“I recently graduated, with distinction, from The International Butler Academy in the Netherlands: What a help your books were, what a source they are.” JGA
While many fine Butlers learned their trade with on-the-job training in fine homes and hotels, a handful of butler training schools around the globe are providing a fast track to the world of butling for their graduates. However, in too many cases, the effort to provide a fast track is resulting in a failure to provide necessary, marketable skills.
The Institute provides the list of butler schools below as a public service. Listing does not imply endorsement. In fact, the sad truth is that not all schools are living up to expectations, thereby leaving graduates at a disadvantage and placement agencies at a loss and worsening the repute of all butler schools by association.
The Institute has developed a list of subjects that schools should cover in theory, as well as with sufficient role-playing and practical drills and real life exercises so as to give graduates the basic and actual skills they need. When this is accomplished, and personalized continuing education programs and internships are made part of the line-up, graduates, agencies and employers will have more certainty that the graduates from that school can be counted upon to perform satisfactorily and there should be no more issues with disappointed graduates who cannot find positions.
The Institute strongly recommends internships under existing butlers to provide the necessary experience and resume/CV building that will not only provide graduates with the certainty on their actions, but also appeal to employers who generally prefer to hire experienced butlers. (See also our page on Internships.)
We recommend that prospective students investigate each school fully before committing their finances and time. Perhaps the following questions should be answered before selecting a school:
Does the curriculum contain the full range of subjects (see this list for an idea of the kind of subjects that should be covered at a minimum) one would expect, with theory, role-playing, hands-on drilling, actual performance of the skills, as well as field trips?
We would like to emphasize that a 4-12 week course does not a polished professional make. Schools give the basic idea. Internships provide the familiarity and greater certainty one needs to be a butler. A few years of in- residence experience puts one along the road to being an accomplished Butler. As for being the consummate Butler, that’s a lifetime quest. But as you begin the journey, make sure the school you choose is right for you.
Due diligence obviously includes consulting with past graduates and even placement agencies on their experience with each school.
The kind of information that will prove useful includes:
- What are the entry criteria?
- Is there any practical work experience and if so, where, what, and when?
- What are the qualifications of the trainers?
- How many trainers are working/have worked as butlers?
- How many graduates are currently working as butlers?
- What employment agencies recognize the graduate certificate?
- To what extent does the school assist in placing graduates?
- Is there a student handbook setting out rights and expectations?
- Does the school have a complaints forum or refund policy?
The Australian Butler Training School
Magnums Butler School
The Charles MacPherson Academy
The Royal School of Butlers, Blenheim Palace
The Butler Training Academy
The Butler Valet School
The International Butler Academy
Starkey International (Household Manager School)
Professional Domestic Institute (Household Manager School)