First of all, let's be clear. If you're coming to Las Vegas planning to just show up at the Mirage, apply for whatever job you want, and ask 'When do I start?', you are in for a rude awakening. With the influx of people moving to Vegas jobs, can be pretty scarce - especially the good ones. The ones that are available are usually reserved for the people that have done their time at lesser properties and have the most experience. If you're not deterred by putting in long hours working at a lesser job at a lesser property for an extended period of time, before the big Strip properties will even talk to you, you might have a shot. Let's look at a few of the jobs that you can aim for.
When people come to Vegas, they want to go out. They get dressed to the nines and head out to the clubs in search of the best that Vegas has to offer. Gaining access to these clubs can range from walking straight in, to waiting for hours on end only to be turned away. For the girls, it's easy. A good looking, well dressed woman can walk into virtually any club in Las Vegas like she owns the place. If you're like many of the hopeless groups of guys that come to Vegas thinking they're going to stroll into any club they want ready to fulfill their Vegas fantasy, you're going to have to get more creative. Enter the bouncer. He can be your worst enemy or your best friend.
Vegas is famous for the greasy palms that plague every aspect of the service industry. Night after night bouncers all over Las Vegas charge a fee for bypassing the crowds that swarm the entryways. It doesn't matter who you are or what you look like, when you flash some cash you're good to go. Being a bouncer in this town can be a very lucrative business indeed. It's difficult to calculate how much money these guys make. Depending on how exclusive the venue, palm greasers can look to spend between $10 and $100 per person to get to the head of the line. With hundreds of people passing through the velvet ropes using this method nightly, it's easy to see how quickly the figures add up. Say there are three bouncers working the door of a club at a premier property, and they accept $30 per person to bypass the line. On any given night there can easily be 100 people clamoring to get in and willing to pay the fee. Not including the tips dropped by the VIPs and any other extras, that's an extra $1,000 for each bouncer for doing next to nothing. This, by the way, is a VERY conservative estimate.
Unfortunately, it's next to impossible to land one of these prized positions. Just about the only way to land one of these positions is to know someone that is doing it already, and they had better be a close friend. According to an article in the Las Vegas Review Journal, some of the bouncers at Pure (nightclub at Caesar's) are clearing $400,000 - $500,000 a year! Not a bad job... if you can get it!
Next up is being a good 'ole Las Vegas bartender. Over 37 million people visit Las Vegas a year. An estimated 100 million drinks are served each year. That's a lot of booze! If you're lucky enough to be slingin' cocktails at a Vegas property, you can expect to make several hundreds of dollars a night. In order to secure this job, your best bet is landing a position as a barback. Only after doing this grueling job for times ranging from a couple of months to a couple of years can you belly up to the bar and start serving.
The best bartenders in this town are the flair bartenders. They make the scenes out of the famous movie 'Cocktail' come to life. Their bag of tricks includes anything from juggling bottles to balancing precarious stacks of bottles on their chin. Tourists throw money at these people. A normal bartender might make a dollar per drink if he's doing a good job and his clients are degens. A flair bartender can make up to $5 and even $20 gratuity per drink. I spoke to one of the best flair bartenders in Vegas one night and he told me he practices up to eight hours per night, every night! If you want the job you better pay the price. Sorry guys, I can't go out tonight, I need to practice my flair.
The last job I'll discuss is that of casino host. This is one of the most difficult but potentially most rewarding jobs in Las Vegas. Your main function as a casino host is to harpoon the biggest whales you can find and reel them in to play at your property. As a host you will have carte blanche to make happen whatever is necessary to attract the biggest players in the world to your property.
Once you have secured a client list, your only job is to make sure they are happy. This can range from securing seats to any and every show they want, to fulfilling any request they have regarding their personal comfort. Players that come to Vegas to play will ask for anything you can think of. Some will want their rooms painted a certain color, others will want the finest food and drink money can buy, the musically inclined might request a grand piano in their room. As a casino host it will be your job to make sure that you fulfill these requests at any cost. If the player isn't happy, they might go somewhere they will be. If you can't gather and retain players your worth to the casino drops to zero. Keep them lucky and happy however, and you can receive anything from generous cash bonuses to extravagant gifts. It's a grueling job that involves a ton of leg work but there are some perks too.
Sometimes a client will come into town and expect the host to become their instant friend. As a host, you will go to any parties they go to, dinners they attend, even hit the golf course with them. Getting paid to party and relax with some of the richest people in the world doesn't seem too bad, but remember you'll have to put in a lot of hours. The average salary of a casino host is around $75,000 a year not including gifts and gratuities.
These are just a few of the jobs you can strive for to get your piece of the Vegas pie. Obviously there are hundreds if not thousands of different types of jobs in this town, those mentioned are just some that keep you knee deep in the Vegas action at all times. If you're going to move here, formulate a plan and do it right. Vegas baby, here we come!