2440 Wilson Blvd
Arlington, VA 22201
703 841 9700
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Frequently Asked Questions
- I heard you don‘t have to go through bartending schools in order to become a bartender. Is that true?
Sure, it happens all the time. What people forget to tell you, however, is that before you get behind the bar, you have to put in months of “training” as a server. Also, don’t forget that there are other people in front of you that have been “waiting in line” to get behind the bar. It’s not as easy as you might think. Also, consider this: Let’s say you do get behind the bar… Your “trainer” probably got trained by someone who got trained by someone who got trained. In other words, you’ll be getting hand-me-down lessons from someone that probably won’t even have the patience to teach you proper techniques and drink recipes. You’ll be learning all their bad habits and, at the end of the day, you’ll know how to make a really good Rum and Coke at that particular bar.Try teaching someone how to speak English… It isn’t easy!
Here is the bottom line. About 1200 grads landed bartending jobs in 2010 and 2011 and over 1100 in 2012. You can see the people, the bars, and when they got hired. Real grads, real jobs, real dates. Is there another way to do this that can make that claim?
Here, at the Professional Bartending School, you will learn all you need to know in a matter of days, and you will be taught by certified trainers who will have the patience you need in order to learn all the basics of bartending. There really is no better way to learn how to bartend.
- What is the difference between online bartending schools and Bartending Schools with hands-on-training?
If you learned how to drive a car online, do you think any of your friends would let you drive their car your first time out? No, and that’s exactly how bar owners and managers feel about people that graduate from online bartending schools. Online bartending schools simply aren’t worth it. Period.
- What are some differences between The Professional Bartending School and other bartending schools?
We have more classes than other local bartending schools; 17 per week. We have been operating far far longer than any of the other bartending schools in the region, having opened in 1968. We have a huge staff that can perform all the tasks people are looking for, including a huge amount of placement work. That is why so many of our grads land jobs. Our classes are fun. Come and visit.
- Do you serve real alcohol there?
SURE!! (Just kidding. We wish…) Our “alcohol” is all fake. We use food coloring and water to create realistic versions of all the liquors we carry. Drink at your own risk.
- How often do classes start?
We have classes that start every Monday and Saturday, depending on which option you choose. Talk to an admissions representative to figure out which bartending class schedule works best for you.
- How long is the entire course?
The entire course is only 40 hours. The 40 hour program is the dominant program throughout the nation taught by bartending schools in most states. Each class is 4 hours long and there are ten separate classes.
- What will I learn at the school?
On top of learning over 150 popular drinks, you will also learn stuff about the bartending industry that you can’t learn find in a book. Only the instructors and the people working at the school can give you the kind of insight into the bar industry that you can’t find anywhere else.
- Is there an age requirement for attending the school?
Yes. You have to be at least 18 years of age to attend.
- What is the age to bartend in Washington DC, Maryland, or Virginia
We describe this in greater depth on a blog post on age to bartend Md, DC, VA. You need to be 21 or older to bartend in Virginia and DC. Maryland varies county by county. In some counties you can bartend at 18 and above. In others you have to be 21, and in one case, in one county you can bartend at 18 in restaurants but you have to be 21 in taverns. Read the blog piece on minimum age to bartend and visit with our placement office once you’re a student to see how we help and advice people of all ages to get jobs.
- Is there a dress code?
While there may not be a dress code, we strongly suggest that people not wear open-toed shoes, anything white, or clothing that just cost them an entire paycheck.
- Is there a difference between bartending and mixology?
Read our blog post on mixology classes and find out about a former student/instructor who is clearly an efficient high volume bartender and an expert mixologist.
- Do you teach bottle-flipping/flair?
A very special friend of the school who just happens to be an ex-instructor of over six years and is one of the best flair bartenders in the Washington, DC area, loves teaching flair to students who want to learn. Not only is he the CEO and founder of The Pour Boys (a local flair group that is commissioned by clubs throughout the area to give flair exhibitions), but is also the regional flair ambassador for the Flair Bartenders Association. He has also been invited to compete in several flair competions throughout the country, including the Grand Daddy of them all: LEGENDS – the invitation-only, annual world flair bartending championship hosted in Las Vegas! Call us today to find out more
- What makes your school different/better?
The fact that we have been the premier bartending school in the Washington, DC area for over 40 years should tell you that we know what we’re talking about. No other school holds a candle to the kind of services we offer! Here’s why:
We are the ONLY full service bartending school in the entire DC metro area. “Full-service“ basically means that you aren‘t going to walk into a business where two people are scrambling to do the job that five people should be doing. We have staff dedicated to each of the jobs you will find here at the school: three instructors who are solely dedicated to making sure you come out of here confident and capable, a full-time Job Placement Assistance Director, and two people dedicated to admissions and answering all your of questions and concerns. No matter what your needs, we‘ve got you covered!
- You‘re located in Virginia… Will my certification be recognized where I live (DC/MD)?
Of course! Just because you’re getting your certificate in Virginia doesn’t mean it won’t be recognized anywhere else. Your certification is recognized nationwide! It’s the same thing as if you went to college and got a degree in California. Could you use that to get work in DC? Of course.
- Do you guarantee jobs?
State regulated schools are prohibited from guaranteeing jobs. Nothing in life is guaranteed, including our job placement. We will, however, help you in the process more than any other school possibly could. Not only do we have a list full of potential employers who have contacted us directly, but our entire staff has over 50 years bartending experience combined. We make sure that you leave the school knowing all the do’s and don’ts of the interview process, and all the confidence you will need in order to secure a job on your own.
- Can I come down and check out the school before I enroll or put any money down?
YES! We always encourage people to come to the school and check out a Free Bartending Class. There really is no better way to see the school than to actually come here and see it for yourself. It gives you a good idea of how everything works, and it allows you to see if whether or not bartending is for you. Think of it as test-driving the car before you buy it. If you like it, great! If not, then maybe you should try Underwater Basket Weaving. That’s always fun.
- If I miss a class, how do I go about making it up? Is there a penalty?
There is no penalty if you miss a class. We understand that adults have lives that they need to take care of, so we aren’t going to penalize you if you miss a class. If you miss a class, simply make it up on a day and time when it’s being taught next.
- Is there a test I have to take at the end of class?
Yes, of course, and no, they aren’t hard. Our tests are designed to help you be a better bartender. How else are we going to be able to evaluate your skills upon completion of the course?
- Is there anything I need to bring to class?
Bring yourself, something to write with, an open mind, and maybe a couple of dirty jokes. We supply everything else.
- Will I really be able to learn all this stuff in 40 hours?
Yes. We have all the acronyms and stories you will need in order to memorize these drinks. Think about it: You’re getting a full week of hands-on training in a fully functional bar and being trained by some of the industry’s best. We have been teaching this program for over 40 years. We have upgraded it, altered it and revised it to keep it contemporary, and all that time we have managed to train bartenders effectively in 40 short hours. They get jobs with it. It works.