Looking for your very first job can be an exciting yet daunting experience. You want to find a job that will teach you valuable skills and look great on your resume, all while earning you decent pay. Starbucks is one of the most popular first job options for high school and college students.

But is it actually a good starter job? Let’s take an in-depth look.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: Starbucks can be a great first job if you’re seeking flexible scheduling, benefits, and opportunities to move up. Just be prepared for fast-paced, customer-facing work.

Pros of Working at Starbucks as a First Job

Working at Starbucks can be a great first job for many reasons. Here are some of the pros that make it an attractive option:

Good Pay and Benefits

Starbucks is known for offering competitive pay to its employees. According to Glassdoor, the average hourly wage for a Starbucks barista is around $11. This is higher than the minimum wage in many states.

In addition to a good wage, Starbucks also offers benefits like healthcare, a retirement savings plan, and stock options for eligible employees.

Tuition Reimbursement Program

One of the great benefits of working at Starbucks is their tuition reimbursement program. Starbucks partners (employees) can receive up to $1,000 per year towards their college education. This program can be a huge help for those looking to further their education while working part-time.

Flexible Scheduling

Starbucks understands that many of their employees are students or have other commitments outside of work. That’s why they offer flexible scheduling options. Whether you need to work early mornings, late nights, or specific days of the week, Starbucks will do their best to accommodate your availability.

Opportunities for Advancement

Starbucks is known for promoting from within. Starting as a barista can be the first step towards a rewarding career with the company. With hard work and dedication, employees can move up the ladder and take on roles with more responsibilities, such as shift supervisor or store manager.

Gain Valuable Skills

Working at Starbucks can provide you with a range of valuable skills that can benefit you in future endeavors. You’ll learn about customer service, teamwork, time management, and how to work efficiently in a fast-paced environment.

These skills are transferable and can be applied to various industries and positions.

Cons of Working at Starbucks as a First Job

Fast-Paced Environment

One of the main cons of working at Starbucks as a first job is the fast-paced environment. Starbucks is known for its busy and bustling atmosphere, especially during peak hours. The baristas are constantly on their feet, taking orders, preparing drinks, and serving customers.

This can be overwhelming for someone who is new to the workforce and still learning the ropes. However, it can also be an opportunity for personal growth and development, as it teaches you how to handle pressure and multitask efficiently.

Dealing with Difficult Customers

Another challenge of working at Starbucks is dealing with difficult customers. Just like any customer service job, you may encounter customers who are unhappy or demanding. It requires patience, strong communication skills, and the ability to remain calm under pressure.

While it can be challenging, it is also an opportunity to develop your customer service skills and learn how to handle difficult situations.

On Your Feet All Day

Working at Starbucks often means spending long hours on your feet. Whether you are taking orders at the register or preparing drinks behind the counter, you will be standing and moving around for most of your shift.

This can be physically tiring, especially if you are not used to being on your feet for extended periods of time. However, it can also be seen as a positive aspect, as it promotes an active and healthy lifestyle.

Early Mornings and Late Nights

Starbucks is known for its early morning and late-night shifts. This means that as a barista, you may be required to start your shift as early as 5 am or work until closing time, which can be as late as 11 pm or midnight.

This schedule may not be ideal for everyone, especially those who prefer a more traditional 9-5 workday. However, it can also be an advantage for those who are early birds or night owls and enjoy the flexibility of different shift options.

Job Requirements and Expectations

Working at Starbucks can be a great first job for many individuals, but it does come with certain requirements and expectations. Here are some key factors to consider:

Customer Service Skills

One of the most important skills needed for a job at Starbucks is strong customer service skills. As a barista, you will be interacting with customers on a daily basis, taking their orders, and ensuring their satisfaction.

Excellent communication skills, a friendly attitude, and the ability to handle customer complaints or concerns are essential in providing a positive experience for customers.

Ability to Multitask

Working at Starbucks can be fast-paced, especially during peak hours. Baristas are expected to handle multiple tasks simultaneously, such as taking orders, preparing beverages, and handling cash transactions.

The ability to multitask efficiently and stay organized is crucial in keeping up with the demands of the job.


Starbucks places a strong emphasis on teamwork. As a barista, you will be working closely with a team of other baristas and store staff. Collaboration, communication, and the willingness to support and assist your colleagues are important qualities to have.

It’s all about working together to provide excellent service to customers and maintain a positive work environment.

Meeting Sales Goals

Another expectation at Starbucks is meeting sales goals. Baristas are responsible for upselling and promoting new products to customers. This requires product knowledge, persuasive skills, and the ability to make recommendations based on customer preferences.

Meeting sales targets not only benefits the company but also provides opportunities for baristas to earn bonuses or incentives.

Adhering to Dress Code

Starbucks has a strict dress code policy that all employees must adhere to. This includes wearing a clean and neat uniform, following guidelines for hairstyles and jewelry, and maintaining good personal hygiene.

Adhering to the dress code helps create a professional and consistent image for the company.

How to Get Hired at Starbucks

Apply Online

One of the first steps to getting hired at Starbucks is to apply online. The company has a streamlined application process that can be completed on their official website. Simply go to the Starbucks careers page and search for available positions in your area.

Fill out the required information, including your personal details, education, and work experience. Make sure to double-check your application for any errors or missing information before submitting it.

Highlight Relevant Skills

When applying for a job at Starbucks, it’s essential to highlight any relevant skills you possess. Starbucks values teamwork, customer service, and attention to detail. If you have previous experience in the food and beverage industry, make sure to mention it in your application.

Additionally, emphasize any customer service or communication skills you have developed in previous roles. This will show the hiring manager that you have what it takes to succeed in a fast-paced and customer-oriented environment.

Prepare for the Interview

Once your application is reviewed and selected, you will be invited for an interview. It’s crucial to prepare for this step to increase your chances of getting hired. Research common interview questions and practice your responses.

Be ready to talk about your previous work experience, your ability to work in a team, and how you handle difficult customer situations. Dress professionally and arrive on time to make a good impression. Remember to bring a copy of your resume and any other supporting documents that may be required.

For more detailed tips on how to ace the Starbucks interview, you can visit their official website here.


Starbucks can provide a solid foundation for your first job experience. The work will keep you busy in a fast-paced environment, and you’ll build valuable soft skills in customer service, teamwork, and communication.

Just be prepared for some cons like dealing with stressful rushes and grumpy customers. If you think you can handle the challenges, Starbucks’ benefits, flexibility, and advancement opportunities make it a great starter job.

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