Do You Need a Certificate to Be a Barista? (With FAQ)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 4 July 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Baristas are experts in preparing a range of coffee-based drinks, such as lattes, cappuccinos and espressos. Barista certificates teach the fundamental skills of coffee-making to prepare graduates for their first barista role. If you're interested in a career as a barista, you might wonder if it's necessary to complete a certificate before applying for positions. In this article, we answer the question 'Do you need a certificate to be a barista?', give tips to help you find a barista position, describe key skills for the role and provide answers to common questions about the career.

Do you need a certificate to be a barista?

To answer the question 'Do you need a certificate to be a barista?', there's no requirement for baristas to hold an official certificate to start their career. Training providers offer barista certificates to teach fundamental coffee-making skills, such as grinding beans, preparing espresso shots and steaming milk. You may be just as likely to secure a barista position if you can display competent skills without a formal certificate. While a certificate isn't necessary, here are some benefits of completing a barista course:

  • Improves your resume: If recruiters receive many applications from candidates with limited experience, evidence of formal training may strengthen your application. A certificate may reassure recruiters you understand the fundamental skills and responsibilities involved in a barista career even if you don't have industry experience.

  • Helps secure a trial or interview: Evidence of a barista certificate may help you to secure an interview or trial. By securing a practical trial, you can form connections in the industry and impress recruiters with your attitude and willingness to learn.

  • Shows your desire to learn: Including a barista certificate on your resume shows employers your interest in developing your career. It reflects important character traits like self-motivation and demonstrates to employers your desire to excel.

  • Develops foundational skills: Regardless of whether employers seek formal qualifications, completing a barista certificate teaches you the key duties and technical skills of a barista. It allows you to practise coffee-making and gives you a comprehensive understanding of a barista's daily tasks.

Related: How to Become a Barista (With Development Skills and FAQs)

Tips for becoming a barista

Apart from completing a certificate, there are several other ways you might progress your career as a barista. These tips may help you improve key skills and impress potential employers:

Search barista job boards

To stay aware of current barista jobs, visit online barista job boards. These websites provide a platform for employers to advertise openings for local barista positions. They may advertise jobs all over the country, so you can find openings regardless of where you live. You might also find recent advertisements for barista positions by receiving regular notifications from other online job boards.

Gain cafe experience

A great way to begin a career as a barista is to gain experience in a hospitality environment. This might be as a kitchen hand, dishwasher or server. As you gain experience and trust from your employer, they may provide you with the opportunity to practise your coffee-making skills. Once you can demonstrate your competence, you might progress to the position of barista.

Related: What Is the Hospitality Industry (Job Types and Salaries)

Customise your resume

For each barista position you apply to, adjust your resume so that it reflects the job description. To show your dedication and attention to detail, include keywords on your resume. For instance, if the job posting specifies a busy café environment, you might emphasise your time management skills or your ability to stay calm under pressure.

Read more: How to Write a Barista Resume (With Steps and Examples)

Develop your interpersonal skills

Regardless of your position, working in a café requires constant interaction with customers. To progress your career, identify any interpersonal skills you could improve. This might include your ability to communicate clearly or remember customers' names and orders. You may develop these skills in your everyday life or in other roles with a focus on customer service.

Related: Interpersonal Skills: Definitions and Examples

Key skills for a barista career

Alongside technical coffee-making skills, a barista role requires interpersonal qualities to engage with customers and ensure quality service. Listing key skills on your resume may enhance your application and help it progress. A successful barista may possess the following skills:

Ability to remain calm

Cafés are often busy and fast-paced, so remaining calm under pressure can be key to a barista career. Your role may require you to produce large numbers of coffees while remaining friendly and attentive to each customer. Calmness can help you prevent mistakes in orders and allow you to focus your attention on each task.

Communication and active listening

Baristas communicate regularly with customers, colleagues, servers and managers. Customers may describe a unique coffee preference or colleagues might communicate certain tasks for you to complete. Listening actively helps you to prevent mistakes and deliver orders accurately and efficiently.

Related: 12 Good Customer Service Examples

Problem solving

Being confident when solving problems as they arise can be a useful skill for a barista. They may respond to customer complaints or solve issues with incorrect orders. Finding appropriate solutions means the café and its staff can continue to operate smoothly and customers receive quality service.

Memory

A powerful memory can be an important skill for a barista. In cafés with regular customers, remembering names and orders can be key to creating a friendly and welcoming atmosphere. By remembering customers' coffee orders, you may produce each coffee efficiently while delivering excellent customer service.

Attention to detail

A good barista focuses on each detail of the coffee-making process. This may include getting the right temperature, producing glossy milk and ensuring the correct flavour. Even during busy periods, customers expect baristas to make their coffee to a consistently high standard. Strong attention to detail may extend to other aspects of the coffee-making process, such as setting the correct grind, ensuring cups are clean and pouring attractive latte art.

Related: How to Improve Your Attention to Detail in 4 Steps

Teamwork

In busy venues, a barista might work alongside one or two other baristas. Being able to coordinate your tasks means you can create an efficient system to make and serve coffees. As you're typically working in proximity to other staff, such as servers and kitchen hands, strong teamwork might see you assist in other areas of the venue. For instance, you may help serve drinks or assist with cleaning duties.

Related: How to Answer an Interview Question about Teamwork

FAQ about baristas

Here are some answers to FAQ about a career as a barista:

Where do baristas work?

Baristas may work in any venue that sells coffee. This might be a café, restaurant, bar or hotel. If you aspire to become an expert barista, cafés can be ideal as they generally serve a consistently high volume of coffee. Often, employees in other industries may make coffee as just one part of their role. For instance, a sports venue or bookshop may also sell coffees to customers.

Related: 20 Best Weekend Jobs (With Salaries and Job Duties)

What barista course can I complete?

To develop foundational barista skills, you can complete a short introductory course. Many training providers offer basic espresso courses, which teach key skills in espresso preparation, tamping, milk steaming and pouring and latte art. An introductory certificate typically takes a few hours to complete. At the end of the course, you can expect to receive an official certificate of completion. Once you gain experience, you might undertake more specialised courses, such as advanced latte art or a barista masterclass.

How long does it take to become a barista?

To become a skilled barista typically takes several months of practise. You may develop your skills at home or start your barista career by learning to make coffees in your workplace. While some venues might seek basic coffee-making skills, such as preparing espresso and steaming milk, others may require you to demonstrate extensive barista experience and additional skills, such as latte art or machine maintenance.

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