Food & drink


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

Annual Salary

£8,000 to £20,000

Average UK salary in 2018 was £29,588 (source Office for Statistics)

Working hours


What's it all about?

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

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.

£8,000 to £20,000

Starter salary: £8,000 to £15,000

Experienced salary: £15,000 to £17,000

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.


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.

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.

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You’ll need:

  • an outgoing personality
  • excellent customer service skills
  • to work well under pressure
  • attention to detail
My top 5 skills from the skills bank
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