Things to Know About Bartending in Australia

Things to Know About Bartending in Australia

One of the easiest jobs to find when working abroad in Australia is bartending. Luckily for those of us looking for jobs, Australia is one of the easiest places to learn to bartend because of the laws in place to curb dangerous drinking. Jobs can be found in every city in Australia and the Outback pubs are always looking for employees. But there are a few things you'll need to know before finding your place behind the bar.


What You Need

Before going after a new job, first polish up your resume and print out copies to hand out to prospective employers. Make sure it has your Australian phone number or email address on it so that they can get in touch with you. Also take your Responsible Service of Alcohol course, which can be done in a day or online, to show the manager. This is a requirement of anyone serving alcohol in Australia, as it teaches you what you need to know about the local laws. If the bar has poker machines, you'll also need a RSG certificate for gaming, which can be taken with your RSA course. Courses usually cost between $40-80 and can be taken in conjunction with classes that teach you the basics of making cocktails.


Finding Work

Looking for bartending jobs can be easy if you know where to look. The first way is to go around the local bars, nightclubs and pubs to inquire directly about hiring. This is how I found my job, as you can often get an answer before the managers have posted the opening on a website. They're also more likely to remember you if you apply in person.

If you're not having any luck in person, use job posting sites like or Gumtree. It's also easy to register with a hospitality agency, which can provide you with work on a freelance basis, usually helping out with events.




Working at Bars

Bars in Australia are subject to regulation about how much alcohol can be poured. Many beer and wine glasses have lines on them, marking a standard pour. You also will be required to jigger pour, or pour into a shot glass, so that you aren’t overpouring for the customer. Guests can be kicked out of the establishment if they’re drunk, so keep an eye on them to alert your manager. The drinking age is 18 in Australia.

Apart from the strict alcohol laws, working at bars in Australia isn't all that different from those anywhere else in the world. Tipping isn't compulsory, but some customers will still tip you on top of your hourly wages of $15 per hour or more.


Beer Sizes

When someone asks you for a beer, they’re going to ask you either for a bottle (also known as a stubbie), or something on draft. Now here’s where it gets tricky. At any given bar, there are at least two sizes of beers. This differs by which state of Australia you’re in, but almost always it will be a pint, which is 20 ounces, and a schooner or middy, at 15 ounces. Some places offer an even smaller size, the pony or pot, at 5-10 ounces.


Types of Drinks

Most cocktails are typical of those other places in the world, but you might find different names for the same thing. Lemon lime and bitters is a common non-alcoholic drink, which mixes lemon lime soda with lime cordial or fresh lime juice and a top up of Angostura bitters.



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22 February 2020
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