Butler Job Description

Considering a career as a Butler? 

Here are our answers to some of the questions we are frequently asked by candidates thinking about becoming Butlers:

Duties, Responsibilities & Skills

What are the duties and responsibilities of a Butler?

  • Formal table service and service of drinks

  • Valeting, including clothing and shoe care

  • Care of the wine cellar

  • Cleaning of silver and care of fine antiques and art

  • Organisation of shoots and care of guns

  • Flower arranging and table decorations

  • Meeting and greeting of guests 

What qualifications do you need to be a Butler?

Experience helps, including from a related sector (such as hospitality and concierge services) and you can start from the bottom, but formal training can also be beneficial.

What are the characteristics of a Butler?

Someone who is smart and well presented. Someone who wants to do their best for their principal, who is also flexible and adaptable.

What do Butlers wear?

Depending on the household preferences, attire can range from casual shirt and trousers to a formal Butler’s uniform.

How should a Butler address their employer?

At the start of the interview process, the recruitment consultant should let you know how to address them. In time the principal may ask you to call them by their first name.

Do Butlers cook?

If based in a smaller household, you may be required to prepare a small breakfast.

Does a Butler clean?

Yes, including the Butler’s pantry and sometimes also public areas of the home.

Butler Career

How do you get a job as a Butler?

Registering with agencies is a good start, as they have access to a large number of clients and contacts.

What schools are good for Butlers?

The British Butler Institute and the International Butler Academy are well known, and their courses range from one week to two months in duration. However they can be very expensive.

Can a Butler be female?

Yes, being a Butler is an equal opportunity role.

What are the pros and cons to being a Butler?


  • Giving the best service possible

  • Opportunities to meet celebrities

  • Potential to make good money


  • Long hours which can be unpredictable at times

Butler salary

How much do Butlers get paid?

Live-in roles range from £25K to £45K, and live-out from £35 to 65K, depending on location and experience. Find out more on the average butler salaries page.

What are the working hours / days for a Butler?

Working hours can change depending on the principal’s movements, but typically a 5-6 working day week including weekends.

Butler vs. Footman

What’s the difference between a Butler and a Footman?

A Footman typically ranks below a Butler, assisting him alongside his other household duties.

What is an Under Butler?

Very similar to a Footman; someone who works under the Head Butler.

​You can browse our latest Butler vacancies here.

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