How to Become a Bartender in Alabama

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

Do you have a passion for mixing drinks and making people happy? Becoming a bartender can be a great career path.

In this article, we will explore the requirements and steps to becoming a bartender in Alabama, from what the requirements to start are to what cities in the Yellowhammer State will fit your lifestyle. Whether you’re just starting or looking to take your bartending career to the next level, read on for all the tips and tricks you need to know.

Bartending License Requirements For Alabama

The good news is, despite its reputation for being a Temperance bastion years ago, Alabama is one of the easier places to get into the industry. Liquor sales in Alabama are managed by the Alabama Alcoholic Beverage Control Board, commonly known as the ABC Board. The ABC Board is headquartered in Montgomery, Alabama.

Do You Need a Bartending License in Alabama?

No, you don’t need a licence to bartend in Alabama. However, according to the APIS, you need to be at least 21 to bartend (or 19 if just serving drinks), and a supervisor or manager must be present.

Like many other states, Alabama does have “Dram shop liability laws”, meaning that businesses can be held liable for the actions of their customers who consume alcohol on their premises and subsequently cause harm to others. For this reason, many establishments will require staff have taken some kind of Responsible Vendor Program like TIPS

Minimum Age To Serve Alcoholic Beverages In Alabama

  • 19 to serve alcohol at a bar, restaurant or other establishments.
  • 21 to bartend

However, if you want to get into the industry early, Alabama law does allow 16-year-olds to work as busboys, janitors, dishwashers, cooks, hostesses, or seaters.

On the other hand, if you’re looking for a drink, you must be 21 to order that beer.

What Is the Job Market Like for Bartenders in Alabama?

The job market for bartenders in Alabama is generally stable, with a steady demand for skilled and experienced bartenders in various establishments. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were over 4,500 bartenders employed in Alabama as of May 2020, with a median hourly wage of $13.63.

The job market can vary depending on the location, with larger cities such as Birmingham and Mobile having more opportunities for bartenders in upscale bars and restaurants. In contrast, smaller towns may have fewer job openings.

How Much Do Bartenders Make Hourly in Alabama?

According to websites like Indeed and Intuit, the average base salary for a bartender in Alabama is $13.63 or $27,000 per year as of 2023, according to Intuit Mint’s data based on tax returns. This will depend on where you work, though.

What Cities Are Good Places for Bartending Work?

Several cities in Alabama offer good opportunities for bartending work, depending on the type of establishment and atmosphere you are looking for. Here are some examples:

  • Birmingham – As the largest city in Alabama, Birmingham has a thriving bar and restaurant scene with various upscale and trendy establishments. Some popular areas for bartending work include the downtown and Five Points South neighbourhoods.
  • Mobile – Located on the Gulf Coast, Mobile has a vibrant nightlife scene with many bars and restaurants offering casual and upscale options. The downtown area is trendy for bartending work.
  • Tuscaloosa – Home to the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa has a bustling bar scene with many sports bars and pubs that cater to the college crowd. The strip near the university campus is a popular area for bartending work. This might be a good option if you’re looking for a college job as a bartender.
  • Huntsville – As a growing city with a diverse population, Huntsville has a range of bars and restaurants offering different atmospheres and experiences. The downtown area and the Bridge Street Town Center are popular spots for bartending work.
  • Gulf Shores/Orange Beach – Located on the Gulf Coast, these beach towns offer many opportunities for bartending work in bars and restaurants catering to tourists and locals alike.

If you’re new to the state, it pays to visit a few of these cities to find somewhere that fits your style.


In conclusion, becoming a bartender in Alabama can be a rewarding and lucrative career choice. While there are no specific licensing requirements in Alabama, you’ll need to be at least 21 years old to get behind the bar and having some training or certification will help your career.

Cities like Birmingham, Mobile, Tuscaloosa, Huntsville, and Gulf Shores/Orange Beach offer good opportunities for bartending work, depending on the type of establishment and atmosphere you are looking for. With the right training, experience, and willingness to work hard, you can build a successful career as a bartender in Alabama.

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