The Rise of the Butler

Posted by

Are you interested in working in the service industry? Do you have experience in the hospitality industry? If so, maybe you have what it takes to be a butler.


Although it's not a new career, there has been an increased demand for butlers over the past few years. Maybe it's due in part to the popularity of television programs like "Downton Abbey" (which I must confess a shameless addiction to) or to the ever-growing number of luxury hotels and resorts that provide hotel butlers for their guests. It's difficult to say why, but butlers are in high demand, and it's actually a really great job.


What do butlers do?


Officially, butlers are in charge of running the household. From hiring and managing household staff to packing a client's suitcases, a lot of tasks can be part of a butler's job. Historically, the butler was the man who kept everything running smoothly inside the house. He ran a staff of valets, under butlers, housekeepers and even a cook or chef. Today however, it's almost more common for a butler to be the only employee and one that is responsible for doing a little bit of everything. This "jack-of-all-trades" job requires someone who is flexible, adaptable and knowledgeable on a wide variety of topics. A successful butler is one who is able to handle any sort of crisis and who can anticipate the needs of their employer.


Being a butler is a tough job, but it's also one that comes with some very nice perks. For one, a butler earns, on average between $50,000 to $100,000 a year, in addition to room and board. There are even some world-class butlers who earn as much as $250,000 a year. Although it can sound like being a servant, a butler is much more like a house manager.


According to the Bespoke Bureau, a household staffing agency in London, the demand for well-trained butlers is growing. In a recent interview by The Economist, the agency said that they have placed 325 butlers so far this year, which is almost 35% more than in 2011.


It's not just the traditional aristocracy that are in the market for butlers either. In fact, a good portion of the growth is abroad. Very wealthy people from countries in the Middle East, Russia and China are traveling more and needing the services of a skilled butler.


If you're interested in becoming a butler, there are many schools across the globe that offer intensive training courses that cover everything from silverware identification to wine etiquette.


Have you ever thought of going into service? Why or why not? Please share your thoughts in the comments.


Photo courtesy of Masterpiece/PBS


Become a member to take advantage of more features, like commenting and voting.

  • Melissa Kennedy
    Melissa Kennedy
    Thanks! @Gloria - There are those who love the hospitality industry and do everything they can to help. You make the world a happier place!
  • Lourdes
    Hello Melissa,Great article. As a fomrer recruiter who used social media to find candidates, a previous job seeker who landed a great job being found on LinkedIn and a current resume writer/job search consultant, I can say your article is spot on in directing students to optimizing the use of social media for their search. It cannot be ignored. A successful job search not only involves the leg work of finding the right job, but strategically position oneself on social media channels to be found by a prospective employer. Great share!
  • Gloria F D
    Gloria F D
    I've been in the hospitality business for quite some time and love it.  Very professional yet friendly.  have dealt successfully with various type of personalities: coworkers, supervisors and clients.Would like more and full information on training courses.Thank you.
  • Melissa Kennedy
    Melissa Kennedy
    Thanks for the great comments. Butlering is a lot like being a mom. You have to have the right fit, but if you really want this job, do some research in order to find out who is hiring.
  • berith t
    berith t
    All I can say is I am a loyal dedicated worker.  I believe in staying on a job if I like it.  I am honest and have no criminal record.   
  • Henok M
    Henok M
    that sounds very nice.still I am working in different position in a hotel and air lines catering.I like this profession! melissa  kennedy
    I can try!!
  • kevin rose
    kevin rose
    im very interested bein a butler when can i start?
  • kevin rose
    kevin rose
    I think i can handle it. ive been doin that kind of work for years. i can cook,cleanhouse,cut grass,get the house togeather and in order,
  • Brian P
    Brian P
    I believe a butler or a personal assistant can be a good position for the right person. Like a marriage you have to compatible with the person your working for.   
  • Aristotle H
    Aristotle H
    I am somewhat of a butler now. I take care of the house make sure everyone is fed. I make sure all clothes are washed. Dishes are cleaned. I make sure that everyone is up and ready for school and work. I keep cars washed. I have worked as a manager of a restaurant for 4 yrs so I do have the skills to be a very skilled butler
  • Robin J
    Robin J
    I have more of the butler qualifications than I knew.  Very interesting and the fact of the money you can make is impressive!

Jobs to Watch