How to Become a Butler

Three Methods:EducationExperienceGetting Hired

There are no formal education requirements you need to worry about if you want to become a butler, but this career field can be difficult to break into, nonetheless. Good training and related work experience will make you stand out from the competition. If you do manage to become a butler, you should be prepared to take on many challenges and responsibilities.

Part 1

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    Do your own research. Before you begin the process of becoming a butler, you should do some preliminary research on your own time. Learn what you can expect from the field by reading about modern day butlers online and in print.
    • While butlers have traditionally been male, nowadays, women are also pursuing careers in this field.
    • As of 2013, the average salary for most butlers in the United States is between $50,000 and $120,000 annually. Note, however, that your salary may be lower if you are accepting the position at an entry level.
    • Nowadays, most butlers take a managerial role in household operations. You'll need to be a master at a range of household related skills.
    • You should be physically strong and healthy. Since the operation of the household rests on your shoulders, you will need to be physically and mentally capable of handling the task without frequent breaks or vacations.
    • Private butlers usually live in an apartment or room of the main house or in a separate small house elsewhere on the estate. As such, you can expect to be on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.[1]
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    Complete high school. Beyond a high school diploma or GED, you don't need any formal education to become a butler. Most potential employers will want to see that you have completed high school, though.
    • During high school, consider taking classes that could help in on your job path. For instance, take courses in home economics and finance.
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    Teach yourself the right skills. While there are no formal education requirements, you will need to know the right skills if you want to become a butler. You should be able to study the majority of these skills on your own.
    • As a butler, you may need to supervise other household staff, hire other household staff, arrange and care for the client's wardrobe, take on the role of household secretary, keep a family schedule, serve meals and drinks, arrange tables, receive guests, and maintain the security of the household.[2]
    • Consider taking supplementary classes on finance, security, food preparation, and etiquette. Basic computer knowledge can also give you the knowledge you need to keep track of family finances, and schedules.
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    Attend formal training courses. Even though formal education is not required, there are post-secondary schools and academies that do offer brief training courses in the field. Going through these training courses will polish your skills, and many of these academies also have job placement services.
    • You can look for household management courses at a technical school or community college, or you could go to a school that specializes in the field. Several notable specialty schools include:
      • School for Butlers and Hospitality (Brussels, Belgium)
      • The Professional Domestic Institute (Powell, Ohio, USA)
      • The Estate Management Studies program at the French Culinary Institute (New York City, New York, USA)
      • The Charles MacPherson Academy (Toronto, Ontario)
      • The International Butler Academy (Valkenburg Van de Geul, The Netherlands)
    • A formal training program will teach you the code of ethics practiced by butlers, as well as the skill sets used by those in the field. You can expect to take classes on professional presentation, table service, routine home maintenance, laundry essentials, and household cleaning/organizing.[3]

Part 2

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    Train with a professional. Find a professional butler and inquire about the possibility of doing an apprenticeship with him or her. Being able to observe a professional on the job will help you gain perspective on how to improve your own performance.
    • You may not get paid for the experience and the job shadowing period may only last for a few weeks. During this time, observe the professional's actions as much as possible. When given tasks, complete them as your experience and knowledge suggest.
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    Work as a maid or housekeeper. While butlers and maids perform different tasks, some of the tasks can overlap. Consider spending time working for clients through a maid agency.
    • Instead of looking for work as an independent maid or house cleaner, try to find employment with formal maid and house cleaning services. Search for local house cleaning agencies in your area and find out how to apply.
    • Focus on work that will give you experience as a house cleaner. Working as a maid at a hotel is also a legitimate option. Avoid janitorial positions within industrial companies, however, since the skills you will use there will not offer you much usable work experience for a career as a butler.
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    Get work experience in a hotel. There are a variety of positions at a hotel that will allow you to use and fine-tune your butler skills. In addition to improving your skills, you will also benefit from being able to show this work experience on a resume.
    • Working as a concierge will give you experience greeting guests and minding accommodations.
    • If you cannot get a position at the desk, aim for a job as a porter or maid. While these jobs are only loosely related to the tasks a butler will perform, they will still give you valuable experience and instruct you on tending to clients' needs.
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    Gather as much experience in the service industry as possible. A butler can perform many services, and you can gain experience in these various services by working within the service or hospitality industry.
    • Work as a host or server at a restaurant to gain experience setting tables, serving drinks, and serving meals.
    • Consider working at a dry cleaners to gain knowledge about caring for wardrobes.
    • Take a job as a secretary or receptionist in an office to prepare yourself for secretarial work that may be expected of a household butler.
    • Spend time as a hired driver so that you can gain chauffeur experience. While chauffeurs and butlers are usually two separate people within a household, there are instances when a butler also doubles as a private driver.

Part 3
Getting Hired

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    Consider joining a guild or organization. Joining a professional guild or organization for butlers and household staff is extremely advantageous since you will have some sort of “formal” backing. Potential employers looking to hire a private butler often turn to these organizations with their requests before turning to the public.
    • One of the largest organizations you can join is the International Guild of Professional Butlers ( You will need to register with the guild and send in your resume. After that, you will have access to their list of current jobs, as well as other resources.
    • Just as there are agencies that hire and place maids, there are also agencies that hire and place butlers. These are less common, especially in the United States, so tracking one down in your area can be difficult. If you cannot find one in your local yellow pages or online, consult your nearest maid / house cleaner agency or other contacts you have made within the hospitality industry to find out where the nearest butler organization or agency might be.
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    Look for job ads. Turn to the classifieds. Nowadays, legitimate butler positions are rare, and it is even rarer to find an advertisement for such a position in the newspaper or online classifieds. Nonetheless, they are posted from time to time, so persistently looking in the classifieds can pay off.
    • Larger cities have more opportunities in the field, especially if there are wealthy neighborhoods in that city. Focus on looking through the classifieds for those areas first.
    • Be careful when answering job ads. Since butler positions are rare, many ads you run across may actually be scams and have the potential to be dangerous. Avoid meeting potential employers in deserted areas, and if your intuition tells you to leave, listen to it.
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    Get recommendations. As you gain experience in other parts of the service and hospitality industry, you will naturally begin networking with professionals. If you make a good impression on the people you work with as you gain experience, someone may eventually be able to recommend you to a private employer.
    • Keep a list of potentially helpful contacts with each job experience you complete. You can ask these contacts to guide you to any positions they know about, or if you find a butler position on your own, you can ask these people to vouch for your skills and work ethic.

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Categories: Hospitality