How to become a Barista

Baristas prepare and serve espresso coffee and other hot beverages to patrons in restaurants, cafes, coffee shops and dining establishments.

Personal requirements of a Barista

  • Good interpersonal and communication skills
  • Good memory
  • Able to work quickly and efficiently
  • Enjoy working with people
  • Good personal presentation
  • Confidence in handling money
  • Able to stand for long periods

Education & Training for a Barista

You can work as a barista without formal qualifications. You will probably get some informal training on the job. Entry to this occupation may be improved if you have qualifications. You can become a barista through a VET qualification in hospitality. Many training providers also offer short courses in coffee making. As subjects and prerequisites can vary between institutions, you should contact your chosen institution for further information. You can also become a barista through a traineeship in Hospitality. Entry requirements may vary, but employers generally require Year 10. For more details, see Section 2. Ask your career adviser about the possibility of starting some of this training in school.

Duties & Tasks of a Barista

Baristas may perform the following tasks:

  • prepare and serve a variety of coffees such as lattes, cappuccinos and other espresso-based beverages
  • clean and maintain coffee-making areas and espresso machines
  • select and grind coffee beans
  • collect payment, operate cash registers and give change
  • assist in stock control
  • maintain workplace hygiene, and follow occupational health and safety procedures.

Working conditions for a Barista

Baristas work in venues that are often busy and noisy. They usually work shifts, including early mornings, weekends, evenings and public holidays. Uniforms may be supplied by employers. To serve alcohol you must be at least 18 years of age.

Employment Opportunities for a Barista

Baristas work in hotels, bars, restaurants, cafés, coffee shops and recreation and convention centres. As turnover is relatively high, there is generally a constant demand to replace those leaving the job. Baristas working in licensed venues may be required to obtain a Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) certificate. See the separate entry for Bar Attendant for further information. Baristas who have undertaken training or are experienced are highly regarded by employers. In larger establishments, baristas with experience and qualifications may progress to supervisory or management positions.


Coffee Competitor

A coffee competitor baristas seeking a professional career in coffee making can enter coffee competitions to gain credibility in the field. Success in such competitions can lead to career opportunities as consultants for leading coffee companies.

Coffee Roaster

A coffee roaster coffee roasters are involved in the roasting process, which includes sorting, roasting, cooling, packaging and grinding green coffee beans.

Coffee Trainer

A coffee trainer highly skilled baristas may work for coffee roasting companies to train clients in making high quality coffee.

Head Barista

A head barista head baristas are responsible for developing and supervising the coffee making process to ensure the production of quality coffee.

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