Hospitality & Tourism

Publican or Licensee

Publicans or licensees manage licensed premises such as bars, clubs, pubs, hotels or licensed restaurants.

  • Entry-level education

    Junior secondary school certificate or equivalent

  • Job outlook

    1 2 3 4 5

What does a Publican or Licensee do?

Publicans or licensees manage licensed premises such as bars, clubs, pubs, hotels or licensed restaurants.


Work activities

As a publican or licensee, you would:

  • manage a licensed establishment on behalf of owners or leaseholders
  • run the licensed establishment according to health, safety and legal requirements
  • organise deliveries and undertake stock-takes
  • stock and maintain bar areas
  • manage wages and accounts
  • liaise with breweries and alcohol suppliers
  • enforce the law on the sale of alcohol on your premises.



Key skills and interests

To become a publican or licensee, you would need:

  • excellent customer service skills
  • the ability to manage staff
  • good written and spoken communication skills
  • the ability to communicate with people at all levels
  • business skills
  • tact and diplomacy
  • stamina to work long hours
  • an understanding of laws regarding the sale and service of alcohol.

Working hours and conditions

Working Hours

Your working hours would be long, and would include evenings, weekends and perhaps public holidays. You would usually work shifts.


Licensed establishments can be very noisy and busy. You would be on your feet for most of your shift, and your work may involve carrying crates and moving barrels at times.


How to become an Publican or Licensee?

Entry Level Education

To become a publican or licensee, you do not need formal qualifications. Most publicans or licensees have broad experience in the hospitality or tourism industry, and have run or managed licensed drinking or dining establishments before becoming the primary publican or licensee / licence holder.

You would need to hold the correct class of licence for the type of establishment you are running or managing. Licensing arrangements differ slightly from state to state. To serve alcohol in licensed premises, you must also hold a Responsible Service of Alcohol certificate. You would also be required to hold a National Police Certificate.


Job outlook

  • 1 2 3 4 5

Employment of publicans or licensees is projected to grow about as fast as the average for all occupations.

Job growth will occur as higher disposable incomes mean that people will dine out and socialise more outside the home, resulting in the need for more licensed dining and drinking establishments. 


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