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Baristas make and serve coffee in cafes, coffee shop chains, restaurants and hotels.

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £8,000 to £20,000 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: Variable per week

1. Entry requirements

You may find it useful to have:

  • GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) or equivalent, in English and maths
  • experience of working in customer service or catering environment

You could complete a college qualification in a subject like food safety or hospitality and catering, but this isn’t essential.

You could get into this job through an apprenticeship.

2. Skills required

You’ll need:

  • an outgoing personality
  • excellent customer service skills
  • to work well under pressure
  • attention to detail

3. What you'll do

You’ll be responsible for serving customers and making up their orders. Your role is to make sure that customers enjoy their food and drink in a pleasant environment.

Your day-to-day duties might include:

  • preparing the coffee shop ready for opening
  • taking customer orders and payments
  • grinding fresh coffee beans
  • preparing and serving sandwiches and cakes
  • cleaning and tidying work areas, equipment and coffee machines
  • creating displays of stock
  • doing stock checks and ordering new stock
  • cleaning and tidying the coffee shop before closing

4. Salary

Starter: £8,000 to £15,000

Experienced: £15,000 to £17,000

Highly Experienced: up to £20,000 (high end restaurants and hotels)

Your salary will depend on the type of coffee shop you work for, and its location.

As a trainee barista you'll usually be paid by the hour, earning around the minimum wage.

Some employers may pay more for shift work and overtime.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

You’ll work between 35 and 40 hours a week, full time. Part-time opportunities are often available.

You’ll usually work on a shift pattern to cover early morning and late evening opening hours. 

You may also need to work some weekends and bank holidays.

The role can be physically demanding so you’ll need to be reasonably fit. The environment can be busy, hot and noisy.

Some employers will provide you with a uniform.

6. Career path and progression

With experience, you could become a store manager and then move on to a regional manager role.

You could also become self-employed and set up your own coffee shop.

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Last updated: 11 September 2018