Bartending/waiting tables/catering

The hours: Flexible. Nights, weekend and lunchtimes can peak during the weeks before New Year's.

Median pay range: Bartending fetches $7.33 to $15.11 per hour and up plus tips. Waitstaff is good for $7.54 to $14.41 plus tips. Caterers should expect an hourly range between $9.82 and $11.89, but can run up to $20 an hour plus tips.

Qualifications: A pleasant personality and an ability to banter with customers is essential. Math and memorization skills come in handy too. Experience is helpful, but other positions where you've worked with people (even as a volunteer) are worth noting. Personal and professional references are valuable calling cards.

If you're considering bartending, especially as a postholiday part-time job, you might enroll in a bartender training school that offers two-week programs.

Catering will require more stove time in the kitchen to earn your culinary chops and references to back up your claims. You could face stiff competition from professional chefs. Expect upfront costs for sample menu preparation.

Not for the hot and bothered.

Job-hunting tips: Before you apply for waitstaff or bar jobs, do your reconnaissance as a customer to see how staff dress and get a feel for the venue and menu.

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