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Bell Curve


Barback. Salary: $21,500 or less 

You took a job as a barback thinking it couldn't be that far off from bartender. It's not—in fact, it's more. Not only do you "tend" the bar, you also scrub, wipe, clean, prep, and stock it. And that's not the best part. The best part is you make half as much as the actual bartender, who's spent the last ten minutes chatting up the regulars.


Bartending Buffoon. Salary: $31,800 

You just aren't that good. You forget orders. You can't remember that "virgin" means NO ALCOHOL. If your boss wasn't (legally) paying you less than standard minimum wage, they'd probably have fired you a long time ago.


Bartender. Salary: $41,000 

You work at the same bar every night at a nice pub. You pull thousands of gallons of blond lager a week. Decent tips. Nice people. Low hassle life. You save most of your tips and will probably spend your last days fishing in a little log cabin by the lake where you'll bartend for yourself.


Gross Bartender. Salary: $53,900 

You're the first bartender of a smokin' hot establishment. You made a deal with the owners to keep a percentage of the gross sales receipts—and some nights the receipts are really gross. That sweet deal was cut in order for the owner to lure you from your last job where everyone loved you. The owner thought you'd bring over tons of customers. And you did.


Bartending Bar Owner, Salary $92,100 

You start your own bar: [You]'s. The smartest thing you did financially was to use every extra penny to buy the real estate under you. When the shopping center developer came in and offered you $10 million just for the land, you knew you were done (in a good way).