At first glance, bartending schools might all seem the same - short programs teaching the same mixology skills. But aspiring bartenders need to be sure they choose a school that is professional, with experienced instructors and state-of-the-art equipment. Instruction should be hands-on in an authentic bar setting. It's important to visit prospective schools to get a feel for the teachers and facilities. Students should sit in on a class and observe how instructors interact with students, and also review course material to ensure it is both relevant and thorough.
Every state has different laws regulating alcohol service. In New York, for instance, one must be 18 years old to serve alcohol, while in California, the minimum age is 21. Every state is different, but all range between 18 and 21. Licensing laws differ state to state as well, and it is important to choose a program offering adequate preparation for that individual state's requirements.