Permit every four years by retaking the RV class and passing the test.


If you’re interested in pursuing a career as a bartender in Louisiana, obtaining a bartender license is a mandatory requirement. The job market for bartenders in Louisiana is projected to grow faster than the average for all occupations. The state offers several cities with active bar scenes that offer opportunities for bartenders. Remember that networking, gaining experience, and having a positive attitude can help you find a bartending job in Louisiana.

If you’re interested in bartending in other American states, we’ve written an article about bartending requirements across America here.