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How Much Does a Butler Cost?

Last Updated on November 18, 2023
Written by CPA Alec Pow | Content Reviewed by Certified CFA CFA Alexander Popinker

Butlers, often known as house managers, are typically employed by affluent families, political figures, celebrities, and other high-profile individuals. Their primary role is to oversee the household staff, which includes managing housemaids, chefs, gardeners, and drivers.

How Much Does a Butler Cost?

For full-time employment, a butler’s annual salary can range from $20,000 to $135,000. This rate is influenced by their experience, the location of employment, and the specific services required.

As of 2023, the average butler salary is $75,954, typically ranging between $65,162 and $89,441. This range is influenced by factors like education, certifications, and additional skills.

Additionally, Payscale.com notes the median salary for a butler in the United States as $51,069, highlighting that salaries in major cities such as New York or Los Angeles can be significantly higher​

Still, the cost of hiring a butler can vary based on other factors as well. They might charge hourly, by the size of the house, or based on the range of services they provide.

For temporary or part-time services, butlers may charge around $200 to $1,000 per day or $30 to $50 per hour, often with a minimum hourly requirement.

Butler Salary Ranges

Depending on their experience, butlers can earn the following average salaries:

Type of Butler Average Pay
Apprentice (0-3 years) $300 to $500 per week
Entry Level (3-5 years) $500 to $800 per week
Mid Level (5-10 years) $800 to $1,500 per week
Senior (10+ years) $1,500+ per week

The International Butler Academy reports that a typical butler’s salary ranges from $50,000 to $150,000 annually. Benefits often include room and board, a vehicle, vacation time, a phone, and/or an airline ticket home.

GQ Magazine notes that in places like Dubai, a butler’s salary starts around $60,000 a year, while in the United States, it begins at about $40,000.

CNBC suggests that salaries can range from $40,000 to $200,000 for highly skilled butlers.

Butler Experience

Based on various sources, here’s a summary of the costs associated with hiring a butler:

Full-Time Butler Costs

According to TalkLocal, the annual salary for a butler can range from $50,000 to $120,000. For precise costs, contacting a placement agency like the International Butler Academy is recommended​

MoniCare Butler Agency offers butlers for long-term positions, with full-time annual salaries ranging from $40,000 to $80,000, depending on qualifications and duties​

Hourly Rates and Job Flexibility

Butlers can also be hired on an hourly basis, providing flexibility in cost and services. Hourly rates typically range between $30 to $50, making it a viable option for various households.

This rate allows for specific services and time windows, catering to the unique needs of each household. For those seeking more experienced and skilled live-in butlers or estate butlers overseeing multiple residences, the costs can escalate significantly, potentially reaching six figures. Such positions may also include additional benefits like paid time off and insurance​
You might also like our articles about the cost of a personal chef, a personal driver, or a personal nutritionist.

Employment-Related Costs and Paperwork

Hiring a butler involves more than just salary costs; it includes administrative and legal responsibilities. As an employer, you’ll need to obtain an employer identification number (EIN) and complete various forms like I-9, W-2, W-4, and Sch H Form 1040. Additionally, you’ll be responsible for handling relevant payroll and income taxes. These employment-related costs and paperwork are essential considerations when planning to hire a butler.

Butler Services Overview

Butler Serving Alcohol

Butlers perform a variety of tasks, from organizing dinner parties to managing a private yacht. Their responsibilities may include making travel arrangements, preparing meals, cleaning, budgeting, guest care, laundry, childcare, and directing other staff members.

Butlers can either visit daily or live in the household. A live-in butler typically works 40 to 60 hours per week.

Benefits and Perks

In addition to their salary, butlers often receive a range of benefits and perks. These can include room and board, a vehicle, vacation time, and phone expenses. In more senior positions, benefits might extend to insurance and retirement benefits. The extent of these perks typically correlates with the butler’s experience level and the specific demands of their role, adding significant value to their overall compensation package.

Tips and Retainer Fees

When hiring a butler, it’s customary to offer tips for exceptional service, usually about 5 percent of the room cost. Additionally, if a placement service is used for hiring, expect to pay a one-time retainer fee, which can be up to 15 percent of the butler’s salary. These additional expenses, tipping, and retainer fees, are important factors to consider in the overall cost of employing a butler.

Additional costs when hiring a butler

Tipping for exceptional service is customary, with a typical tip being about 5 percent of the room cost. However, the amount is ultimately at the guest’s discretion. If a butler is hired through a placement service, expect to pay a one-time retainer fee, which can be up to 15 percent of the butler’s salary.

The cost also depends on the butler’s experience, geographical location, and the specific services required. For example, butlers with more experience or those working in certain locations may command higher salaries​

Considering a butler

Hiring a butler is often seen as a symbol of wealth, but it’s crucial to consider whether the expense aligns with your financial capabilities. Having a butler is a luxury, not a necessity. Therefore, it’s advisable to assess if you have the disposable income to comfortably afford this service before making a commitment.

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