The median hourly wage (including tips) of bartenders was $8.98 in May 2010. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $7.60 per hour, and the top 10 percent earned more than $15.14 per hour.
Bartenders' earnings often come from a combination of hourly wages and customers' tips. Earnings vary greatly, depending on the type of establishment. For example, in many full-service restaurants, tips are higher than wages.
Many entry-level or inexperienced workers earn the federal minimum wage. However, many others earn more per hour because they work in states that set minimum wages higher than the federal minimum.
Many bartenders work full time, and they must often work late evenings, weekends, and holidays. About 40 percent work part time.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition