Professional butler duties vary and may include, but are not limited to, managerial responsibilities, keeping accounts, marketing, and maintaining the wardrobe for the principals of the residence. A butler will be well versed in etiquette, serving and have a thorough understanding of formal home care. They are traditionally hired to oversee one estate or home and will support the principal while often overseeing other household staff.

An experienced butler will possess a strong understanding of wines, wine, and food pairings, and will understand and often train other staff informal service, including formal table setting, serving, and more. Many have attended a specialized school for butler training and may hold a certificate in wine specialization. It is not uncommon for a butler to hold a degree in the Culinary Arts.

They are often the most formal member of the domestic staff categories and will help maintain traditions in a formal home or estate. A butler will understand how to write and manage a schedule for household staff and often acts as a household manager.