How to Become a Barista: a Complete Guide

Today, I’m here to guide you through the art of crafting the perfect cup of coffee as a barista ☕. Have you ever considered the world of coffee and the potential it holds for your career?

Did you know that skilled baristas can earn between $2,855 and $5,329 per year, with average yearly salaries that vary based on experience and location? 💸

Becoming a barista isn’t just about brewing coffee; it’s about creating experiences and perfecting the craft of coffee making. Your ability to craft the perfect espresso shot or create unique latte art can set you on the path to becoming a renowned barista.

I’ve had the pleasure of knowing many passionate baristas who have elevated coffee making to an art form. Today, let’s understand the barista skills together, and I’ll share insights on how you can brew your way to a successful and fulfilling career. 

Whether you dream of working in a cozy café or mastering the art of coffee at home, I’ve got you covered. 👇☕

Questions you should ask yourself before starting your career as a barista

Ask yourself these questions is essential if you are planning to become a barista

  1. Do you love the art of coffee preparation? Are you interested in making coffee and knowing more about its varieties?
  2. There are several ways of blending a perfect coffee. Are you detail-oriented when it comes to coffee preparation and presentation?
  3. Do you love learning about various coffee brewing methods? Are you looking forward to mastering these brewing methods?
  4. Does learning about different coffee beans, their origins, flavors, etc match your interest? 
  5. Do you have any long-term aspirations associated with becoming a barista and working as one?

If ‘Yes’ then choosing a career like barista is a suitable choice for you. 

Who is a barista?

A Barista is a skilled individual who prepares and serves various beverages, including coffee, tea, and specialty drinks. Their main duties involve taking customer orders, handling payments, and ensuring the cleanliness and sanitization of their workstations, seating areas, and equipment. 💪

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment rate for Baristas is projected to grow by 2% by the year 2032. 

Moreover, they play a vital role in educating customers about the menu, providing personalized recommendations, and promoting special items to enhance the overall experience. 

Success in this position requires excellent customer service abilities and a comprehensive understanding of brewing equipment functionality.✅

Scope of a Barista in the Future

The food and beverage industry has been growing rapidly. The coffee industry falls in the category of food and beverage industry as they have similar jobs as compared to other jobs in the food and beverage industry. 

According to my research, I have found that the global coffee market size was valued at $120.59 billion in the year 2021. Currently, a report claims that the market size is growing at a CAGR of 4.72% and is projected to reach $182.63 billion by the year 2030. 

With the increasing demand for baristas, sources also reported that they found a 24% increase in Baristas’ salaries in the last 5 years. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics however projected a 2% growth in employment in the future. 

In my opinion, by observing the demand for baristas, the projected barista job growth can reach a growing rate of 14% in the coming 5-10 years. 

Expert Skills Required to Become a Barista

  • Mastering the preparation of espresso and different flavors of coffee
  • Skilled in steaming and frothing milk
  • Proficiency in creating intricate and visually appealing coffees
  • Competence in operating and maintaining coffee machines
  • Adhering to strict hygiene standards
  • Proficiency in coffee brewing methods

How much can a barista earn?

The typical annual salary for a Barista in the United States is approximately $38,493. In addition to their base salary, baristas often receive extra cash compensation, averaging around $3,807 per year, ranging from $2,855 to $5,329.💸 

These figures are derived from a comprehensive analysis of 66,382 anonymous salary submissions to Glassdoor by Barista employees across the country. 

These estimates provide valuable insights into the earnings potential and variations within the barista profession in the United States.

How to Become a Barista 

I have listed below the right ways for you to become a Barista. 

Expand Your Coffee Knowledge

  • Enhance your understanding of coffee by familiarizing yourself with the terminology involved in various coffee-making processes, like brewing, blending, tasting, and roasting. 
  • Explore terms related to different coffee beans, roasting levels, and brewing techniques. 
  • Start by delving into books and watching online tutorials on crafting popular coffee drinks like lattes, cappuccinos, and espressos. 
  • Visiting local coffee shops and observing baristas in action will enable you to replicate these drinks later.🧠

Enroll in an Online Barista Course

  • Consider enrolling in an online coffee-making course to refine your skills. 
  • Research reviews and course descriptions to find a program that suits your interests and requirements. 
  • These courses can cover a range of topics, from basic introductions to more specialized areas like latte art and barista certification. 
  • Some courses may include an online exam and certification requirements to earn your barista certification.📝

Seek Practical Training

  • Explore opportunities to receive hands-on training through barista training programs or local coffee shops that offer on-the-job instruction. 
  • This practical training will equip you with essential barista skills. 
  • You’ll learn how to discern flavor profiles, aromas, acidity, and aftertaste in coffee. 
  • Additionally, you’ll become familiar with various coffee brewing equipment, including espresso machines, grinders, and tampers.💪

Hone Your Drink-Making Skills

  • After grasping the fundamentals, put your knowledge into practice by crafting various coffee and specialty beverages. 
  • Experiment with different brewing techniques, starting with the basics, like drip brewing and pour-over methods. 
  • Gradually venture into more advanced methods, such as siphon brewing, Turkish brewing, and French press.📈

Seek Employment Opportunities

  • Begin your job search by applying to local coffee shops and restaurants. 
  • Some establishments may prefer baristas with prior experience, so keep an eye out for job postings that specify required years of experience and any particular skills or qualifications. 
  • Pay attention to the expected working hours and days, as many coffee shops often have early morning, evening, and weekend shifts for baristas.🧑‍💼

Responsibilities of a barista

Baristas not only serve coffee and tea but also create delightful specialty beverages. They thrive in coffee shops, cafes, and even on-the-go carts, crafting personalized drinks for customers’ unique tastes. 

Beyond preparing the perfect brew, baristas maintain a clean and inviting atmosphere, interact warmly with patrons, and ensure the smooth operation of coffee equipment. Here are some key responsibilities that keep a barista’s day brewing ⤵️

Taking Orders

  • As a barista, your primary responsibility is taking and accurately recording customer orders. 
  • Effective listening skills are crucial as you greet customers and ensure their orders are noted correctly. 
  • When not making the drinks yourself, clear communication with colleagues is essential.✅
  • Beyond order-taking, you’ll assist customers with inquiries and provide recommendations. 
  • Guiding them in choosing the ideal coffee blend is part of the job. A skilled barista also excels in upselling, suggesting extras or food that complement the orders.

Drinks preparation

  • Preparing drinks precisely, following the coffee shop’s recipe, and meeting customer preferences are essential barista duties. 
  • Creating the perfect espresso is fundamental to crafting excellent coffee-based beverages. 
  • Additionally, it’s crucial to match the right drink to the appropriate customer, especially during busy periods when serving multiple people simultaneously.☕

Grinding Coffee Beans

  • In addition to coffee preparation, a barista may be responsible for grinding and blending beans to maintain a constant supply of coffee. 
  • Throughout the day, you might need to adjust the coffee grind based on variables like weather, temperature, and humidity levels.✨
  • For coffee shops offering fresh ground coffee, you might offer customers guidance on different blends. 
  • This could involve grinding, weighing, and packaging the coffee, as well as providing tips on home coffee preparation.

Compliance with Health and Safety Regulations

  • As a barista, ensuring food safety is a significant aspect of your role. 
  • With approximately 17% of Americans experiencing foodborne illnesses yearly, leading to hospitalizations and fatalities, following health and safety guidelines is paramount.❤️‍🩹
  • Adhering to established health and safety regulations and policies will be part of your duties. 
  • This could include obtaining food hygiene qualifications, undergoing first aid training, or attending health and safety courses. 
  • Additionally, you might be responsible for monitoring the temperature of refrigerators, freezers, and heating equipment to ensure proper functioning. 
  • Any issues should be promptly reported to the management team. 💯

Offer Input to Management

  • Baristas interact with numerous customers daily, making them valuable sources of feedback for management concerning various aspects of products and services. 
  • You’ll suggest improvements to procedures and ways to minimize waste. 
  • Additionally, your insights can contribute to menu enhancements, as well as provide both positive and negative customer comments to the management team.🌟

Supervise Team Members

  • In some cases, a barista may also take on a supervisory role, overseeing other staff and organizing work schedules to ensure adequate coverage during busy periods. 
  • You may be responsible for mentoring new employees and training them in fundamental skills and techniques. 
  • As a team supervisor, motivating your team and addressing any staff issues that arise will also be part of your responsibilities.📈

Tips to improve your barista career

Let me take you through the tips that will help you improve your career as a barista. 

Purpose and passion

  • Having a clear purpose is the key to success in life. As a barista, discover what drives you—to create the perfect coffee, innovate new recipes, or share knowledge of specialty brews—and stay focused on it.
  • To stay motivated for the long term, set daily goals for your barista journey. 
  • Whether it’s mastering new latte art patterns, achieving the perfect shot of espresso, or exploring innovative cold brew techniques, having an exciting aim helps overcome the occasional blues. 
  • If passion wavers, surround yourself with positive influences. 
  • Connect with fellow baristas through social media, learn from their experiences, and let their enthusiasm inspire your own.✨

Advanced training 

  • Loving coffee is a great start, but to excel, you must also enhance your knowledge. 
  • Delve into coffee harvesting, roasting, and brewing to develop a deeper appreciation for the craft.
  • While online resources are valuable, they should complement real-life coffee studies. 
  • Seek out reputable organizations that offer advanced training and find mentors who not only educate but also challenge and encourage your barista career growth. 💪

Human Connection

  • Engaging with fellow baristas and coffee enthusiasts is essential for growth. 
  • Interacting with others who share our passion provides motivation, valuable resources, and friendship. 
  • Learning from their perspectives enriches our understanding, and their fervor can ignite our own.
  • Immerse yourself in the barista community, participating in local coffee tastings, volunteering at barista competitions, or even competing yourself. 
  • If such events are scarce, form a group with like-minded friends pursuing similar barista career goals.🧑‍💼

Optimal Workspace

  • A well-designed workspace is vital, providing all necessary equipment in an organized and easily accessible manner. 
  • Ensure there’s enough room for efficient movement and collaboration among baristas. A poorly arranged environment can hinder both brewing and personal growth.
  • Stay vigilant for new accessories and equipment that can advance your barista career. 
  • When incorporating new tools, reorganize the workspace to ensure they enhance productivity rather than causing stress. Remember, continuous improvement is key!✨


  • Have you ever visited a coffee shop with exceptional coffee and treats, only to be disappointed by a perpetually unhappy barista? 
  • There are two ways to address this. If you’re the barista, reflect on the cause of your unhappiness and take steps to improve it, whether it’s seeking support or making significant life changes. 
  • As a customer witnessing such a demeanor, try engaging with the barista and asking about their day. A friendly face or a simple conversation might be all they need.🧠

Top barista courses in the United States

If you aspire to be a skilled barista, exploring the world of coffee education can significantly enhance your abilities and set you on the path to excellence.

Let’s delve into some of the finest barista training programs offered by reputable institutions across the country. 

These esteemed courses, ranging from renowned coffee schools to well-established training programs, provide comprehensive instruction, insights from industry experts, and a platform for aspiring baristas to cultivate their craft and passion for coffee. ⤵️

SCA Barista Skills Professional Certificate

  • The SCA Barista Skills Professional Certificate is a comprehensive certification program aimed at equipping baristas with the essential knowledge and expertise to excel in their profession. 
  • The program comprises two modules: Introduction to Coffee and Barista Skills. 
  • The Introduction to Coffee module delves into various aspects, including coffee varieties, its history, and production methods. 
  • On the other hand, the Barista Skills module hones in on the hands-on application of brewing techniques, mastering milk texturing, and the art of creating latte art.

SCA Coffee Diploma

  • The Specialty Coffee Association (SCA) offers the SCA Coffee Diploma, a comprehensive certification program. 
  • Its purpose is to provide participants with extensive knowledge of coffee production, processing, brewing, and tasting. 
  • The program is structured into four levels: Foundation, Intermediate, Professional, and Mastery, allowing individuals to progressively advance their expertise in the world of specialty coffee.

Barista Guild of America Certification

  • The Barista Guild of America (BGA) Certification is an esteemed program specifically tailored for baristas in the specialty coffee industry. 
  • Its primary objective is to acknowledge and validate the expertise, skills, and capabilities of professionals in this field. 
  • Through the BGA Certification Program, baristas have the chance to showcase their dedication to delivering exceptional customer service and mastery in crafting top-notch beverages.

Specialty Coffee Association of Europe (SCAE) Barista Diploma

  • The SCAE Barista Diploma, offered by the Specialty Coffee Association of Europe, is a globally acknowledged certification that showcases an advanced level of expertise in the precise and scientific aspects of coffee preparation. 
  • This program aims to equip baristas with the ability to consistently create top-notch beverages while fostering an in-depth understanding of coffee production, roasting, and brewing principles.

World Barista Championship Certification

  • The World Barista Championship (WBC) is a yearly gathering that unites top baristas from various countries to contend for the esteemed title of World Barista Champion. 
  • This multi-day championship encompasses a series of competitions where participants showcase their expertise, knowledge, and dedication to coffee. 
  • The baristas are evaluated based on their adeptness in preparing and serving espresso-based beverages, milk drinks, and signature concoctions.

Top barista Schools in the World

A career as a barista might be your calling if you’ve been described as a coffee enthusiast. But there’s more to being a barista than just brewing a cup. ☕ 

Mastering the art of coffee requires dedication and practice to create the perfect brew. To help you jump on this caffeinated journey, we’ve curated a list of the top 5 barista schools worldwide, where you can learn and refine your skills, becoming a true coffee connoisseur. ⤵️

Seattle Barista Academy (USA)

  • The prestigious institute is well-known for its wide range of courses led by industry experts. 
  • Prioritizing practical learning and SCA certifications, students acquire hands-on experience while honing vital skills. 
  • The school’s dedication to outstanding education and extensive network within the coffee industry make it a preferred destination for aspiring baristas.

London School of Coffee (UK)

  • The esteemed London School of Coffee offers top-tier barista training, coffee roasting, and sensory skills development through SCA-accredited programs. 
  • With access to state-of-the-art facilities and a wide network of coffee experts, students are equipped for a prosperous future in the coffee industry.

Australian Barista Academy (Australia)

  • The Australian Barista Academy, accredited by ASCA, offers a comprehensive selection of courses designed for students at all levels, from novice barista skills to advanced brewing techniques. 
  • With experienced instructors, cutting-edge facilities, and a dedication to delivering a holistic education, the academy stands as a top preference for coffee enthusiasts worldwide.

Copenhagen Coffee Academy (Denmark)

  • Centered on specialty coffee and environmental responsibility, this institution offers SCA-certified programs and practical instruction within a Scandinavian environment. 
  • Students gain insights into the coffee industry’s environmental influence and acquire the skills to craft exceptional coffee experiences while promoting sustainability.

Dublin Barista School (Ireland)

  • The Dublin Barista School offers a blend of SCA-certified courses and hands-on training, fostering the development of proficient and knowledgeable baristas. 
  • Emphasizing the mastery of fundamental techniques and coffee theory comprehension, students emerge fully equipped for a thriving career in the coffee industry.

Where to find barista opportunities online?

Are you a passionate barista seeking exciting opportunities in the world of coffee? Look no further! In this digital age, the internet has become a powerful tool for baristas to discover a myriad of coffee-related ventures and connect with industry experts worldwide. 

This guide will accompany you as you navigate the online realm, helping you find the perfect barista roles that align with your aspirations and ambitions, whether you’re just starting or aiming to enhance your barista resume. ⤵️


  • A website called acts as a venue for job postings just for the coffee sector. 
  • Its goal is to link companies in the coffee industry with people searching for work in a variety of coffee-related vocations. 
  • Typically, a wide variety of job openings are posted on the internet, including those for baristas, roasters, managers of coffee shops, technicians of coffee equipment, and more.


  • By typing terms like “barista,” “coffee shop,” or “cafe” into the search bar on Indeed’s website or mobile app, aspirant baristas may look for suitable employment openings. 
  • The portal then displays a thorough list of barista job vacancies in various regions.

Key takeaways

Embracing a career as a barista may seem daunting, but with determination and dedication, the possibilities are limitless. 

I will suggest that you give it your all, hone your craft, and seize various coffee-related opportunities, and you could be the next master barista, creating coffee wonders that captivate like never before. 😁

In case, you have doubts. Let us know by commenting in the comment section below. 

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