How to Become a Certified Barista

By | August 16, 2016
How to become a barista

Becoming a barista provides opportunities to work in coffee shops, restaurants, and hotels.

How to Become a Certified Barista

Are you interested in becoming a barista and qualify to work in the several restaurants, hotels, and coffee shops across the country?

This post will show you how to become a certified barista, including the training and certification that you need to advance in your career and improve your status and pay.

Who is a Barista?

A barista is typically a bartender who works behind the counter serving cold and hot drinks like espresso, and cold alcohol and non-alcoholic drinks, as well as light meals.

Baristas are required to work on a full-time schedule, operating between 35 to 40 hours weekly. Part-time positions may also be available, working in early mornings or late evenings, weekends, and even holidays.

Educational Requirements and Certification to Become a Barista

Baristas require no formal education, and employers who need their services usually provide on the job training in specific areas such as processes and menus, but if baristas want to advance to more corporate or management roles within a company, the individual may consider college degree in either business or hospitality management.

Although individual criteria for employment may differ, most employers may require a GED or high school diploma, or good GSCE grades especially in English and Math.

Baristas who want to run their own coffee shops can seek further training through specified culinary, business, or even coffee educational programs.

Apprenticeships may also be available to train professionals in skills to be a barista, which can last for up to 12 months.

The training to become a barista may expose the individual to areas like:

  • The origin, variety, and flavors of coffee
  • Using and cleaning of coffee bean grinders, and espresso machines
  • Addition of texture and foam to milk
  • Latte art and designs to the top of a latte


Preparing for work may lead you to take up college qualifications such as:

  • Level 1 awards in introduction to employments in the hospitality industry
  • Level 2 awards in food safety and catering.
    Further qualifications may require that you also possess:
  • Level 3 award in supervising food safety and catering
  • Level 4 awards in managing food safety and catering

Institutions for Barista Training

Here are institutions and schools that provide additional training and qualifications to advance in your career as a barista, as well as certificates that can position you for management positions. They include:

  • Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts, offering an AAS degree, and Diploma in Culinary Arts, as well as a Diploma in Pastry Arts
  • Penn Foster Career School offers a career diploma in catering
  • Kaplan University offers an AAS in Business administration –food and hotel management.

Other schools may include Ashford College, Duke University, Harvard University, and the University of Notre’ Dame.

Barista Roles, Duties and Responsibilities

The primary function of a barista is to make and serve coffee drinks and sandwiches, and often times required to move around with several drinks at the same time.

So, basically, the role of a barista includes:

  • Readying the coffee shop for the business of the day
  • Taking orders from customers, as well as their payments
  • Picking and grinding fresh coffee beans
  • Preparing and serving light foods like sandwiches and cakes
  • Keeping the work area clean and tidy, including coffee makers and espresso machines
  • Displaying a list of products, and in the absence of one, creating a list
  • Checking supplies and ordering for new stock
  • Cleaning the place of business at the end of the day.

Required Barista Skills

The work of a barista is a physically demanding work, which requires that you be on your feet for a prolonged period of time. Therefore, asides being physically fit, the requisite skills to become a successful barista include:

  • An outgoing personality
  • The ability to work under pressure
  • Ability to be creative, intuitive, and work independently
  • Ability to work in a team
  • Knowledge about health, safety hazards, and hygiene
  • Excellent customer service skills.

Barista Career Opportunities

Job opportunities exist for baristas in independent coffee shops, restaurants, and hotels, and if the company you are working for has international branches, opportunities may come up for you to work in other countries.

Experienced baristas may also assume advanced roles like store managerial positions, or regional managerial roles.
You may also be self-employed and set up your own coffee shop.

Salary Expectation for Barista

Starting your first barista work may require an hour payment of $8.99, or between £6 and £7.

As a barista supervisor, your hourly rate may be upped to between £8 and £8.50 an hour.

Permanent members of a shift staff could earn as much as £15,000 to £17,000 a year, as well as experienced baristas can earn up to £20,000 a year.

Salaries are dependent on the coffee shop worked for and location. Some employers pay more for shift and overtime, and tips may also be given by customers.


If you are thinking of making a career in the hospitality industry, becoming a certified barista may not be a bad idea.

You can gain some work experience while advancing your career into management positions through taking of relevant courses and certifications.

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