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How to find a job as a barista

Finding A Job in the Coffee Industry

Your journey to becoming a professional barista has to start somewhere – but finding a job in the coffee industry isn’t simple when you have little experience. For those of you fresh out of barista training, there are 2 main paths towards your first barista job.

What You Need to Succeed

Nearly all well-paying, respectable barista jobs require previous experience. This is difficult for a new barista trying to find their first job. A resounding question we get is ‘How can you gain experience if no one will hire you?’

You need to be clever when applying for jobs. Café owners are looking for experience because it implies certain skills, including:

  • Dedication
  • Strong coffee knowledge for preparing and serving coffee
  • The ability to work under pressure
  • The ability to serve customers and work well with the rest of the team.
  • Reliability

When you break it down, it’s achievable.  You can absolutely work on proving all of the above to a prospective employer.  Even if you don’t have experience working in a cafe, proving that you’ve worked in a high-pressure environment, serving customers and you providing references puts you one step ahead of many other applications.

The acquisition of coffee knowledge is what your barista training was for and if you’re lucky enough to have joined one of our courses you may also have a great reference from a café owner after doing work experience.  If you’ve arranged trained off your own back, rather than at an employer’s request, you’re showing real dedication already.

2 Different Routes to Becoming a Professional Barista

These 3 routes are the basis of your journey to becoming a pro – but that doesn’t mean it will always be plain sailing. Keep an eye out for opportunities, don’t be afraid to take part in new barista courses, and industry events, meet likeminded people and show the world (and potential employers) that you’re genuinely passionate about coffee.

Route 1 – Start at The Bottom

It may not be glamorous but building up experience in the key areas that employers will be looking for is essential. Working in a cafe could mean sweeping floors or washing dishes – it’s a step on the ladder to becoming a barista.

It will be hard work, but when you’re given the opportunity to assist at the coffee machine or fill in for a sick employee who usually works with the barista, it will be your time to shine.

Ideally you want to find a cafe where there’s training available – these places will be more open to you working your way up through training.

If you’re struggling to find a place to work, consider more mainstream cafes, snack bars or anywhere that may have a coffee machine; where you can at least gain experience on the machine.  It only takes a few coffees per day to gain proficiency and confidence.

Route 2 – Networking

Networking is something that many people dread – but there’s really no need to.

By networking in the coffee industry, you’re going to find people who share your passion for coffee. The worst that can happen is you have a very interesting conversation and add a new friend on facebook/meta, insta or linkedIn.

If you succeed, you may be offered opportunities you won’t find on job sites. Many baristas are looking to become mentors, passing on their techniques and training enthusiastic individuals. This allows them to teach exactly how they like to prepare and serve coffee, and it gives you an amazing opportunity to learn from a pro.  Networking will allow your personality to shine often a trait that isn’t trainable.  With the right personality you’ll often find people willing to train you up on the job.

Follow these networking tips:

  • Stay in contact with everyone – including your teachers and classmates during your barista training.
  • Reach out to people – professional baristas, competition competitors and judges or just someone you admire at your favourite cafe.
  • Be humble and eager, yet confident in your own abilities.
  • Join Facebook groups and let the world know that you’re eager to learn.

Start with these: 

  • Adelaide Barista Network
  • South Australian Hospitality Crew
  • Adelaide Hospitality Crew
  • and Adelaide Baristas

Don’t just rely on other people, however. If you really want to build a career, you’ll need to pull your own weight. It would be wise to work on route 1 while you’re busy networking!


All paths that lead to becoming a barista in the industry start with barista training – it’s absolutely essential. Don’t hesitate to get in touch and find out how we can train you in the art of coffee making, or browse the rest of our articles for some free tips on mastering the simplest of coffee making techniques.

Our Recommendation is the Barista Mentorship Package:

Designed to produce a professional barista who is fully competent in all areas of espresso beverage production this packages introduces further mentoring in one-on-one training and extra practice time with our barista trainers

This package includes:

  • Barista Level 1 Certification
  • Barista Level 2 Certification
  • 20 Hours Industry Placement
  • 2-Hour Private Barista Training Session
  • 2-Hour Coffee Lab Practice Session
  • Bonus Interactive Barista Manual
  • Bonus 2 Hour Resume Preparation and Job Hunting Workshop
  • Bonus Barista Resume Template


About The Author

Peter is the Director of HG Coffee School, a cafe owner, businessman, consultant, husband and father to three energetic children! With many years of experience in the coffee industry and owner of several cafes of his own, Peter has coached many new business owners in building their dream business, judged barista and latte art competitions at the national level and continues to coach and train thousands of new baristas through the coffee school each year. To read more of peter's writing visit  www.thehospitalitycoach.net To get in touch with Peter about maximising your business' potential email info@hgcoffee.com.au now!