Domestic staff salaries guide - highs and lows via the Butler Bureau

The Butler Bureau - for domestic staff and their employers

Domestic staff salaries - average and optimum - itís tough! Essentially anyone, whatever their profession, can charge what the market will bear.

However we (and others) have done a bit of research on your behalf (whether you are an employee or an employer) and we hope it helps....

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It's a domestic staff agency list (part #1)

In a recent Butler Podcast we spoke to Steven Ferry, the Chairman of the International Institute of Modern Butlers and asked him what he felt was the going rate for a newly trained Butler.

His view was that a starting salary for a fresh-faced young butler should be in the region of US$50-60k and that after two to three years experience that same Butler would be, should be, commanding an annual salary of US$80-150k though not necessarily in the original position.

Salaries vary worldwide and that will always be the case. A Butlerís job is not disimilar to any other middle or senior management position. Be it from country to country or company to company - salaries vary. Of course this is the way the world works and salaries can be, and often are, subject to geographical location and the tax laws of the country in which you will work.

Yes, itís true top Butlers can earn in excess of US$250k per year, as well they should. But it is unrealistic for a new arrival on the Domestic Service scene to expect similar remuneration.

So whatís the answer?

Using research from various Domestic Agency web sites hereís our list of jobs with salary ranges. The first figure should be considered as a starting salary for someone new to the profession (but trained) the second figure for someone with 2+ years of on-the-job experience or for greater responsibility/duties/or staff management:

$ US 1000ís


Butler (standard)


Butler (+ cooking and/or P.A. skills)



 45> 70

Valet/Under Butler/Footman

 45> 70

Butler (formal + oversees small staff))


Butler (formal + oversees 4+ staff)


Head Butler (multiple residences)


Estate Manager


Estate Manager (multiple properties)


Domestic Couple (Houseman/Cook)


Domestic Couple (caretaking)

 45> 75

Domestic Couple (management)


Private Chef (one man operation)

 50> 80

Private Chef (oversees small brigade)



 40> 80

Personal Assistant (office duties)


Personal Secretary / General Factotum


N.B. All positions are regarded as being live-in.All salaries are estimations and a guideline only

The Home Staffing Network has a salary survey, that we urge you to contribute to, to show a realistic range of salaries in the domestic service field.

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