Average Barista Salary Nationwide


Overview and Basic Information


A barista is a food service worker who is responsible for crafting coffee and other custom drinks at cafes and restaurants. In addition to creating delicious coffee drinks and serving bagels and muffins, baristas are also responsible for maintaining a positive environment and making customers feel welcome. Baristas are essential to coffeehouse operations and bring joy to people in the form of caffeinated beverages on a daily basis.

Example barista job description

Our company is seeking a positive, upbeat individual to serve as a part-time barista in our popular cafe. The ideal candidate for this position will have basic customer service skills and the ability to multitask in a fast-paced environment. If you can spark an on-the-spot conversation, memorize multiple recipes and work well with others, our barista position might be for you!

Typical duties include:

  • Operate the customer service cash register, taking credit card payments

  • Manage customer orders in the cafe drive-thru

  • Operate coffee and espresso brewing equipment  

  • Craft specialty coffee beverages from our regular and seasonal menus

  • Memorize recipes for multiple espresso drinks and be able to create them perfectly every time

  • Serve food menu items to customers

  • Educate customers on drink options and ingredients

  • Regularly restock supplies and ingredients

  • Clean and maintain a sanitary workspace

  • Create a positive cafe environment for coworkers and guests

  • Improve upon barista skills as needed


  • Customer service skills

  • Communication

  • Teamwork

  • Ability to memorize custom information

  • Ability to multitask

Preferred qualifications:

  • Previous barista experience

  • Food preparation and sanitation knowledge

Common questions about barista jobs

How much does a barista make?

On average, baristas earn between $8.50 and $12 per hour depending on their place of employment. In addition to competitive hourly compensation, many baristas also enjoy tips from customers and generous benefits from employers.

What are the education requirements?

Typically, there is no minimum educational requirement for baristas. Many businesses, however, do require team members to be at least 16 years old.

Career paths for baristas

For many individuals, the title of a barista is the beginning of a career journey. In larger companies, baristas have the ability to move through the ranks to become shift leaders, store managers and regional managers of coffee shop chains.

The future of baristas

The future for baristas is bright! According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the employment of baristas is projected to grow 14% from 2018 to 2028, which is faster than the average for all occupations.

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