- Requires excellent communication and organisational skills, and the ability to anticipate other people's needs
- With experience and contacts in the industry, option to set up your own business
- You may be based in a private home, luxury hotel, on a cruise ship or in an overseas embassy
Butlers generally work for affluent families, celebrities, politicians, businessmen, and other upper-class people. They are also known as "household managers" and generally oversee other household staff such as maids, chefs, chauffeurs, and gardeners, and also receive guests at the door. Butlers may need to make and serve drinks, including cocktails, wines, spirits, and other beverages, and may be responsible for the inventory of foods/beverages and their employers' wine cellar.
Understanding social etiquette and cultural protocol is an important part of the role. You duties may include:
- Personal assistant duties such as diary management and booking restaurants and travel
- Represent your client at meetings
- Manage the household and staff
- Table setting and serving food and drinks
- Chauffeur duties
- Looking after guests
- Wine cellar management
- Cooking and meal preparation
- Flower presentation and design
- Valeting such as clothing and shoe care
- Taking care of pets
- Organising shoots on country estates
Some clients may expect a very formal working environment. Butlers in private households usually earn more, and may be provided with accommodation. You may work in a luxury hotel, on a cruise ship or in an overseas embassy. A lot of butlers are also employed in private households and on country estates. Your working hours will depend on your employer and may be long, including evenings and weekends. You may work alone for long periods of time.
This role is ideal for someone with excellent communication and organisational skills, and the ability to anticipate other people's needs.
There are no set requirements but a qualification or relevant experience in butler skills may improve your employment chances.
You can get a qualification in butler skills through private courses that teach traditional and modern professional butler skills, like valeting, including clothing and shoe care, setting a formal dining table and providing a waiting service, social etiquette, dining etiquette and international etiquette and protocols, confidence and deportment.
You can apply for work directly or through a housekeeping agency if you have experience of the hospitality or personal services industries. Being able to speak a second language may be helpful and you'll usually need a full driving licence.
With experience you could become a head butler and supervise and train people new to the role.
Once you have a wide range of experience and contacts in the industry, you could look at setting up your own business, like a butler training school or a butler recruitment agency.