Bartenders are below average when it comes to happiness.

At CareerExplorer, we conduct an ongoing survey with millions of people and ask them how satisfied they are with their careers. As it turns out, bartenders rate their career happiness 3.0 out of 5 stars which puts them in the bottom 35% of careers.

To put this into perspective, we compared how happy bartenders are to similar careers in the industry. Take a look at the results below:

Salaries and satisfaction ratings in similar careers

Career Satisfaction Avg Salary
Sommelier
3.4
$41k
Pastry chef
3.2
$26k
Baker
3.1
$30k
Bartender
3.0
$26k
Amusement attendant
3.0
$24k
Culinary chef
2.9
$50k
Barista
2.9
$25k
Caterer
2.9
$28k

So what does it mean to be happy in your career? Let’s break it down into different dimensions:

  • Salary: Are bartenders happy with their salary?
  • Meaning: Do bartenders find their jobs meaningful?
  • Personality fit: How well suited are people’s personalities to their everyday tasks as bartenders?
  • Work environment: How enjoyable are bartender’s work environments?
  • Skills utilization: Are bartenders making the best use of their abilities?

Are bartenders happy with their salary?

Bartenders rated their satisfaction with their salaries 3.1/5. Few are explicitly unhappy with their salaries, with most bartenders having generally positive views of their salary.

We asked bartenders how fairly compensated they are for their work.
Their response was:

3.1 out of 5 stars

4754 bartenders

5 Star
13%

13% of bartenders rated their compensation 5 stars

4 Star
27%

27% of bartenders rated their compensation 4 stars

3 Star
28%

28% of bartenders rated their compensation 3 stars

2 Star
19%

19% of bartenders rated their compensation 2 stars

1 Star
13%

13% of bartenders rated their compensation 1 stars

Do bartenders find their jobs meaningful?

On average, bartenders rate the meaningfulness of their work a 2.0/5. The majority of bartenders struggle to find any sort of meaning in their work, likely resulting in less satisfaction with the career overall.

We asked bartenders how meaningful they found their work.
Their response was:

2.0 out of 5 stars

4763 bartenders

5 Star
4%

4% of bartenders rated how meaningful they found their career 5 stars

4 Star
6%

6% of bartenders rated how meaningful they found their career 4 stars

3 Star
18%

18% of bartenders rated how meaningful they found their career 3 stars

2 Star
32%

32% of bartenders rated how meaningful they found their career 2 stars

1 Star
39%

39% of bartenders rated how meaningful they found their career 1 stars

How well are people’s personalities suited to everyday tasks as bartenders?

Bartenders rated their personality fit with their work an average of 4.1/5. The majority of bartenders find their personalities quite well suited to their work, with relatively few having complaints about their fit.

We asked bartenders how well their personalities fit into their careers.
Their response was:

4.1 out of 5 stars

5135 bartenders

5 Star
43%

43% of bartenders rated their career fit 5 stars

4 Star
33%

33% of bartenders rated their career fit 4 stars

3 Star
16%

16% of bartenders rated their career fit 3 stars

2 Star
6%

6% of bartenders rated their career fit 2 stars

1 Star
3%

3% of bartenders rated their career fit 1 stars

How enjoyable is a bartender’s work environment?

As a whole, bartenders rated their enjoyment of their work environment 3.5/5. A solid majority of bartenders enjoy their work environment, probably contributing to overall higher satisfaction with working as a bartender.

We asked bartenders how much they enjoyed their work environment.
Their response was:

3.5 out of 5 stars

5130 bartenders

5 Star
21%

21% of bartenders rated their work environment 5 stars

4 Star
32%

32% of bartenders rated their work environment 4 stars

3 Star
25%

25% of bartenders rated their work environment 3 stars

2 Star
15%

15% of bartenders rated their work environment 2 stars

1 Star
7%

7% of bartenders rated their work environment 1 stars

Are bartenders making the best use of their abilities?

Former bartenders on CareerExplorer have rated their skills utilization 2.4/5. Most feel that their skills are being underutilized in the career, probably leading to more general dissatisfaction with being a bartender.

We asked bartenders how well their abilities were used in their careers.
Their response was:

2.4 out of 5 stars

5139 bartenders

5 Star
9%

9% of bartenders rated their how well their skills were utilized in their career 5 stars

4 Star
11%

11% of bartenders rated their how well their skills were utilized in their career 4 stars

3 Star
22%

22% of bartenders rated their how well their skills were utilized in their career 3 stars

2 Star
30%

30% of bartenders rated their how well their skills were utilized in their career 2 stars

1 Star
28%

28% of bartenders rated their how well their skills were utilized in their career 1 stars