How to Become a Bartender in Illinois

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Bartenders not only server drinks, they stock shelves, too.
Bartenders not only server drinks, they stock shelves, too. (Image: Hemera Technologies/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Being a bartender is more than just serving drinks and making small talk with your customers. Bartenders must also help stock the liquor in the bar, change kegs, use equipment properly, waste no product and ask for age identification from many of their customers. The Illinois Liquor Control Commission requires bartenders to complete a beverage alcohol sellers and servers education and training program before they can work as a bartender.

Meet the minimum age requirement of 21. If under 21, you cannot sell alcohol in the state of Illinois.

Enroll in a bartending school. Illinois has several bartending schools located throughout the state. Most schools last for two weeks with a curriculum that includes: beverage alcohol sellers and servers education and training (BASSETT), drink mixing, product knowledge, presentation and more.

Submit an application for a BASSET license to the Illinois Liquor Control Commission. Along with the application, include a copy of your bartending school certificate of completion and BASSET training. As of 2011, the application fee was $250.

Practice your craft while applying for bartending jobs in your city. Depending on the bartending school you attend, you may receive job placement assistance. When applying for a job, you will have to mix drinks for your prospective employers.

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