The lifeguard profession can lead to positions of great responsibility as a pool manager but can also be a real stepping stone if you are aiming to become a water activity coach.
On American beaches, many young people take up the profession of a lifeguard as their first job after getting lifeguard certification, a way of combining work with pleasure, working in places very different from the offices we are used to. But beware: it is not allowed to be kidnapped by the view and let your guard down … surveillance comes first!
After a few seasons on the beach, many lifeguards decide to become water sports or surf instructors (surfing, kitesurfing, body boarding, etc.) or they contemplate becoming sports coaches in water centers looking for people who can supervise the activities. linked to swimming with a fixed-term or permanent contract or even as a freelance.
Where Is It Possible To Work As A Lifeguard?
As a lifeguard, you will be required to work in a number of different areas, but admission to some positions can be very selective due to the responsibilities and danger he will face in the field.
You can then consider working, depending on your level:
- On the beach as a lifeguard. But be careful, to be admitted to this position, aptitude tests, and intensive training are required to find out your level of aptitude to deal with very dangerous situations, especially with rough seas, strong waves, and currents. Only excellent swimmers and sea enthusiasts can be considered for this location.
- In swimming pools, aquatic centers, and lakes. The lifeguard posts in these areas are designed to supervise bathing only in the authorized area, to provide prevention, to give first aid in case of injuries, and also to ensure the tranquility of the place, especially during school or summer periods.
- In fitness centers offering numerous water activities. Here the lifeguard has more of a role of a sports educator or sports coach. He/she supervises the classes, advises participants on the benefits of the exercises, etc …
- In the supervision of nautical activities as an instructor or sports educator to supervise sports activities such as surfing, kayaking, kitesurfing, windsurfing … or any activity closely related to the natural element which is water. Your lifeguard certification is proof of its ability to cope with possible danger and to provide first aid if needed.
What Is The Salary Of A Lifeguard?
In general, lifeguard jobs are mainly seasonal jobs, with summer job offers in campsites, lakes, holiday centers or to strengthen beach surveillance. However, municipal swimming pools or fitness centers cater to people trained to supervise water activities and/or give courses year-round at their establishment.
The salary can vary according to the lifeguard certification, experience, and, yes, also the location. A novice lifeguard in an aquatic complex can expect a salary around the minimum wage. A lifeguard with a few years of experience in a beach rescue station can earn a good amount of money.
Many bonuses and benefits are given to lifeguards depending on the employer, and after a few years of experience as a lifeguard, it is possible to aspire to a career upgrade to other jobs with higher responsibilities, such as the pool manager. Also, consider becoming a water sports instructor!
If you are passionate about the aquatic world, if you have no problems taking responsibility for the safety of others, and are happy to make a commitment to others, the profession of a lifeguard is the one for you.
The American Lifeguard Association (ALA) is providing lifeguard certification courses throughout the year. We encourage you to dispel the myth that it is a job of a few months a year: this is no longer just a seasonal job, you can look to a future as a lifeguard or sports educator, and with the right lifeguard certification in your pocket you can make a career and take on increasing responsibilities. With job opportunities on the rise, you’ll easily find a place to put your passion to good use.
So, start your journey to become a lifeguard and challenge yourself without fear: with your work you can save lives. Contact the American Lifeguard Association for all types of lifeguard certification courses.