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What is the Average Barback Salary?


The role of a Barback is pivotal in ensuring the smooth operation of a bar, often working behind the scenes to assist bartenders and enhance customer satisfaction. The financial aspects of this role are multifaceted, reflecting the diverse responsibilities and the varying environments in which Barbacks operate. 

This article aims to shed light on the average salaries, the influencing factors, and the potential for additional earnings, providing a comprehensive overview of the economic landscape for Barbacks.

How Much Do Barbacks Make? (Average Barback Salary Data)

Barbacks earn an annual average of $23,000 to $29,000, contributing significantly to the efficiency of bar operations.

Website Hour Week Month Year
Glassdoor $11 $440 $1,760 $23,040
Indeed $12 $480 $1,920 $24,960 $13 $520 $2,080 $26,880 $12 $480 $1,920 $24,960
Average $12 $480 $1,920 $24,960

The average annual salary for Barbacks, according to various salary data websites, is approximately $24,960.

How Much Do Barbacks Make A Year?

Barbacks, integral to the seamless functioning of bars, make an average annual income of around $24,960, reflecting their indispensable role in the hospitality sector.

Salaries by years of experience

The experience of a Barback can significantly influence their earning potential.

  • Less than 1 year: $23,000
  • 1 to 2 years: $24,000
  • 3 to 5 years: $26,000
  • 6 to 9 years: $28,000
  • More than 10 years: $30,000+

Factors that influence Barback salaries

  • Bar Type: High-end bars and clubs usually offer higher salaries due to higher customer turnover and expectations.
  • Location: The geographical location and the cost of living in the area can significantly impact the salary.
  • Shift Timing: Evening and weekend shifts often have higher earning potential due to increased bar traffic.
  • Experience Level: More experienced Barbacks often receive higher wages due to their efficiency and knowledge.
  • Workload: The number of customers and the level of bar busyness can impact earnings.
  • Tip Earnings: The ability to earn tips can significantly increase the overall earnings of a Barback.

Tips for Negotiating Higher Barback Salary

Let’s see how to Increase Earnings and Advance Your Career as a Barback.

  • Demonstrate Efficiency: Showcasing the ability to assist bartenders effectively and manage multiple tasks can lead to better job opportunities and higher wages.
  • Be Available for Peak Hours: Being available for busy shifts can increase earning potential due to increased bar traffic.
  • Maintain Professionalism: Exhibiting professionalism and a positive attitude can lead to better working relationships and potentially higher wages.
  • Seek Opportunities: Actively seeking opportunities in higher-end bars can lead to higher salaries.
  • Negotiate Wisely: Understanding industry standards and negotiating salary based on experience and skills can be beneficial.

In conclusion, focusing on efficiency and professionalism can significantly enhance the earning potential of a Barback.

Critical Barback skills and qualifications that pay well

Having a set of refined skills is crucial for a Barback to excel and earn well.

  • Efficiency: The ability to assist bartenders quickly and effectively is crucial.
  • Attention to Detail: Ensuring the bar is well-stocked and organized is important.
  • Physical Stamina: The role requires being on feet for extended periods and lifting heavy items.
  • Teamwork: Working well with bartenders and other staff is essential for smooth operations.
  • Cleanliness: Maintaining high levels of cleanliness is fundamental in a bar setting.
  • Time Management: Managing time effectively during busy shifts is important.
  • Flexibility: Being able to adapt to different shift timings is beneficial.
  • Professionalism: Maintaining a professional demeanor is important in the hospitality industry.
  • Reliability: Being reliable and punctual is valued in the bar industry.
  • Customer Service: Providing excellent service to customers can lead to better tips and job satisfaction.

Possessing these skills can lead to better job performance and higher earnings in the barback field.

Most common benefits for Barback

While benefits can vary, some common benefits for Barbacks include:

  • Tip Earnings: Many bars allow Barbacks to earn tips, significantly increasing their earnings.
  • Flexible Schedule: The role often allows for flexibility in shift scheduling.
  • Training Opportunities: Some bars offer training to enhance skills.
  • Career Advancement: Opportunities for career growth and advancement may be available.
  • Health Benefits: Some bars offer health benefits, especially for full-time employees.
  • Meal and Drink Discounts: Many bars offer discounted or complimentary meals and drinks.
  • Uniform Provision: Some bars provide uniforms to their Barbacks.
  • Employee Recognition Programs: Recognition and rewards for outstanding performance can be a unique benefit.
  • Team Environment: Working in a supportive and collaborative environment can be a significant benefit.
  • Work-Life Balance: The flexibility in scheduling can contribute to a balanced lifestyle.

These benefits contribute to the overall compensation and job satisfaction of Barbacks.

Key takeaways

  • The average Barback salary is around $24,960 annually, reflecting their indispensable role in the bar.
  • Experience, bar type, and location are key factors influencing a Barback’s earnings.
  • Enhancing efficiency and maintaining professionalism can significantly increase earning potential.
  • Possessing critical skills like attention to detail and reliability can lead to higher overall earnings.
  • The benefits package, including tip earnings and flexible schedules, is an essential part of the compensation for Barbacks.


Can you make good money as a Barback? 

Yes, with the combination of base salary, tips, and benefits, many Barbacks make a decent income, especially in busy or upscale bars.

Can Barbacks make 100k? 

It is highly unlikely for Barbacks to make 100k as it is typically an entry-level position in the bar industry, and the compensation reflects this.

How much do Barbacks really make in tips? 

Tips can vary widely, but they can significantly increase a Barback’s earnings, especially during busy shifts or in high-end bars.

Can Barbacks make $500 a night? 

While it is not common, it is possible for Barbacks in very high-end bars or during extremely busy shifts to make $500 or more in one night.

Is experience crucial for earning higher as a Barback? 

While experience can lead to increased efficiency and potentially higher earnings, the role of a Barback is often an entry-level position, and experience is not always a significant factor.

Do Barbacks receive benefits like meal discounts? 

Yes, many bars offer benefits like meal and drink discounts, flexible schedules, and training opportunities to their Barbacks.

Is the location a significant factor in determining the salary of a Barback? 

Absolutely, the geographical location and the cost of living in the area can significantly impact the salary of a Barback

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