He was defeated at the 2010 state election. During his teaching career he held senior elected positions within both the Australian Education Union and its predecessor organisation, the Tasmanian Teachers" Federation. After retiring from education he worked as a real estate agent, financial advisor and taxi driver before entering Parliament.
Between 1960 and 1962 he completed a Bachelor at the University of Tasmania and later was awarded a Master of Education through the Tasmanian College of Advanced Education.
Ross Butler is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Ross Butler is married to Margaret and they have three adult children.
In the winter he officiates as an Australian rules football umpire in amateur Tasmanian leagues.