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So, you want to become a barista. 


Good choice, but you really should consider becoming certified first!

When I look back on my brief career as a barista, all I remember was dreadfully waking up before the crack of dawn, and hyping up on as much espresso as I could handle, just to stay awake. Admittedly, I was only 16 and working for a paycheck, not a career path. Fast forward to the present, and I now realize that barista work isn’t just a job. It’s a highly complex and enriching career. If you’ve ever considered or are currently thinking about getting started as a barista, here are a few things to know before you set out to find work in the coffee industry.

“Barista work is a fantastic career path,” Dillon McInnes, Quality Assurance Manager at Water Avenue Coffee and Coffee Business in Portland, Oregon, said. “There are many opportunities for career growth in a variety of areas. Whether it be in education, production, equipment repair, or management. There are lots of unique jobs with a coffee company.”

Working as a barista is creative but also highly technical. On top of acquiring the skills to discern complex flavor profiles, baristas need to understand the technical aspects of different brewing methods and how they impact the experience — which is why getting certified as a barista should be your first step when seeking out a career in the coffee industry.

“Brewing coffee can be complex and intimidating,” McInnes said. “Having it broken down by experts will prepare you to think critically about coffee brewing throughout your career. In addition, certificates demonstrate to employers that you are serious about your coffee education.”

Becoming a certified barista is also a great way to see if the career is right for you. If it’s not — it still looks good on your resume! Of course, like any job, you can try your chances and get an entry-level position, but certification will offer you a leg up and more profound knowledge to accelerate your career. “Many shops provide some sort of basic new-hire training, but this is often quick and lacking in the theory that helps you understand why things work a certain way,” McInnes added.

Whether you’re a new or seasoned industry professional — Barista Certification is an excellent enhancement to your career and resume. Onlinebaristatraining.com, presented by Coffee Business, offers a fantastic barista training program that comes with a certification upon completion. The program only costs $49.95 and gives you access to the platform for three months so that you can complete the certification at your own pace. The course was set up to provide career development. After completion, account holders can maintain access to new webinars, videos, and content materials as they become available on the site with a monthly subscription.

“Our Online Training is an in-depth look at espresso and coffee beverage preparation,” McInnes shared. “It covers everything from the parts of an espresso machine, basic preparation techniques through to advanced tasting, recipe development, and latte art.”

In addition to getting certified, McInnes suggests that those interested in working with a coffee company should maintain a flexible mindset. “A willingness to be flexible is essential to getting your foot in the door as a barista,” McInnes said. “It can be hard to get a job and go straight to working the espresso machine making drinks. Be willing to start in one position and work towards jobs that are more aligned with your goals and passions.”

The versatility of working in the coffee industry makes it attractive to a multitude of personality types and thinkers. So if you’re ready to get started, check out onlinebaristatraining.com presented by Coffee Business, to spice up your resume and begin your journey well equipped with the foundational knowledge needed as a barista.


Ashley McNally

Ashley McNally likes to cook, loves to bake, and is always dreaming of her next meal. With over 13 years of experience working in various roles within a restaurant — McNally has made a home in hospitality.

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