How to Get a Bartending License in Mississippi

  • By: BT Staff
  • Date: January 20, 2024
  • Time to read: 3 min.

In the state of Mississippi, no formal qualifications are required to work as a bartender. However, many employers prefer to hire bartenders who have completed a bartending course or training program.

In this article, we’ll look at what is required to bartend in Mississippi and some of the places you might want to work.

Bartending License Requirements for Mississippi

Alcohol sales are regulated by Mississippi’s Department of Revenue, Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC). See their website for information on alcohol sales in Mississippi, including wet-dry maps categorized by beverage type, hours to purchase, and updates on alcohol regulations.

Do You Need a Bartending License in Mississippi?

No, there is no required bartender certificate to become a bartender in Mississippi, though most employers will want staff to have some responsible server training.

What is the Minimum Age To Serve Alcoholic Beverages In Mississippi?

The minimum age to serve alcohol in Mississippi is 18 and 21 to bartend or mix drinks, according to the APIS.

To order a drink, you must be 21 or over.

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

No, individuals convicted of a felony within the last three years before seeking employment or incarcerated within the previous 12 months are not qualified for employment at a permitted establishment. According to the Mississippi State Tax Commission, employers knowingly hiring these individuals will be subject to administrative fines and penalties.

What Is a Bar Card in Mississippi?

A “Bar Card” in Mississippi is another term for a bartending license or permit. It is obtained by completing a Responsible Vendor Program, which covers the legal responsibilities of serving alcohol, checking IDs, and preventing underage drinking. For more information, check with the trainer or school from which you are getting your responsible server training.

What Is the Job Market Like for Bartenders in Mississippi?

The hospitality industry in Mississippi has been growing in recent years, which could lead to more job opportunities for bartenders.

The economic outlook for bartenders in Mississippi is positive as the state’s hospitality industry continues to grow. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of bartenders in Mississippi is projected to grow 6.4% between 2019 and 2029, which is faster than the average for all occupations.

How Much Do Bartenders Make Hourly in Mississippi?

According to websites like Indeed and Intuit, the average base salary for a bartender in Mississippi is $12.91 or $23,000 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 Mississippi may offer good opportunities for bartending work, depending on factors such as population size, tourism, and the number of establishments that serve alcohol. Some of the cities worth considering include:

  • Jackson: As the state capital and largest city in Mississippi, Jackson has a thriving hospitality industry and a variety of bars, restaurants, and entertainment venues that may offer employment opportunities for bartenders.
  • Gulfport: Located on the Gulf of Mexico, Gulfport is a popular tourist destination with a range of bars, nightclubs, and casinos that employ bartenders.
  • Hattiesburg: As home to the University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg has a large student population and a vibrant nightlife scene with many bars and restaurants that may require student bartenders.
  • Oxford: Home to the University of Mississippi, Oxford is a popular college town with a bustling downtown area that includes many bars and restaurants.
  • Biloxi: Known for its casinos and beachfront attractions, Biloxi has a thriving hospitality industry that employs many bartenders.

Ultimately, the best cities for bartending work in Mississippi will depend on factors such as personal preferences, experience, and the availability of job openings.


In conclusion, while there is no mandatory bartending license or certificate required to work as a bartender in Mississippi, completing a responsible server training program can enhance your employment opportunities. The state’s hospitality industry is growing, which means there are many job opportunities for bartenders, particularly in cities such as Jackson, Gulfport, Hattiesburg, Oxford, and Biloxi.

Remember that wages may vary depending on location and experience. Still, bartending can be a lucrative and rewarding career path for those who enjoy working with people and have a passion for mixology.

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