What does a Barista do?

Baristas are responsible for making quality beverages, generally speciality hot drinks, preparing food orders, working the cash register, and cleaning and stocking the store. Baristas must do all of these tasks quickly and efficiently while also making sure to form good customer relationships.

Baristas typically need a high school diploma or equivalent. Additionally, baristas need to have strong English skills and must thrive in an environment that requires multi-tasking. The best baristas are dedicated to providing a high quality customer experience.

What responsibilities are common for Barista jobs?
  • Prepare and serve coffee and tea drinks that meet quality standards
  • Properly handle and maintain all equipment
  • Respond to orders, questions, concerns, and complaints in a polite and efficient manner
  • Accurately handle cash and credit card payments, following appropriate cash-handling procedures
  • Serve customers quickly and efficiently
  • Demonstrate a thorough understanding of all the menu offerings
  • Observe relevant health and safety standards
What are the typical qualifications for Barista jobs?
  • A high school diploma or general education degree (GED)
  • Retail, hospitality, and/or customer service experience preferred
  • Ability to read and speak English proficiently
  • Strong ability to multi-task
  • Basic mathematical skills
  • Ability to problem solve quickly
  • Strong customer service and communication skills
  • Ability to follow directions
Education--
Work/Life Balance
3.4 ★
Salary Range--
Career Opportunity
3.2 ★
Avg. Experience8+ years

Barista Salaries

Average Base Pay

$31,940 /yr
Same as national average
Not including cash compensation
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$27K
Median: $32K
$38K
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Glassdoor Estimated Salary

Barista Insights

Read what Barista professionals have to say about their job experiences and view top companies for this career.
Clean JuiceClean Juice
Juicerista
May 18, 2022

“Everyone was patient and kind and I made so many friends throughout my time working here.”

Propeller CoffeePropeller Coffee
Barista
Jul 17, 2022

“I was lucky to work under a highly attentive and versatile café manager during my time with Propeller.”

StarbucksStarbucks
Barista
Dec 1, 2020

“Great benefits and enjoyed the free bag of coffee each week and discount on merchandise.”

UC Santa CruzUC Santa Cruz
Barista/Cashier
May 3, 2022

“I worked with such amazing people and met new friends and all the customers were very nice and understanding.”

White Rock CoffeeWhite Rock Coffee
Barista/Shift Lead
Aug 2, 2021

“$19 hourly but really your starting pay is minimum wage and the rest are tips.”

Starbucks Coffee CompanyStarbucks Coffee Company
Barista/Barista Trainer
Aug 23, 2021

“They worked great with my changing schedule evert semester and had great benefits for only being part time.”

Scooter's CoffeeScooter's Coffee
Barista
Nov 8, 2022

“I love working here the atmosphere is great and I love all the jobs I do”

Starbucks Coffee CompanyStarbucks Coffee Company
Barista
Dec 31, 2020

“I thought it was really fun and liked that they were flexible with my school schedule.”

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Barista Interviews

Frequently asked questions about the role and responsibilities of baristas

A barista works in a coffee shop, taking orders and preparing drinks. They may also prepare and serve baked goods and other food items. The term refers to someone who has undergone training in espresso preparation, although most baristas make coffee and espresso-based beverages.

For those who enjoy interacting with people and staying busy, working as a barista is an appealing career option. Some of the best aspects of the role include a positive atmosphere and working with a team. Most baristas have a good work-life balance and can choose how much they want to work. Baristas can work full- or part-time hours and earn a decent salary without a lot of required education or training.

The average base salary for a barista is $31,940 per year. The pay is reasonable for an entry-level position. More experienced baristas and those working in high-demand coffee shops may earn more. Baristas may also work up to become store managers or shift leads.

As with any job, there are some downsides of being a barista. For example, it requires standing for long hours and often starting early in the morning. Depending on the popularity of the coffee shop, the workplace may often be busy, particularly at peak times, which can be stressful.

Barista jobs