Household Staffing Definitions

ESTATE MANAGERS

What is an Estate Manager?
An Estate Manager serves as the CEO of the property and service management for a large Estate (usually 15,000 square feet or larger) or of the owner’s multiple residences and properties, extensive grounds, elaborate art, antique, and wine collections, or complex technology. He or she works with the owners to plan and supervise the management of the properties and services required for their maintenance.

Estate Managers may have formal training and must have exceptional experience in providing service excellence for families or individuals, be flexible, as well as possess a combination of many skills related to business, personnel management, negotiation, leadership, motivation and social etiquette.
What are the responsibilities of an Estate Manager?

Duties may include the following:

  • Hiring and supervising other household staff
  • Cooking/gardening or coordinating with Chefs and landscape service professionals
  • Ensuring home and personal security
  • Coordinating travel arrangements
  • Planning and executing events for the owner (dinner parties to a grand, formal gatherings)
  • Selecting, supervising and scheduling service contractors
  • Managing construction projects or home improvements
  • Managing household accounts, budgets and payroll
  • Performing bookkeeping and/or accounting tasks
  • Running household and personal errands
  • Scheduling maintenance of pools, yachts, private planes, etc.

What is the salary for an Estate Manager?
An Estate Manager’s salary ranges from $60,000 – $150,000 annually plus benefits, which may include fully paid housing (typically separate quarters), automobile, insurance, paid travel, clothing allowance and other expenses. Salary is based on two factors: the amount of experience the Estate Manager brings to the position and the duties and hours included in the job description.

HOUSEHOLD MANAGER

What is a Household Manager?
Household Managers keep all the activities of an employer’s home running smoothly. They are found in homes of all sizes and their duties dependent upon the service needs of the owner. A Household Manager is usually only responsible for one property. Often Household Managers don’t have formal training, but have previous experience as a Household Manager or have worked in a related professional field.

The skills required of the Household Manager are very similar to the Estate Manager. One main difference is the level of “hands-on” involvement. Household Managers usually perform the service tasks themselves in addition to delegating to other staff.
What are the responsibilities of a Household Manager?

Duties may include the following:

  • Training and organizing the duties and schedules of domestic staff
  • Managing household budgets and inventory supplies
  • Coordinating and scheduling service contractors
  • Ensuring home and personal security
  • Coordinating travel arrangements and preparation for travel
  • Planning and directing special events
  • Supervising or participating in proper table settings and entertaining prep
  • Coordinating schedules and daily activities
  • Maintaining care of fine china, silver, crystal, artwork and antiques and other special collections
  • Serving as a personal valet to the household and/or gentleman of the house
  • Running household and personal errands

What is the salary range for a Household Manager?
The typical salary ranges from $45,000 – $80,000 plus benefits which may include fully paid housing, automobile, insurance, and clothing allowance or others. Salaries vary regarding the number of employees a Household Manager must supervise, the amount of experience the candidate brings to the position, the duties and hours included in the job description, and any additional requirements of employer for a more formal or specialized service.

PERSONAL ASSISTANT

What is a Personal Assistant?
A Personal Assistant is typically responsible for working in the employer’s home office in the management of their household, personal and professional needs. They need to have excellent managerial, communication and interpersonal skills, understand protocol and etiquette and have the ability to organize and prioritize multiple activities.

Most Personal Assistants have a Bachelor’s degree in addition to professional experience in a corporate setting. Their experience and background varies. Depending on the level of in-home service necessary, this can be a live-in position.

What are the responsibilities of a Personal Assistant?
Being proficient in computer operation and accounting skills are frequently required. Typical duties include:

  • Handling the bills
  • Making travel arrangements, and often traveling with the employer.
  • Serving as office assistant, handling correspondence, creating inventories, organizing the office and handling media inquiries.
  • Planning special events and parties
  • Managing construction projects or home improvements.
  • Scheduling of staff and maintenance personnel.
  • Coordinating personal schedules and daily activities
  • Running business and personal errands
  • Maintaining social and philanthropic activities.

What is the salary of the Personal Assistant?
Salary is usually based on two factors which are the experience and the background of the candidate brings to the position and the duties and hours included in the job description. Personal Assistants typically earn between $50,000 – $85,000 per year, plus benefits. The hourly salary ranges from $25 – $50 per hour. Benefits may include fully paid housing, automobile, insurance, paid travel, clothing allowance and others.

EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT

What is an Executive Assistant?
An Executive Assistant provides key administrative support for an executive, managing the employer’s daily schedule and handling multiple activities. Executive Assistants must reflect a professional image, good attitude, possess excellent interpersonal skills, be extremely organized, and adapt to the needs of their clients.

What are the responsibilities of an Executive Assistant?
Typical duties include:

  • Scheduling of business and personal calendars
  • Coordinating travel arrangements
  • Handling all e-mails, voice mails and written correspondence
  • Coordinating details of the employer’s personal life–e.g. handling construction projects, managing personal finances, monitoring investment portfolios, hiring staff and maintaining databases
  • Planning special events
  • Bookkeeping and accounting
  • Running business and personal errands
  • Traveling as required

What is the salary of an Executive Assistant?
An Executive Assistant typically earns between $30-$50 per hour, $60,000 and up annually, plus benefits. Experience and background varies depending on the candidate. Salary is determined by the employment history of the candidate and hours and duties of the job.

HOUSEKEEPER

What is a Housekeeper?
Housekeepers work in all types of homes, from those with a casual atmosphere to formal, multi-staffed homes. This position involves daily maintenance of the home as well as heavy cleaning. Housekeepers are usually supervised by the principals of the home or Household Manager.
While they may not have formal training, they should have experience working in a private home. Some are also skilled in laundry, ironing, and cooking.

A Housekeeper works either full-time or part-time, on a live-in or live-out basis. Housekeepers usually work alone, but should the needs of the home demand multiple staff, they may work as a team with other housekeepers. As a general guideline, a full-time Housekeeper is recommended for homes of 5000 sq. ft. or more. If errands, cooking, and laundry are also required, hiring an additional housekeeper is recommended.

What are the responsibilities of a Housekeeper?
Typical duties may include the following:

  • Cooking and serving meals for the household
  • Cleaning the interior of the home
  • Laundry and ironing linens
  • Assisting with the cooking and serving for special events
  • Running errands including the grocery shopping
  • Making the beds
  • Polishing the silver
  • Mending clothes
  • Organizing drawers and straightening closets
  • Caring for household pets
  • Maintaining stock of routine cleaning and household supplies
  • Tending house plants

What is the salary range for a Housekeeper?
Salary is based upon the candidate’s experience, duties and the hours required to fulfill responsibilities. The salary range for Housekeepers is usually between $20 – $30 per hour, plus benefits.

EXECUTIVE HOUSEKEEPER

What is an Executive Housekeeper?
Executive Housekeeper is hired by a household to oversee the overall cleanliness of a formal or multi-staffed household. They perform the same duties as a housekeeper/houseman. An Executive Housekeeper has specialized knowledge in housekeeping, caring and cleaning for fine furnishings. They must have excellent English skills, professional demeanor and appearance.

What are the responsibilities of an Executive Housekeeper?
The typical duties may include: Supervising, training and assisting the other housekeepers in deep cleaning, laundering clothes and household linens, cooking and servicing meals, running errands, keeping the household supplies stocked, changing beds and household linens, polishing the silver, caring for household pets and general household projects.

What is the Salary range for an Executive Housekeeper?
The salary is based on the amount of experience the housekeeper brings to the position and the duties and hours included in the job description. Executive Housekeepers typically earn between $45,000 and $70,000 plus benefits. Part-time typically earn between $25 – $30 per hour. Benefits may include paid vacation, sick days, paid holidays, two weeks paid vacation. Others may include medical insurance and reimbursement for automobile expenses.

HOUSEMAN

What is a Houseman?
A houseman is a man employed for cleaning, maintenance and other general work outside and inside the home. Keeping the home presentable and running smoothly. Specific duties and skills may vary depending on the size of the home and the level of experience of the houseman.

What are the responsibilities of a Houseman?
Typical duties may include heavy interior and exterior cleaning of the home, perform household repairs and assist the housekeepers if needed, running errands, maintaining household cleaning supplies, driving, take care of trash and recycling inside and outside household, automobile care and maintenance, gardening, serving for events and parties, care of pets, making sure all HVAC, generator equipment is in working order.

What is the Salary range for a Houseman?
Salary for a Houseman is based on the amount of experience the candidate has and the duties and hours included in the job description. A full time Houseman generally earns $35,000 and $55,000, plus benefits. Part-time salaries range from $17 to $25 per hour.

LAUNDRESS

What is a Laundress?
A Laundress is hired to care and maintain all the clothing and linens in the home. They can identify fabrics and knows the proper care for clothing.

What are the responsibilities of a Laundress?
Duties include washing, steaming, mending of clothing and organizes all household laundry, folds and places in family’s closet. Seasonal organization of clothing and storing of clothing, cataloging designer and couture clothes and accessories, irons family clothing and linens as needed. Sorting and sending out linens and clothing to dry cleaners and inventories the items.

What is the Salary range for a Laundress?
Salary for a Laundress is based on the experience the Laundress brings and the duties included in the job description. They typically earn between $20 – $25 per hour, plus benefits.

BUTLER

What is a Butler?
A Butler is responsible for efficiently running and supervising the specific needs of a formal or multi-staffed household. The responsibilities are similar to those of a Household Manager, Personal or Executive Assistant, with a Butler providing distinctive, “hands-on” involvement. A Butler typically oversees the household staff usually of one residence and anticipates the needs of the employer, providing the distinctive trademark of personal service.
A Butler typically has professional training and formal experience in the field. This position is usually performed on a live-in basis.

What are the responsibilities of a Butler?
Typical duties may include the following:

  • Answering residence phone, receiving guests and supervising the reception of visitors
  • Coordinating travel arrangements for employer and household guests
  • Selecting, supervising and scheduling service contractors
  • Providing or scheduling household security
  • Assisting with cooking and serving of meals and drinks
  • Maintaining the wine cellar and having knowledge of fine wines
  • Performing valet duties for the employer at home and while traveling
  • Hiring and supervising other household staff
  • Maintaining care and inventory of fine china, silver, crystal, automobiles, artwork, antiques and other special collections
  • Assisting with planning special events and entertaining in the home
  • Running household and personal errands
  • Assisting with or in charge of keeping the household budgets

What is the salary range for a Butler?
Butlers typically earn a salary between $50,000 and $120,000 annually for full time, plus benefits. Salary is based on two factors, the experience the candidate brings to the position and the duties and hours in the job description. Additional benefits may include fully paid housing, automobile, insurance, clothing allowance etc. The number of employees supervised and the more formal or specialized the service will dictate higher pay rates.

PERSONAL CHEF

What is a Personal Chef?
A Personal Chef is a trained professional from a culinary institution. A true Chef position within the private service environment is dedicated solely to the culinary needs of the home, preparing meals for the family, other household staff members and guests. Many Chefs make a successful transition to private service from fine restaurants while others may have developed their skills from years of cooking, in combination with another domestic position or assisting another Chef.

What are the responsibilities of a Personal Chef?
A Personal Chef is responsible for menu planning and preparing nutritious meals suited to an individual’s or family’s personal preferences or special dietary needs. A Personal Chef also directs the organization and operation of the kitchen and the presentation and serving of the food. Chefs prepare a range of menus from simple family dinners to formal, five-star restaurant caliber meals.

The position of a household Cook usually indicates a less formal position or one that requires a combination of responsibilities. Some variations in duties for a Chef or Cook are based on the schedule and eating habits of the family they serve. For example, one family may have only dinner as a sit-down meal while another may have three daily meals with formal service. Some families may require their Personal Chef to travel to their other residences. The position of Chef can be performed on either a live-in or live-out depending on the needs of the employer.

What is the Salary range for a Personal Chef?
A Personal Chef salary ranges from $30,000 – $100,000 based on expertise and schedule requirements. Benefits are usually included and housing may be provided.

COUPLES:

Two individuals work as a team providing domestic and personal services as needed for the care of the home and family. The couple generally works the same hours and has the same days off. Their roles can be either formal or informal or a combination based on the needs or desires of the family. Any combination of service is possible based on the employer’s property and service needs.

Some of the common roles associated with couples include:

  • Household Manager/Chef
  • Housekeeper/Handyman
  • Housekeeper/Cook
  • Housekeeper/Groundskeeper
  • Butler/Chef
  • Chef/Housekeeper

What is the Salary range for Couples?
The Couples’ salary and benefits vary dependent upon the different functions, and the levels of professionalism and service required. Salaries range from $75,000 to as high as $150,000, plus benefits for the pair. Living arrangements are almost always separate from the main house or off-site.