Butler Schools

Our general credo has always been that: if you are a catering, service professional with common-sense, a good work ethic and the ability to research stuff for yourself then you will know much of what you need to know to be a successful butler already but would be nicely ‘fine-tuned’ in various techniques and styles of service and management via a 2/4/6/8 week residential course.

istock_000001069899xsmall-300x225The other side of the coin is that if you have NO experience an 8 week residential course is not going to do any more than point you in the right direction which, in an ideal world, would be a trainee position.

Our view is that, for semi-professionals needing to ‘fine-tune’ themselves for a domestic service future then, yes, schools can help but at quite a cost.

Not all schools are created equal ! Employers should not blindly accept a school ‘graduate’ as being fully ‘trained’. Research the school thoroughly whatever your position – employer or potential trainee.

The list of Butler schools below (with relevant information) is just that – a list – and the Butler Bureau is not affiliated with any school featured here.

You can draw your own conclusions if a school is noticeable by its absence. Some so-called ‘famous’ butler schools we actively make a point of not mentioning nor promoting, no matter how well known they are. The schools we feature here are those that we have heard only good things about. If you own or know of a reputable Butler School that deserves a place here please contact us.

The Australian Butler Training School

Training location: The Doncaster (small luxury hotel) near Canberra, Australia

Instructors: Ms. Pamela Spruce, assisted by four professional trainers, various experts and guest speakers

Length of course: 4 weeks (6 days a week)

Number of courses per year: Three

Cost: AU$5,000 including accommodations, field trips, training manual and all course material

Magnums Butler School

Training location: Coes Creek, Queensland, Australia

Instructor: Ms. Josephine Ive

Length of course: 4 weeks

Number of courses per year: Individual courses are scheduled year-round.  For more information on current course dates, visit http://www.bespokeinstitute.com/courses.html

Cost: AUD$4,500 plus tax. Accommodation is not included but is available at different price levels. Students pay all their own travel expenses.

Bespoke Institute

Training location: Bespoke Institute, New York, New York, USA

Instructor: Mr. Chris Ely, renowned private service professional with three decades of experience

Length of course: Classes are organized by topic, range between 25-30 hours each, and can be taken individually or grouped together, based on student needs.  Course offerings include:   Basic Skills for the Personal Assistant, Introduction to the Business and Practice of Being a Private Chef, Culinary Essentials for Household Staff, The Art of Fine Service, Essentials of Household Cleaning and Organization, Laundry Essentials for Household staff.

Number of courses per year: Individual courses are scheduled year-round.  For more information on current course dates, visit http://www.bespokeinstitute.com/courses.html

Costs: Courses can be purchased individually and range in price from $1,750 USD to $1,995 USD including training manual and course materials. Accommodations are not included.

The Bespoke Institute offers an exclusive curriculum developed by leaders in the world of contemporary private service. The programs are designed to elevate and equip household staff with the expertise to maintain and manage gracious residences, as well as attending to the organizational and logistical needs of today’s modern, active families.

Call 855.243.2433

PRESS RELEASE (excerpt):

Dorothy Cann Hamilton, CEO and Founder of The International Culinary Center, has teamed up with renowned private service professional Christopher Ely to introduce a groundbreaking Estate Management Studies program.

This unparalleled program, designed with the “21st Century Butler” in mind, endows household staff with the expertise and contemporary skills necessary to manage modern day residences. The intensive curriculum includes distinctive and comprehensive hands-on courses designed to meet the exacting standards and needs of a wide range of clients including working families, executives, celebrities, and royalty. Three introductory courses are being offered to expand and improve a current skill set; enhance proficiency; advance career prospects; or learn how to deftly and efficiently run a modern residence.

The Butler Training Academy

Training location: London, England, and Las Vegas, USA

Instructors: Mr. Robert Watson and guest lecturers.

Length of course: 4 weeks (6 days a week)

Number of courses per year: 2

Cost: Contact the Academy for details.

The Butler Valet School

Mr. Richard Fink, a butler for 45 years, opened his Butler-Valet School in October of 2002.

The course focuses exclusively on the service required by today’s top society, managing and running their private residences. Mr. Fink takes a practical approach with plenty of hands-on study as well as field trips. Students learn all the skills required to run a large household and be a professional butler-valet.

The school also offers short refresher courses.

Training location: A Georgian mansion located eight miles north of Oxford, England.

Instructors: Mr. Richard Fink; various guest speakers.

Length of course: 6 weeks

Number of courses per year: 2

Cost: £7,800 (US $15,000), which includes accommodations and food. The school also reimburses some travel fees.

Thomas School of British Butlers

Training location: Lavendon, Buckinghamshire, England

Instructors: Mr. John Thomas and his wife, Josephine Thomas.

Length of course: 5 weeks

Number of courses per year: 2-3

Cost: £3,500 (US $6,700), which includes coursework, books and visits but not food and accommodations.

International Butler Academy

Training location: Hotel Petersberg in Königswinter (near Bonn) and the Chamber of Commerce in Bonn, Germany.

Instructors: Messrs. Killewald, Bloemertz and Brandenbusch (the school’s principals) assisted by specialist teachers in specific subjects (such as two retired Chief Detective Superintendents who teach security and security-related subjects).

Length of course: The full course (all 9 modules) takes about 3 months.

Number of courses per year: The modules are delivered continuously and consecutively year-round so new students can enroll at any time.

Costs: Modules can be purchases individually and range in price from 1,230 Euros to 2,450 Euros. The full course, if purchased in advance, is discounted to 10,780 Euros. Accommodations are not included.

International Institute of Modern Butlers

If you cannot afford to break away from work for a couple of months, or afford the fees for training at a formal butler school, then a correspondence or long-distance learning course becomes a viable option.

The I.I.M.B. has three courses available – one for Butlers in private service, another for Hotel Butlers and a third for Housekeepers.

The two butler courses take about four months to do part time and cost $2,500. Students are expected to purchase their own course materials (books) via Amazon, which will cost approximately $300 depending on whether you purchase new or used books, and the post and packaging costs of said books ( which will vary depending on where in the world you live).

The Housekeeper course takes about two months to complete on an intense part time schedule and costs $100. Four books and two DVDs are purchased similarly for about $200 plus shipping.

The International Butler Academy

Training location: Huis’t Veldt, Zutphen, The Netherlands.

Each course includes a number of field trips.

Instructors: Six professionals from around the world, including the school’s director, each teach specific segments of the course. There are also a number of guest speakers.

Length of course: 8 weeks

Number of courses offered per year: 2-3

Cost: US $16,000 (EU 12,500), which includes room, board and tailored butler uniforms. The school also reimburses airfares for some students.

The Charles MacPherson Academy

Training location: 507 King Street East, Toronto, Canada

Instructors: A roster of experts with a minimum of 10 years experience in their respective fields.

Syllabus: Promoted as being the the most complete syllabus of any Butler and Household Manager Academy

Length of Academy: 8 weeks (for certification)

Number of Academy programs per year: 3 ( Winter, Spring and Autumn)

Number of courses to complete the certificate: 23

Cost per program:
$7,500 CND or $250 per day.

Fees include: tuition, textbook, and any field trips. It does not include rooms and board or airfare to and from Toronto.

Professional Domestics Institute

Training location: In the home of its founder, located in Powell, Ohio, USA

Instructors: Ms. Scudere, assisted by more than 25 guest instructors from different professions ranging from wine connoisseurs and chefs to a horticulturists and attorney.

Length of Course: 3 – 8 weeks, depending on the course you’re taking.

Number of courses per year: 4 courses each for Certified Professional Household Manager, Estate Housekeeping and Certified Administrative Household Management and Personal Assistant.

Cost: Between $3,500 and $6,500 per course, depending on which program you take. Books, materials, uniforms and room & board are additional.

The Bradley House Butler School

Training location: Bradley House, Wiltshire, United Kingdom ( The house is owned by the Duke of Somerset).

Instructors: Mr A. Haynes

Length of Course: 12 days over 2 weeks stay

Number of courses per year: 2 at present. Check web site for course availability

Cost: £2400 including accommodation in the house, and all meals

spacerbar10 Questions to ask any Butler School before signing up:

250px-The_Riddler_3 1) What are the entry criteria?
2) Is there any practical work experience and if so, where, what, and when?
3) What are the qualifications of the trainers?
4) How many trainers are working/have worked as butlers?
5) How many graduates are currently working as butlers?
6) What employment agencies recognize the graduate certificate?
7) To what extent does the school assist in placing graduates?
8) Is there a student handbook setting out rights and expectations?
9) Does the school have a complaints forum or refund policy?
10) Do all graduates receive a diploma, is it graded?

Filed Under: Butler SchoolsTraining Issues

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