Whether a full-time job or just a part-time moonlighting gig, bartending can be a fun and lucrative source of income. Since bars are frequented by people from all walks of life, bartenders need to be sociable and possess the ability to interact well with others. Of course, they also need to know how to make any and every drink that could be requested. Connecticut has several bartending schools to take beginners and turn them into experts, teaching the tricks of the trade and showing students what really goes on behind the bar.

Learn how to make a great margarita (credit: Nicole DiCicco)

Bartenders Academy
663 Lakewood Road
Waterbury, CT 06704
(203) 754-6000

Priding itself on recent graduates who have already been hired, Bartenders Academy offers flexible class schedules to fit students’ needs. Certification can be obtained by completing a one-week course, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. or 1:30 p.m. until 10 p.m. Similarly, there is a two-week course schedule which follows the same weekday format but with shorter classes: 9 a.m. until 1 p.m., 1:30 p.m. until 5:30 p.m. or 6 p.m. until 10 p.m. If none of those times during the week are convenient, Bartenders Academy also allows students to obtain certificates by completing five consecutive Saturday classes from 9 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. Liquor types and brands, liquor laws and regulations and sanitation and safety methods are just a few of the subjects students master at Bartenders Academy. Graduates are nationally certified through the TAM (Techniques of Alcohol Management) program so alumni can score jobs wherever life may take them.

Related: Top Secret Bars In Connecticut

Connecticut School of Bartending
76 Franklin St
Norwalk, CT 06360
(860) 886-1955

With small class sizes and one-on-one attention, Connecticut School of Bartending is a comfortable and reliable place for students to train for bartending jobs. Students are given their own personal work station to learn the bar with hands-on experience rather than waiting for their turn at a single station. For students in a hurry to land a job at their favorite hot spot, a one-week course is offered Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. The two-week course is offered Monday through Friday from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m. The total cost of tuition is $550 per student and students may enroll in classes at their convenience by applying online. Graduates are assisted with employment placement at restaurants, nightclubs, casinos, pubs and more.

Enjoy making great cocktails (credit: Nicole DiCicco)

Boston Bartenders
48 Silas Deane Highway
Wethersfield, CT 06109
(860) 296-0141

There is no need to head up to Beantown to enroll as a student of Boston Bartenders. The well-known school has two locations in Connecticut: centrally located Wethersfield and Hamden. Boston Bartenders offers comprehensive bartending training as well as bar-management training which includes topics such as bar setup, opening and closing, inventory controls, board of health and more. On campus, students can find a current list of available bartending positions and students’ ID cards enable them to obtain placement assistance at any New England location. A big perk of Boston Bartenders is that if a potential student is skeptical about registering, the school allows for a free class observation. This enables potential students to witness exactly what they would be doing if enrolled in the course and decide if it is right for them. Classes are offered during days, nights or on Saturdays, and the course cost is $500.

National Bartender’s School
501 Kings Highway E
Fairfield, CT 06825
(203) 338-8221

Graduates of National Bartender’s School rave about the fun and exciting atmosphere in which their classes are taught. Instructors have great personalities and senses of humor, keeping students energized and motivated as they are learning. Successful alumni are employed at a wide variety of establishments including the Stamford Mariott Hotel, Westport Inn, Ferris Hill Social Club, Capital Grille, Ash Creek Saloon, Mancusas Restaurant, Festivities Catering, Legends Club and many more. Mixology, or the art of mixing drinks, includes lessons in making martinis, cream drinks, wine cocktails, shots and shooters, specialty cocktails and more. Students also work with fresh ingredients to learn the art of properly garnishing beverages. Glassware is another focus so patrons don’t end up with a martini in a margarita glass. New classes begin every Monday and students can choose between a one-, two- or five-week class schedule. Classes are offered days, nights or Saturdays.

For people who enjoy flexible schedules, fun work environments and the ability to create good money from providing great service, bartending is an ideal career move. Even for those with day jobs or those in school, night-time and weekend bartending can provide a nice supplemental income. It is not uncommon for bartenders in Connecticut to walk home with $200 a night, just from tips. Check out one of Connecticut’s top bartending schools and begin a fun job that won’t feel like work at all.

Related: Best Irish Pubs In Connecticut

Nicole DiCicco is multimedia specialist in Connecticut who enjoys dancing, movies and live music. She writes about all the nightlife Connecticut has to offer. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.