Food Job: Butler

Courtesy of the International Butler Academy

Don’t laugh. The rich are getting richer and along with extreme wealth comes the irresistible desire to flaunt it.  What could be grander than owning a small castle or a large mansion complete with a professional butler and a household staff?

At the French Culinary Institute in New York City, there are three classes each lasting 25 or 30 hours. Topics include Culinary Essentials, Essentials of Household Cleaning and Organization and Laundry Essentials.

The fees are $1,995 for culinary classes and laundry classes, and $1,750 for the cleaning class. It is recommended the student butler buy a $100 ironing board with a Teflon cover, rather than one with a cloth cover

If you aspire to the pinnacle of butlering at Buckingham Palace, Brian Hoey author of Not in Front of the Corgis tells us: “In Buckingham Palace alone there are 339 full-time staff, eating up to 600 meals a day in the kitchens, but only about a dozen come into regular contact with the Queen.”

He further reports: “The footmen and housemaids start on a basic salary of £13,634 a year (or approximately US $21,542), which can rise after five years by £2,000 a year. Upon promotion to senior footman, a salary of £15,634 (or approximately US $24,702) is paid.

A butler starts on an annual salary of £15,000 (or approximately $23,700), plus accommodation. For a liveried helper in the Royal Mews, who is required to have had some experience with horses and who will be seen riding behind the queen on one of the state carriages at official ceremonial occasions, the starting salary is £17,169 (or approximately US $27,127), with livery provided. Casual workers get £7.75 (or approximately US $12.24).

The queen’s royal chef is the highest-paid member of the domestic household, with an annual salary of £45,000 (or approximately US $71,100).”  The rate of exchange varies from minute to minute but (today is roughly) £1 = $.158.

If you’d like to live in a palace, a castle, a downtown or uptown abby,this is the way to go. ICDT! (I Could Do That!)

Matter of Fact:

  • Walter Monkton was the butler for the Duke of Windsor. As such, he worked without salary for 20 years. On his retirement, he was rewarded with a cigarette case on which his engraved name was spelled incorrectly. Whether or not he smoked, we may suppose that he fumed!

Recommended book

Agar, Stanley. The Butler’s Guide to Clothes Care, Managing the Table, Running the Home and Other Graces. Simon and Schuster Publishers, 1981

Organizations To Know

You can find a worthy survey of professional butler programs at The Butler Bureau.