Job Descriptions and Careers, Career and Job Opportunities, Career Search, and Career Choices and Profiles » Hospitality and Recreation

Lifeguard Job Description, Career as a Lifeguard, Salary, Employment - Definition and Nature of the Work, Education and Training Requirements, Getting the Job

lifeguards water swimmers pool

Education and Training: Minimum requirement—Red Cross Advanced Lifesaving Certificate

Salary: Median—$7.95 per hour

Employment Outlook: Seasonal—good; year-round—fair

Definition and Nature of the Work

Lifeguards are expert swimmers who ensure the safety of other swimmers. They work almost everywhere that swimming is open to the public, including pools and beaches, youth and athletic associations, schools, municipal recreation departments, private swim clubs, and hotels.

Lifeguards are trained in water safety. They know how to initiate a rescue and remove a distressed swimmer from the water. They also know first aid and are able to give artificial respiration if necessary. In an effort to ensure swimmers' safety, lifeguards watch for situations that could lead to accidents. They do not allow rough play or dangerous objects in the water or the surrounding area.

Most lifeguards sit in tall chairs near the water. Usually these chairs are covered with an umbrella to protect the guards from the sun. Some lifeguards are stationed in rowboats in the water. They frequently use binoculars to get a clearer view of the swimming area.

Poolside lifeguards may perform other duties such as cleaning the pool and the pool area. They remove objects from the water, pick up lost articles, dispose of trash from the pool area, and sometimes are responsible for putting chlorine and other chemicals into the water. In some pools these tasks are performed by the pool operator. Many lifeguards also give swimming lessons.

Education and Training Requirements

Lifeguards must be expert swimmers, be in excellent physical condition, and be able to react quickly in emergency situations. The minimum qualification for the position is a Red Cross Advanced Lifesaving certificate, which requires twenty-two units of instruction in water safety. After receiving this instruction prospective lifeguards must prove their knowledge of water safety by demonstrating the proper techniques of approach and rescue. Every three years lifeguards must take a refresher course to renew the certificate.

Lifeguards not only help swimmers who are in trouble but also prevent accidents by making sure swimmers avoid dangerous situations. (Copyright © 2006 Kelly A. Quin. Reproduced by permission.)

Lifeguards may want to earn a Red Cross Water Safety Instructor certificate. To get this certificate, candidates must take longer, more intensive courses of instruction, be at least seventeen years old, and be able to teach all levels of swimmers from beginners to senior lifesavers. To maintain the validity of the Water Safety Instructor certificate, lifeguards must teach at least one course in swimming or lifesaving every two years.

Getting the Job

Interested individuals should apply directly to the beaches or pools where they would like to work. They should be prepared to show their skills before being hired. Many employers prefer to hire lifeguards who can also teach swimming. Newspaper want ads sometimes list job opportunities for lifeguards. Summer resort areas are excellent places to look for a job. The local office of the American Red Cross may be able to assist candidates in their job search as well.

Advancement Possibilities and Employment Outlook

Qualified lifeguards may become swimming instructors. Lifeguards who have a few years of experience and have learned the techniques of running a pool may advance to become pool operators. Many states require these individuals to have a pool operator's card, which verifies that the cardholder understands the basic principles of pool sanitation.

The job outlook for lifeguards is changing. An expansion of tourist and recreational facilities has increased the number of openings available, but the low hourly salaries have made it difficult for resorts to fill these positions. Competition for jobs at high-paying establishments is keen. Experienced lifeguards are in a better position than new workers to negotiate for higher fees.

Working Conditions

Most lifeguards are students who enjoy the water. They must be strong swimmers and patient observers, focusing all of their attention on the swimmers they have been hired to protect. If they work at outdoor pools or beaches they must be prepared to spend many hours in the hot sun.

Lifeguards usually work forty hours a week. A short rest period is usually allowed each hour. Because pools are open to serve the public, many lifeguards work evenings and weekends. A good deal of lifeguard work is seasonal; those who work at outdoor facilities may have to find other jobs for the rest of the year.

Where to Go for More Information

United States Lifesaving Association
P.O. Box 366
103 Pacific Coast Hwy.
Huntington Beach, CA 92648
(866) 367-8752
http://www.usla.org/

American Red Cross National Headquarters
2025 E St. NW
Washington, DC 20006
(202) 303-4498
http://www.redcross.org/

Earnings and Benefits

Lifeguard work is most often available in the summer, which limits earning potential. Wages are also affected by geography. For instance, lifeguards on California's ocean beaches make more than lifeguards on small lakes in the Midwest. Indoor pools in private clubs or in large hotels pay higher wages than pools and beaches that are open only in the summer. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median wage for lifeguards was $7.95 per hour in 2004. In many places lifeguards can expect to start at the minimum wage. In other places experienced lifeguards who work year-round can make between $12 and $27 per hour. Full-time employees may receive paid holidays and vacations, health insurance, and sick leave.

Lodging Manager Job Description, Career as a Lodging Manager, Salary, Employment - Definition and Nature of the Work, Education and Training Requirements, Getting the Job [next] [back] Jockey Job Description, Career as a Jockey, Salary, Employment - Definition and Nature of the Work, Education and Training Requirements, Getting the Job

User Comments

Your email address will be altered so spam harvesting bots can't read it easily.
Hide my email completely instead?

Cancel or

Vote down Vote up

about 6 years ago

its cool i got all the inf.!! :0

Vote down Vote up

about 6 years ago

am lifeguard am realy enjoyed my work

Vote down Vote up

almost 6 years ago

wanna be in life guard dept

Vote down Vote up

over 6 years ago

your gay !

Vote down Vote up

about 6 years ago

CURRICULUM VITAE



A Self motivated individual with proven team leadership skills and self confidence. Flexible and receptive to new situation possessing excellent communication and inter personals skills



Professional Qualifications



Currently I’m working as a training life serving instructor in Matera aquatic sport club Sri Lanka, for six month from February 2010



Personal Details



Full Name -: Kaluwila Senanayakalage Chaminda Dissanayaka

Name with initials -: K.S. C Dissanayaka

Date of Birth -: 18 th September 1992

Age -:19 years

NIC No -: 922622760 V

Sex -:Male

Nationality -:Sri Lankan

Status -: Single

School -: Narandeniya Central Collage, Matara



Educational Qualification



year Qualification

2008 Buddhism

Sinhala

Dancing

Geography

Agriculture

Mathematics

History

C

C

C

C

S

S

S













Followed the life saving intermediate held by life saving association of Sri Lanka



Followed the life Basic rescue Certificate course held by life saving association of Sri Lanka





Followed the Barn to swim confidence with water course run by the rainbow swimming academy of Sri Lanka



Participate to the junior life saving training camp in Anuradhapura organized held by life saving association of Sri Lanka in 2009





Participate to the “eagle Poson safety program” held in Anuradhapura organized by life saving association of Sri Lanka since 2007



Was a member of school cadet platoon





Was a member of school Prefect board









Priyantha Gamage,

“Priyantha”

Sri Nigrodharama mawatha

Ullala

Kamburupitiya

Matara TP: 0718374709



Jeewana Gunasingha

“Wejesiri

Sapugoda

Kamburupitiya.

Matara

TP.071 8274285





I Here by certify that the above particulars are true and accurate. I’m also aware of my liability for disqualification. If any of the above particulars are found to be fault to be fault or incorrect.





………………………………….. ………………………………..

Date Signature



Vote down Vote up

over 6 years ago

i loled hard

Vote down Vote up

over 5 years ago

I'm a guard and really cool working

Vote down Vote up

over 5 years ago

am working as lifeguard and ilove my job.

Vote down Vote up

almost 6 years ago

Where I live they make like $25/hour! :D

Vote down Vote up

about 6 years ago

CURRICULUM VITAE



A Self motivated individual with proven team leadership skills and self confidence. Flexible and receptive to new situation possessing excellent communication and inter personals skills



Professional Qualifications



Currently I’m working as a training life serving instructor in Matera aquatic sport club Sri Lanka, for six month from February 2010



Personal Details



Full Name -: Kaluwila Senanayakalage Chaminda Dissanayaka

Name with initials -: K.S. C Dissanayaka

Date of Birth -: 18 th September 1992

Age -:19 years

NIC No -: 922622760 V

Sex -:Male

Nationality -:Sri Lankan

Status -: Single

School -: Narandeniya Central Collage, Matara



Educational Qualification



year Qualification

2008 Buddhism

Sinhala

Dancing

Geography

Agriculture

Mathematics

History

C

C

C

C

S

S

S













Followed the life saving intermediate held by life saving association of Sri Lanka



Followed the life Basic rescue Certificate course held by life saving association of Sri Lanka





Followed the Barn to swim confidence with water course run by the rainbow swimming academy of Sri Lanka



Participate to the junior life saving training camp in Anuradhapura organized held by life saving association of Sri Lanka in 2009





Participate to the “eagle Poson safety program” held in Anuradhapura organized by life saving association of Sri Lanka since 2007



Was a member of school cadet platoon





Was a member of school Prefect board









Priyantha Gamage,

“Priyantha”

Sri Nigrodharama mawatha

Ullala

Kamburupitiya

Matara TP: 0718374709



Jeewana Gunasingha

“Wejesiri

Sapugoda

Kamburupitiya.

Matara

TP.071 8274285





I Here by certify that the above particulars are true and accurate. I’m also aware of my liability for disqualification. If any of the above particulars are found to be fault to be fault or incorrect.





………………………………….. ………………………………..

Date Signature



Vote down Vote up

about 6 years ago

I REALLY WANT TO BE A LIFE GUARD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Vote down Vote up

about 4 years ago

good

Vote down Vote up

almost 5 years ago

where do i apply