Posted on: August 25, 2022

TABC Certification: How to Get Your Bartending License in Texas

texas bartending license

To receive your bartending license In Texas, you should enroll in a bartending school (either physically or virtually), complete a few hours of coursework, and obtain your Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) certification, which will provide you with the knowledge and abilities you need to avoid recurring violations involving the serving of alcoholic beverages.

Although it is not required by the State, most employers do require "Seller-Server Certified" certification for bartenders and seller servers who work in the food, restaurant, or beverage industries. Therefore, an employee in Texas needs to complete alcohol safety awareness training to earn TABC certification. This will also help you become a more skilled and successful bartender. 

In this post, we will cover what the TABC certification entails and guide you step by step on how to get your bartending license in Texas. 

TABC Certification 

The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, or TABC, was established in 1935 and regulates the alcoholic beverage industry in Texas. The TABC develops the seller-server training curriculum, and if you successfully complete a training program, you become Texas TABC Certified. 

The objective of being TABC certified is to gain the knowledge and skills that will help you avoid recurring alcohol service violations, such as preventing sales of alcohol to minors or intoxicated people, and it allows your employer to feel better knowing that you're doing your part to keep Texans safe. The TABC certification on its own can also be called a bartending license. 

In Texas, the process is simple: visit a TABC certification website, register for a course, spend a few hours, pass the exam, and become certified to bartend in Texas. However, research local and state laws to determine exactly what is required. 

The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) provides a list of recognized providers if you're interested in working as a bartender in Texas and need to take classes to earn your certification. Both in-person academic options and online options are mentioned in the list. We recommend enrolling in this Tips TABC course.

If you have questions on getting TABC certified visit the official TABC website

How to Become a Bartender in Texas

If you want to become a bartender in Texas, here are some steps you should follow: 

Step 1: Age requirements 

Texas has strict minimum age requirements for people who wish to sell or serve alcoholic beverages. The minimum age to sell or serve alcohol, according to Texas law, is determined by the kind of license or permit that the establishment has. This means to determine how old you have to be a bartender in Texas, you must consider the nature of the company. 

So, can you be a bartender at 18 in Texas? Yes, you must be at least 18 years old to sell or serve alcohol in places like pubs and restaurants where it is consumed on-premises and you must be at least 18 years old to sell it to customers who will consume it off-premises at a grocery store or other location. This refers to both servers and bartenders. 

Step 2: TABC Certification 

Getting your TABC certification is a career move that you should pursue because it will help you succeed in your role as a bartender. Although TABC certification is not mandated by law, most employers in the state require it. By taking the appropriate TABC bartender certification course, employers will value seeing this on your application and this will help speed up your hiring process. This step will also help you update your skills and gain the knowledge required to make the right decisions and follow the law. 

Some important concepts you’ll learn from a TABC certification course are:

  • An in-depth understanding of Texas's alcohol laws and regulations
  • How to avoid selling alcohol to underage and intoxicated people
  • How to check IDs correctly 
  • How to set drinking limitations on people 

Step 3: Work on Your Soft Skills 

Prepare for working as a bartender by fine-tuning your soft skills. Your ability to make your bar customers feel at ease in both their surroundings and with you as their bartender is one of the most important soft skills. To be a great bartender, you must excel in hospitality because it is important in the service sector. 

Step 4: Gain Experience

Make sure to have serving or bartending experience to be considered by a wide range of employers. Considering most restaurants promote bartenders from internally, this will help you advance to getting hired. The ideal first step you can take to become a bartender is to gain experience as a server. In addition to having the chance to monitor your own bar and bartenders and learn from them, you will get hands-on experience that you can apply to your work regularly.

Step 5: Firsthand Training 

Once you've been hired as a server, inform management that you're interested in working as a barback, a bartender’s assistant with responsibilities such as preparation and maintaining product supplies during the shift. You will gain practical knowledge and instruction about how to prepare drinks and how the bar functions. 

If helping as a barback isn't an option at your place of employment, ask whether you may assist with inventory. Many bars and restaurants conduct a monthly inventory of all the alcoholic beverages they sell. It will teach you a lot about the various kinds of alcoholic beverage goods, shopping, and liquor prices. Additionally, it will demonstrate to management how committed you are to supporting others, advancing your career, and earning your place behind the bar.

Get TABC Certified with Tips

Get TABC TIPS® Certified with our officially approved convenient online course, anytime, anywhere, on any device you choose. TIPS® TABC is the fastest, easiest way to get TABC certified at the best price. Register and get certified today!