Nevada Bartending License Requirements

  • By: BT Staff
  • Date: February 26, 2024
  • Time to read: 6 min.

Are you considering a career in bartending in the Silver State? If so, getting your Nevada bartending license is a critical first step. Understanding the process and requirements is essential, and this article aims to guide you through all the necessary steps.

Bartending License Requirements for Nevada

Do You Need a License To Serve Alcohol in Nevada?

Yes, you do need a license to serve alcohol in Nevada. This license is often referred to as an Alcohol Education Card or a Nevada Bartending License. It’s mandatory for anyone serving, selling, or handling alcohol within the state. This card ensures that the holder is knowledgeable about serving alcohol responsibly, recognizing signs of intoxication, checking IDs accurately, and understanding Nevada’s alcohol laws.

How Old Do You Have To Be to Bartend in Nevada?

You must be at least 21 to bartend or serve alcohol in Nevada, according to the APIS.

ACT Card

If your employer requires you to receive an Alcohol Awareness Training Card, visit the Nevada Alcoholic Beverage Control website. You will need to take training from an approved list of trainers.

What Is the Job Market Like for Bartenders in Nevada

The job market for bartenders in Nevada is generally quite active and robust, primarily due to the state’s vibrant hospitality and entertainment industry.

Moreover, Nevada frequently hosts large events like conventions, music festivals, and sporting events, often requiring additional temporary bartending staff.

How Much Money Do Bartenders Make in Nevada?

According to websites like Indeed and Intuit, the average base salary for a bartender in Nevada is $11.61 or $26,500 per year as of 2023, according to Intuit Mint’s data based on tax returns.

What Cities Are Good Places for Bartending Work in Nevada?

Nevada offers a vibrant hospitality scene, with several cities that are excellent for bartenders looking to embark on or further their careers. Here are some cities that stand out:

  • Las Vegas: Known as the world’s entertainment capital, Las Vegas is arguably the best city in Nevada to work as a bartender. With countless casinos, restaurants, clubs, and hotels, there is always a demand for skilled bartenders. Opportunities vary from high-end cocktail lounges to bustling nightclub scenes, and the tips can be substantial due to the high volume of tourists.
  • Reno: Often referred to as “The Biggest Little City in the World,” Reno offers a bustling nightlife scene with many casinos, bars, and restaurants. There is a demand for bartenders in the city’s established venues and new, up-and-coming hotspots.
  • Henderson: As one of the fastest-growing cities in Nevada, Henderson has a burgeoning food and drink scene. Its proximity to Las Vegas also means there’s potential for spillover tourism, making it a good location for bartending.
  • Sparks: Close to Reno, Sparks is known for its casinos and restaurants. The city hosts events like the Nugget Rib Cook-off, attracting large crowds and increasing bartender demand.
  • Lake Tahoe: While not a city, the Lake Tahoe area, straddling Nevada and California, is a major tourist destination. It features numerous resorts, restaurants, and bars where bartenders can find employment, especially during the ski season.

Remember, wherever you choose to work as a bartender in Nevada, it’s essential to have an Alcohol Education Card, or Nevada Bartending License, to ensure you understand the state’s alcohol laws and can serve responsibly.

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Nevada Bartending FAQ

These are some questions people ask about becoming a bartender in Nevada.

How do you become a licensed bartender in Nevada?

You must obtain a Nevada Alcohol Awareness Training card and meet the age requirements.

  • 21 years old
  • A background check may be required depending on the jurisdiction.

Do I need a bartending license in Las Vegas?

Yes, to serve alcohol in Las Vegas, you must get your Nevada Alcohol Awareness Training (TAM) card by completing the required alcohol awareness training.


Do you need to join a union to work in Las Vegas?

It depends on the establishment you are applying to. To become a Las Vegas Bartenders Union member, you first need to secure a job at a union-associated establishment, typically larger hotels situated on the Strip. After gaining employment, you’ll join the Union and commence a 6-month training program at the Union’s school, focusing on memorizing drink recipes. Often, these union establishments initially employ you as a bar back, with the opportunity for promotion to bartender within 6-12 months.

Alternatively, non-union roles are more common at smaller casinos and venues off the Strip. These places offer a great entry point for aspiring bartenders and the advantage of immediately starting work in a bartending position.

How much does it cost to get a bartending license in Nevada?

You only need the Nevada Alcohol Training or TAM card. Taking the training and test can cost as little as $25. Just ensure you get it from an approved list of trainers and it’s valid in the jurisdiction you plan to work in.

Note some of the schools on the list are full bartending schools; if you need the ACT Card, ask if they offer that.

What cards do you need to bartend in Vegas?

All bartenders in Las Vegas will need an Alcohol Awareness Card. To get the Alcohol card, you register online, watch the safety video, and then go into the testing office to pick up the card. You must have your alcohol card on your person at all times while working.

All bartenders in Las Vegas will need a Food Handlers Card (health card). To get the health card, you register online and watch the safety video, then go into the testing office to pick up the card. You must always have your health card on your person while working.

What’s the difference between a TAM Card and an Alcohol Awareness Card?

While both the TAM Card and an Alcohol Awareness Card meet Nevada’s legal requirements, the TAM Card offers superior education due to its comprehensive and regularly updated content. Although several providers can issue an alcohol awareness card, only we can provide the official TAM Card – the one many employers seek. Therefore, all Nevada hospitality workers needing an alcohol awareness card should consider our superior TAM Card training.

More information here:

What do you need to serve alcohol in Las Vegas?

In Las Vegas, bartenders must have an Alcohol Awareness Card (also called a TAM card) and a Food Handlers Card. Obtain both by registering online, viewing safety videos, and picking up the cards from the testing office. Always carry these cards while working.

Alcohol Awareness Cards are valid for four years from the date of issue.

Can someone under 21 sit at a bar in Nevada?

No, kids under 21 can not purchase, consume or even be in establishments licensed to serve alcohol.

Depending on the jurisdiction, kids under 21 might be able to enter a restaurant with their parents (but can’t drink). It’s best to check ahead of time.

According to our research, Las Vegas does not allow kids in bars or casinos, but restaurants seem okay.

What time is last call in Las Vegas?

Bars in Los Vegas can stay open 24 hours if they choose. If you’re in a casino or on the main strip, you can expect to get a drink anytime, day or night, while other parts of Vegas may close earlier if it doesn’t make business sense to stay open.

Nevada has no state laws on mandatory closing times for bars, taverns, or saloons, but Individual jurisdictions can set their own closing time.


Here are some resources you might find helpful.


The opportunities in the Silver State are as sparkling as its famous Las Vegas Strip. Whether you’re a seasoned bartender or a novice to the industry, there’s a place for you in Nevada’s bustling hospitality scene.

So why wait? Get started on your journey today. Register for your Alcohol Education Card, polish up those mixology skills, and step into the vibrant world of Nevada bartending. Remember, your next big opportunity could be just around the corner in the state that never sleeps. Cheers to your success in Nevada’s thriving bartending scene!

If you’re interested in bartending in other American states, we’ve written an article on how to get a bartending license in each American state.