Title Defintions

Please click on the names below to see more information on that title

Butlers

  • Oversees the household staff usually of one residence.
  • Knowledge of high social etiquette and formal service.
  • Knowledge of proper maintenance for fine dining equipment.
  • Receives guests at the door and supervises the reception of visitors.
  • May double as a House Manager.
  • Assists with staff training and organizes the duties and schedule of domestic staff.
  • May assist or be charged with keeping the household budgets and inventory supplies.
  • May schedule and oversee household maintenance and other constructive duties.
  • May assist with household content inventory list maintenance for insurance and investments.
  • Assists with household and family security measures.
  • Oversees family packing and travel preparations.
  • Assists with planning and organizing parties and events in the home.
  • Answers resident telephone calls.
  • Oversees and participates in proper table settings and entertainment prep.
  • Serves meals and drinks and performs wait services related thereto.
  • Knowledgeable about wines and spirits and oversees the wine cellar and liqueur inventory.
  • May also serve as personal valet to the household and/or gentleman of the house.
  • Performs light housekeeping duties.
  • Liaison with other staff as needed, i.e., aircraft personnel, chauffeurs, yacht personnel, and employees from other households within the family, and corporate office staff.
  • Works closely with the Estate Manager or Major Domo or House Manager and Personal Assistants.

Chauffeurs

  • Security personal hired to protect and safeguard estates, the family and property while traveling, driving to work or assigned to an individual child during school hours.
  • Train the household and office staff in security measures and keep on top of those that have been issued the codes/keys to the grounds and residence.
  • The head of security is also responsible for electronic security systems guarding the home.

Chefs

  • Manage and direct kitchen operations.
  • Plan and prepare specific menus and special meals per the family’s request.
  • Prepare household staff meals.
  • Design menus for social events and parties in home and participates in the selection of a caterer for major functions.
  • Oversee the presentation and serving of food.
  • Oversee food preparation and directs Cook.
  • Order groceries and oversees the maintenance and inventory of kitchen and cooking supplies.
  • Oversee the cleanliness of the kitchen.
  • Work closely with the Butler, House Manager or Major Domo and Nanny or Governess.
  • May also train cook to prepare routine dishes.

Cooks

  • Similar to a Chef except may not have formal training.
  • Will have extensive formal cooking experience.
  • Familiar with standard dishes and food preparation for large meals.
  • Able to create and design menus specific to family needs.
  • Works closely with Chef.
  • Coordinates with Nanny and/or Governess for children’s menus.
  • Orders groceries and oversees the maintenance and inventory of kitchen and cooking supplies.
  • Keeps the cleanliness of the kitchen.
  • Helps to prepare meals for the staff.
  • Works with the Chef, Butler, House Manager or Major Domo and Nanny or Governess.

Elder Care Givers

  • Light house keeping, shopping, making appointments, accompanying during luncheons, dinners, and travel.
  • The employee might be asked to cook, handle hygiene and even read to their employer.
  • The Position will most often be live-in for the comfort and safety of their employer.
  • If twenty-four hour care is needed then two companions might be required for alternating shifts.
  • Nursing care is an addition to the companion since they are usually brought in for healthcare reasons.

Domestic Couples

  • Domestic couples can range from high end experience where one or both is capable of managing multiple properties to those who prefer, by nature or experience, to just clean and cook.  Most couples are married couples in traditional roles of the woman caring for the interior of the home and the man performing indoor/outdoor maintenance and grounds keeping and some chauffeuring. Many large estates are run by one couple.  Both are experienced with formal household functions and the operations of an estate.
  • Light landscaping and yard work, household maintenance and related tasks  include general housekeeping, cooking and homemaker tasks.
  • Oversee contract labor.
  • If household staff is limited, the couple may also assume the duties of other staff positions such as a butler or estate manager.

Estate Managers or Major Domos

Candidates for these positions usually have a business administrative background and extensive experience in managing several private homes and/or the resort/hotel industry.  Also require managerial skills.  Higher education preferred.  An estate manager usually manages multiple properties for one employer but the term also applies to one estate w/ large acreage. The duties of an Estate Manager or Major Domo include but are not limited to:

  • Manage and administrate operations of multiple properties for employer.
  • Work closely with Butlers at each estate or home, and the Personal Assistant.
  • Monitor and may manage the household budgets at each location.
  • System and Procedure development
  • Oversee and monitor the household bank account(s) with business accountant(s).
  • Oversee the proper cross-training of employees at each property.
  • Create household reference manuals for each property.
  • Act as a consultant to Butlers or serve as Butler as employer moves from property to property.

Governess

Governesses have formal education and usually have at least four years of high-level formal experience working with a family.   Formal education may include childhood development, child psychology, teaching, nursing, and/or credentials and certification from an established, accredited and highly recognized Nanny institution.

  • Full charge over childcare
  • Plan developmental and play-time activities
  • Order school uniforms
  • Maintain school schedules and schedules children’s activities
  • Maintain contact database relative to children’s school, playmates, activities, medical, etc.
  • Schedule extracurricular activities and secure professional instructors relative thereto, example, would research and secure the appropriate piano instructor
  • Infant specialist
  • Bathe, feed and dress the children
  • Oversee the clothing wardrobe and seasonal selection
  • Pack and prepare children for trips
  • Maintain their bedrooms and play rooms
  • Maintain computer and audio/visual equipment
  • Maintain children’s library and video collections
  • Wash children’s clothes and does light tailoring
  • Oversee social and etiquette training
  • Transports the children to and from activities
  • Has current knowledge of latest educational tools and subjects
  • Assists with safety measures
  • Purchase children’s gifts, school supplies and other necessities
  • Confidant to parents about children’s educational and social development
  • Prepare all paperwork relative to school enrollment and activity requirements
  • Tutor the children with homework
  • Coordinate and design children’s menu with Chef or Cook
  • Prepare children’s meals as needed
  • Travel is required at a moment’s notice
  • Full-time, on-call position

Housemen

Handles everything from the detailed laundry of the family, to cleaning, to the heavier chores in the residence such as drapes, walls, ceilings, art work, rugs, carpets, floors and furniture care

Housekeepers/Maids

The Housekeeper is responsible for the overall cleanliness and maintenance of the home.  There may be a ranking order such as Executive Housekeeper, and then house servants that housekeep and report directly to that manager.  Duties of a Housekeeper may include:

  • Thorough disinfecting and cleaning of entire house.
  • Dust surfaces and polish woods.
  • Careful cleaning maintenance of antiques and other fine craft work.
  • Cleans specific to manufacturer’s suggested methods.
  • Vacuum and wax floors.
  • Proper maintenance of rugs and carpeting.
  • Turn down beds in the evening.
  • Maintain household cleaning product inventory.
  • Report need for major contractor cleaning such as blinds, windows or carpeting.
  • Make beds and straighten bedrooms.
  • Schedule of linen changes.
  • Inventory of linens and proper care.
  • Care for furniture fabrics, drapes and such.
  • May do laundry, ironing and light tailoring. (if no Laundress)
  • Care for fine silver, china and other precious service utensils and dining ware.
  • Runs errands as necessary.
  • Keeps outdoor social areas clean.
  • May assist with meal serving and preparation for social functions.

Household Managers

Many candidates are formally trained at elite programs have worked in the hotel/resort industry and/or have serviced large estates.  Duties include:

  • Oversees the household staff usually of one residence.
  • Knowledge of high social etiquette and formal service.
  • Knowledge of proper maintenance for fine dining equipment.
  • Receives guests at the door and supervises the reception of visitors.
  • May double as a House Manager.
  • Assists with staff training and organizes the duties and schedule of domestic staff.
  • May assist or be charged with keeping the household budgets and inventory supplies.
  • May schedule and oversee household maintenance and other constructive duties.
  • May assist with household content inventory list maintenance for insurance and investments.
  • Assists with household and family security measures.
  • Oversees family packing and travel preparations.
  • Assists with planning and organizing parties and events in the home.
  • Answers resident telephone calls.
  • Oversees and participates in proper table settings and entertainment prep.
  • Serves meals and drinks and performs wait services related thereto.
  • Knowledgeable about wines and spirits and oversees the wine cellar and liqueur inventory.
  • May also serve as personal valet to the household and/or gentleman of the house.
  • Performs light housekeeping duties.
  • Liaison with other staff as needed, i.e., aircraft personnel, chauffeurs, yacht personnel, and employees from other households within the family, and corporate office staff.
  • Works closely with the Estate Manager or Major Domo or House Manager and Personal Assistants.

Laundresses

The Laundress is charged with the maintenance and cleanliness of all garments.  An understanding of fabrics, including household fabrics is a must.   Duties include:

Oversee and inventory garments for dry cleaning.

Oversee proper cleaning and storage of seasonal garments.

Wash clothing and linens.

Emergency cleaning of household fabrics.

Ironing and streaming of clothing.

Maintain scheduled preparation of social function garments.

Light tailoring as needed.

Liaison with tailors, dry cleaner, and other fabric cleaning establishments.

Nannies

The Nanny’s role is similar to the Governess, but may not have a formal education or be able to serve as a tutor. Many nannies serve as house manager or personal assistant to the employer. (see Governess)

Personal Assistants/Social Secretaries

Excellent computer literacy, at least two years experience as an executive/personal assistant to a senior officer and at least one year in the home is desirable.  Must be very comfortable attending to personal tasks.  Must be resourceful and able to maintain grace under pressure.  Must be familiar with social and business etiquette and have excellent communication and interpersonal skills.   Duties of a Social Secretary/Personal Assistant include:

  • Manage and maintain in-home business office.
  • Calendar social events.
  • Maintain household calendars and coordinate with business office calendars.
  • Liaison with executive office assistant.
  • Schedule all appointments and oversee and prepare Lady and Gentleman.
  • Accounts payable, expense reports and coordinate with business accountant.
  • Legal administration of household with attorneys.
  • Prepare and write correspondence.
  • Receive and open mail.
  • Handle document flow and organize files.
  • Project management.
  • Follow-through on personal tasks on behalf of Lady and Gentleman.
  • Liaison with Estate Managers, Butlers and other managerial personnel.
  • Sometimes serves as co-house manager.
  • Event and social planning.
  • Meeting and conference coordination.
  • Research tasks.
  • Oversee philanthropic activities.
  • Handwrite “Thank you” letters and notes.
  • Travel arrangements and all logistics related thereto.
  • Liaison with all consultants.
  • Computerize all household inventory lists.
  • Maintain all household paper and computer files.
  • Maintain computer and office equipment.
  • Order office supplies.
  • Database Management.
  • Maintain private rolodex and contact databases.
  • Schedule holiday mailings.
  • Oversee development and list maintenance of social invitations.
  • Liaison with contractors, interior decorators.
  • Media and public relations.
  • Assist with security measures.
  • Personal errands.
  • Maintain all health insurance records.
  • Available to travel.

Caretaker and Ranch Staffing

Take on full responsibility for the property, livestock and capital improvements. This person should have full knowledge of the workings of the ranch or farm type that he or she is seeking employment on whether it is horse, cattle, crop, hay or other. Preventative maintenance for building and equipment is essential as is properly scheduled livestock care (i.e. shoeing horses, injections, feeding, watering, etc).

A ranch manager will be responsible for hiring, training and managing other staff as needed.

This position is typically live in for security and emergency purposes.

Many ranch managers come with their own horses, dogs and families. This is a lifestyle choice for many and as the price of agricultural land continues to increase many have left the home place to manage land for others. Ranch/Farm managers typically come form a farming or ranching background and have extensive hands on experience.

There is not Monday-Friday 9-5 hours on ranches and experienced ranch managers know this. The compensation should reflect the duties, acreage, livestock and property for which the manager is responsible.