Pros and Cons of Online Bartending Schools

Online bartending schools are a popular method of learning the skills and recipes of the bartending profession. Tending bar is a fun and intriguing method of earning a living, paying for an education or as a secondary income. The pay is usually quite lucrative although the hours can be long and go on long into a night. People skills are necessary and the ability to retain the hundreds of drink mixes an absolute must.

Online bartending schools are an option for those who wish to learn this trade. There are many pros and cons to this type of coursework but only you can decide whether this education is right for you.


Most online bartending schools have flexible classes to accomadate your busy schedule. This allows you to work another job, care for children or go to school and then study and learn during your free hours.

Online bartending schools are usually much less expensive than actual bartending schools. They have less overhead and can handle more students at one time, therefore creating a win-win situation for both the company and the student.

Many online schools offer study aids for memorization and lists of drink recipes for referral.  They also have live videos to demonstrate how to mix the many and varied cocktails.

Transportation is not an issue. If you live in an isolated area or there are no bartending schools in the city in which you live, studying online is an option that does not require gas, driving time or a school wardrobe.


An online bartending school will assume you have the proper equipment to work with. It will be your responsibility to purchase and gather a wine and beer openers, empty bottles and other equipment.  A physical school would supply most of your needs although you would need to purchase some of the equipment before beginning employment.

Interaction between students and teacher can create a more conducive learning environment. Online bartending schools have little or none of this for their students. Student input is limited and students may be hesitant to ask questions and provide concerns via the Internet. A real live instructor will ensure you stay on task, are handling bottles and equipment properly and are measuring out the proper pours.

A freestanding school is more structured and will be more concerned with attendance and tardiness . They may also be more flexible as far as payment plans and making up missed classed due to schedule conflicts and emergencies. Online schools may require a commitment level that some individuals are not capable of.

An physical school will place the student in an mock bar atmosphere. It is difficult to learn the organization and set-up of a bar without having one in front of you for training purposes.  

Only you can decide which type of school is best for your needs. If you are a disciplined student and have had some exposure to the club industry, an online bartending school may be the best choice. If you need structure, consistent feedback and are new to bartending, an physical classroom situation may be your best alternative.