Types of Butlers


Published on May 4, 2016

“You called Sir?” Types of Butlers for every type of Household

Picking the right butler for your household can sometimes feel a bit overwhelming. Especially nowadays, when there are so many different types of butlers, it can become rather confusing which one would work best for your household.

But fear not – the variety of choice is a good thing! We recognise all households are different and unique, and with the wide selection of butlers available in today’s market, you will be sure to find the perfect butler to fit your household.

So what types of Butlers are there?

Traditional Butler

The first thing that comes in mind when people think of butlers, is the Traditional Butler. A multi-skilled service professional – the Traditional Butler stands out for his ‘invisible presence’. Understanding the needs of the Principals before they realise them and providing service accordingly. In some cases, the Traditional Butler can be seen as the highest servant of the household, being left in charge of the male staff and junior butlers.

Mostly classically trained at a Butler or Service School, this butler is similar to the ones portrayed in British television series and films.  In most cases, this butler will be male, wearing a classic Butler suit.

The Traditional Butler will have excellent knowledge of silver service, reception and etiquette, and therefore will be the first person the Principals, and their guests will be greeted by when entering the house. He will be in charge of service for more formal occasions and parties, as well as day-to-day service of food and beverages.

With an excellent knowledge of wine-pairing and and spirits, the Traditional Butler will oversee the wine cellar and pantry. The Traditional Butler will also have knowledge of clothing and wardrobe management and can act as a Valet when needed.

Modern Butler

The Modern Butler can come from many different backgrounds and does not wear the traditional butler suit. This butler has a wide variety of skills and can take on many different roles – household manager, domestic staff manager, payroll, chauffeur, etc.

The Modern butler can manage and organise maintenance of the house, be in charge of complete building projects, schedule flights and book holidays. With different backgrounds, some Modern Butlers come from a military or professional sports background – with skills they can apply in their day to day Butlering role.

Exciting sports events and adventurous trips are often organised and led by the Modern Butler. He can source the best restaurants, bars, and nightclubs and will have a wide network they can source to make sure the Principals are getting entrance to the right events at the right times.

Besides this, Modern Butlers will be trained in and knowledgeable of silver service. They can organise events and parties and make sure that on the night everything is running smoothly – including being part of/head of the service team.

Female Butler

The Female Butler is a versatile and unique service provider – who can cover many areas a Traditional or Male Butler sometimes cannot cover. Besides her service skills, the Female Butler is remarkably suited to act as a confidant or companion for a female Principal.

The Female Butler can accompany Madame on travel, shopping, and introduce her to the social scene of new cities and countries. Many Female Butlers have excellent knowledge of fashion and well-being; she will act as a wardrobe specialist, advising on style, material, and the latest fashion. Her excellent contacts in the fashion industry will ensure Madame and the rest of the household is up to date with the latest designer items.

Female Butlers can also act as an excellent double role for childcare – many have a background in childcare and can help out with day-to-day duties, assisting children with homework, caring for babies, or advising on routine and feeding.

With a great eye for details, many Female Butlers step in to help out with Housekeeping. She can be in charge of the housekeeping staff, help out with upkeep and maintenance of the property, and make sure the complete house and interior is in excellent condition.

English Butler

The English Butler serves an marvelous purpose for international families looking to add that ultimate British touch to their household. The English Butler will speak the Queen’s English, will be educated and specialized in English culture, habits, and history. The English Butler can act as an educator of British etiquette and style, help international children with perfecting their English, and assist parents into getting their children the best British education.

The English Butler can also provide a very comforting ‘home away from home’ feeling for English and British families residing abroad. The English Butler with his typical English ways will provide that English feeling, and will add English touches to any overseas household.

Hotel Butler

The Hotel Butler typically has a service background in the hotel and/or restaurant industry. This Butler will have excellent training in silver service, be highly skilled in presentation and reception, and has outstanding knowledge of food, wine-pairing, and spirits. The Hotel Butler is there to offer you a more personalised and completely catered-for experience during your travels and will make sure your stay will be an unforgettable one.

Although most Hotel Butlers will work in the restaurant and bar sections, higher end hotels do offer private butlers for their guests. These Butlers are generally available 24/7 to cater to any of the guest’s needs or wishes. Hotel Butlers have a wide network in the cities they work, and will be able to source shopping, clothing, or any other items the guests require. They will assist in the packing and unpacking of suitcases, manage and maintain the wardrobe throughout the guests stay, and can advise on places to visit, restaurants to go to, and arrange bookings accordingly.

Whatever type of Butler you are looking to find for your home, hotel, chalet, no matter what lifestyle you lead and whether this is in more formal or informal settings, always look to get the most experienced person you can for the position. Look closely at their CVs and see their career history.  And before you hire anyone, make sure you trial them!  The true test is how the Butler will settle into the household, and how much he/she will be able to understand and cater for your needs. If you need any other advice or just want to have a chat with us about the best way to find a butler, you are welcome to drop us a line anytime.


  1. Lisa Fountain says:

    I am an emotionally disabled person. I am thinking of hiring a live in person to help take care of me and my home. I need help in cleaning, cooking, in a non-formal setting at this point. I am expecting to have plenty of money soon to have my mansion built. I want that person to be able to foresee my needs as he knows me. I am at this point getting information.

    • mm LucyChallenger says:

      Dear Lisa. Thank you for your comment. We can help with that! We place carers and private staff in homes around the world. You can read more about the services we offer here. I’ll drop you a direct email now and do feel free to get in touch with us directly and we can talk through how we can potentially help you. Happy to help over the phone/email as you prefer. 🙂

  2. Veronica szenowicz says:

    About how much would a traditional butler cost?

    • mm LucyChallenger says:

      Hello Veronica, traditional Butlers salary vary depending on their level of experience. We outline the different types of Butlers and range of salaries depending on package being offered in more detail here. 🙂 But as a general guide a traditional Butler (in a domestic home) will start at around £30K a year and go upwards from there. We’ve placed Butlers on salaries upwards of £150K a year (for the very special candidates and placements).

  3. CJ says:

    I am looking into being a butler for a future job. Is there anyway of finding out if I can possibly become a butler?

    • mm LucyChallenger says:

      Hi CJ, there are lots of ways to become a Butler – you can undertake professional training at training centres around the world, or simply apply for junior Butler roles or intern roles. If you need any other advice please do get in touch with us directly via our contact page. 🙂

  4. James de groot says:

    I would like a butler that is always there to take care of my son and can be the chauffeur of the family in what category would this fall into, i could pay about 300,000 annually

    • mm LucyChallenger says:

      Hello James, With this salary range this would fit into the Elite Butler range and you could have your pick of the most amazing Butlers in the world to work for you and your family. We’ve dropped you an email, and you are more than welcome to email us directly at [email protected] if you’d like us to help you with your search or give you further advice. Good luck with your new hire!

  5. Vasey says:

    It is so exciting! We are going to have to choose our butler soon. Excellent explanation of butler types, it was very educating. Thank you.

  6. Aqua says:

    Hi are there butlers specialised for combat?

    • mm LucyChallenger says:

      Hello – yes there most certainly are Butlers who are trained in close protection security. Many of our Butlers work for families who are high risk in terms of security, so to be able to combine security/close protection skills with Butlering is a regular request for our clients. 🙂 Lucy

  7. J butler says:

    I love that this site provides us with all this information I would love to know where do I go from here as I hold a supervisor level in housekeeping and I want to be a Butler I want to be among the most elite of them all plz say where do I go from here , I am from Jamaica,
    Yours sincerely:j.butler

    • mm LucyChallenger says:

      Hello J Butler, thank you for your message – you sound very passionate about learning and developing your career which is great! I recommend reading our advice hub, which has great articles about training and developing your career, and you are also always welcome to join us for training, either in a group or private setting. Good luck with your career development!

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