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