Barista Job Description, Salary & Skills Required

Barista Job Description, Salary, Duties

Imagine not only drinking coffee every day but also making it every single day. Is it not satisfying? Have you ever thought that coffee-making can also be somebody’s profession? These people, who make coffee, tea, or other beverages, are called baristas. You will meet them, for example, at Starbucks, one of the most famous coffee shops. Those who take your order, make your order and serve it, we call baristas. The word is Italien, and it literally means “bartender.”

Back in the days, a barista would have been considered a professional if he could have made an espresso within just a few seconds. Nowadays, there are much more requirements for the profession. A barista’s principal duties are to make coffee or other beverages professionally and make sure their customers are content. A person who takes such responsibilities earns, on average, from 8000 dollars up to 30,000 dollars every year. In the following article, we will take a deep look at the profession, its pros and cons, and learn about the day of a barista. Bonus; some tips for beginners are added.

Barista Job Description

What Are The Foremost Responsibilities Of Baristas?

  • Baristas serve customers different beverages in a timely and friendly manner. 
  • They need superior client service skills and intensive operating information of caffeinated and intermingled occasional drinks.
  • They take and method payments at a money box.
  • They participate in inventory help.
  • They maintain clean and hygienic toilets and bathrooms.
  • They serve customers ready foods like sandwiches, desserts, and donuts. 
  • They convey effectively with different workers and clients alike to organize quality beverages.
  • They guarantee customer satisfaction. 

Education Background

Many people wonder if there is some specific education for baristas. All the hiring companies and coffee shops require is a high school diploma. That is the minimum qualification. While working, you can take part in some training, grow, and get some certificates. Usually, baristas can learn while working. Also, as accepted, those who want to work as barista must work legally in the United States.

What Are The Main Skills That Every Barista Needs?

Certainly, there are some general, personal, and specific skills. As the job of a barista is a service type position.

  1. The general skills that are universal for the type are:
    • Oral Communication: As baristas are obligated to talk to customers, they have to be gregarious and talkative. They should be open to new acquaintances and feel free to communicate with their customers.
    • Listening and Understanding: The skill is as essential as communicating. Baristas need to be attentive, comprehensive to serve their clients correctly.
    • Negotiating: Some of us might underestimate the importance of the skill, yet, it is a vital skill that not only every barista but also every worker needs. Daily, we encounter some problems and arguments. To meet them correspondingly and accurately, we need to have the skill.
    • Problem-Solving Skill: During the sifts, there might be many problems that will require a quick solution. Let us give you an example; the coffee machine is broken, but three customers still persistently want you to make coffee. What would you do if you were a barista? In such situations, all the skillset comes to give a hand. Coming up with a rational solution is a must for every barista.
    • Passion for Learning: New recipes and new machines can be implemented every single day. A barista should be open to learning and self-development. In general, as some pieces of training are being held, baristas need to be ready to take the opportunity to become better professionals.
    • Proactive: Baristas must be able to take responsibility. If something happened by their fault, they should admit it and think about improving and fixing the situation. Having the courage and will to admit it and try to avoid doing it is essential for baristas.
    • Detail-Oriented Approach: Baristas must have an eye for details. They should be very observant and mindful of doing everything as they should.
    • Being Able to Work Under Pressure: Baristas should have a high-stress tolerance. Otherwise, it is impossible to work as a barista. Some baristas would recall their experience on Black Fridays. A lot of people “break into” the coffee shops and order coffee or other drinks. Baristas must get away with it and serve as they are obligated.
    • Multitasking: It is one of the most important skills that baristas need. Sometimes they have to do ten things at the same time. To deal with it, they need to learn to multitask – doing a lot meanwhile.

  2. Here are the personal skills that baristas need:
    • Speaking More Languages Than English: Sometimes, especially at Starbucks, there might be customers who will be bad at understanding and speaking English. Knowledge of an additional language will never harm. For the baristas who work in the United States, it would have been nice to speak Spanish or any European language.
    • Humor: Being a bubbly person is always a good thing. The baristas had better have a great sense of humor to enjoy every single working day, as it will make their day even better.
    • Empathy: If the barista is not caring, the customer feels ignored or offended. But when they meet somebody who is showing empathy and is nice to them, they come back to the coffee shop.
    • Remembrance: It might seem strange that it is counted as a skill too, but it turns out that having a powerful and developed memory is essential for baristas. Those who work at big companies should have an extraordinary memory to recall all the orders and clients who ordered the drinks or other things.
    • Flexibility and Adaptability: Every barista should change their behavior and attitude depending on the situation. Being flexible is vital for every worker because otherwise, they cannot get along with their customers, chiefs, and in general, at work, it will be much more difficult.
    • Submission and Persistence: No worker can continue working normally without having the personal skills. Baristas are not an exception. So being persistent and patient enough is necessary.
    • Positivity: Some would say that it is not obligatory to have a positive mindset to work as a barista, but according to some baristas, it is actually the key to have a wonderful working day. Being positive, finding some positive sides will make you a smiling and nice worker enjoying their working day.

  3. The profession of barista requires skills that are specific only for the position.
    • Identifying Drinks: Some coffee shops may have more than a hundred drinks. A barista is responsible for knowing all of them and identifying each with their ingredients.
    • Testing Coffee: Sometimes, we cannot choose our drinks. That is why we ask the baristas to help us. How would a barista know the drink if they never tasted it? They have to drink at least the most popular drinks to help customers with their choice.
    • Skills of Working with Machines: Coffee making takes a lot of time and energy. Humans have invented a myriad of equipment to solve the problem and have a wonderful cup of coffee fast and tasty. Anyways, the baristas have to know how to work with the machines. If they do not, it will take a lot of time to make the coffee, and eventually, the shop may lose its clients. So, they should cope with the situation and learn how to work with such equipment.
    • Coffee Art: Almost everyone is excited about having amazing designs on our cappuccino or latte. Knowing to create art is essential for baristas.
    • Identifying Flavors: Not only coffee recipes may change but also flavors. Knowing all of them visually and the taste is important for advising and making delicious coffee.

How Much Do Baristas Earn?

On average, a barista makes from $8.000 up to $30,000 every year. The salaries vary depending on the companies and individuals the baristas work for. Also, some baristas get paid their money for hours. Workers earn from 6 dollars to 17 dollars for every hour they work. 

What are the advantages and disadvantages of being a barista?

The job of a barista is full of fun and hard work. It has not only a lot of advantages but also disadvantages. So, allow us to begin with the benefits.

  1. While working as a barista, you get to meet many people from different backgrounds or even countries. Even for those, who have some problems with socializing and interacting with people, the profession can make a very gregarious person.
  2. The other and, as importantly, the benefit is that some companies organize training to make sure their workers are the best at their job. Working at a caring company is a big plus for baristas or any worker. The pieces of training, support are a significant part of advancement. Surely it motivates them to become not only better people but also specialized professionals.
  3. They get free drinks, some bonuses, and a lot of opportunities to grow. 

One of the disadvantages of being a barista is persistently hearing some outright rude and insulting comments about yourself. Unfortunately, there is a common popular opinion that the barista’s job is not as respected as, for example, a lawyer’s or a doctor’s position. So, some people allow themselves to be offensive while talking to a barista or ordering something.

What difference does it make to work at Starbucks as a barista?

There is a myriad of testimonials about Starbucks. The baristas are obsessed with their job. Some would say that they cannot wait to wake up in the morning to go to work. It is so much fun and happiness there. It surely has much more advantages than we think. One of the most important benefits is that you must work 20 hours per week to receive full medical insurance. The insurance includes hospitalization, prescription drugs, dental and vision medical examinations. The company, Starbucks, provides free tea and coffee for its baristas, which is amazing. Some would persistently convince themselves that it is the job of their dreams.

BONUS: Tips for Beginners

  • If you are newly starting, do not worry if it is hard at first. Take your time. Do not rush. In this way, you probably will make some mistakes. That is why it is better to have your clients wait a bit.
  • If there is something you do not know, search it on Google or any platform. 
  • Learn as much as possible. For the first weeks, there might be some things you will not know. Take your time at home to learn and fill the gaps.
  • Experiment with coffee or flavors. Coming with new ideas and recipes will raise your chances of getting bonuses and extra money.
  • Make sustainable relationships with your coworkers. In case you face some problems, they will have your back. Also, if you do not know something, they can show you how to work or tell you how to behave.
  • As you may probably get some free drinks, try to taste the most popular ones. Or, if it is possible, try the whole menu. It will help you with consulting your clients. 
  • Do some research about using coffee-making machines. Hands-on experience is great, but it will be even better if you know the basic things about working with them.


We all enjoy drinking tasty coffees or other drinks. That is why we should appreciate the people who work as baristas and make our favorite hot beverages. As it is seen, baristas have a lot of responsibilities. It is also required to have a myriad of skills to cope with the job. If you consider becoming a barista, you should bear in mind that it takes some time to become a professional one, yet, the job is full of fun, so you should take the opportunity.

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Barista Job Description, Salary & Skills Required

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