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Lifeguard Salary, Job Description, and More (See What You Will Make and Why)

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If you’re thinking about becoming a lifeguard, it’s essential to understand what you’ll make, what your job will entail, and its requirements. 

This can help you determine if it’s the right career move for you and save you from spending money on training programs that aren’t necessary or relevant to your situation. 

To help, here are the typical lifeguard salary, job description, and requirements for becoming a lifeguard. 

Take a look.

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What Does a Lifeguard do?

As a lifeguard, you will be responsible for the safety of swimmers at your assigned pool or beach.

This includes preventing accidents, rescuing swimmers in distress, and providing first aid as needed. 

You will also be responsible for maintaining the cleanliness of the area and ensuring that all safety equipment is in working order. 

In addition to these duties, you may also be required to give swimming lessons or provide other customer services. 

Also, if there are any incidents with trespassers on the property, you must deal with them accordingly. 

Depending on where you work, this could mean anything from ejecting them from the premises to calling law enforcement. 

Lifeguards are usually on-call 24 hours a day and work an average of 4 hours per shift; their shifts typically start early in the morning or late afternoon/evening. 

The rest of their time can be spent training for water rescues and educating members about water safety precautions such as avoiding over-exertion and wearing appropriate attire.

Job Duties

Job duties of a lifeguard include:

  • Maintaining a clean and safe swimming area.
  • Rescuing swimmers in distress.
  • Providing first aid when necessary. 

To become a lifeguard, one must be at least 16 years old and have a valid CPR certification.

What Are the Different Types of Lifeguards?

There are many different types of lifeguards, each with its unique responsibilities. 

Here are a few of the most common: 

  1. Beach lifeguards protect swimmers from drowning and other hazards at the beach. 
  2. Pool lifeguards monitor swimmers at pools, water parks, and other aquatic facilities. 
  3. Lake lifeguards help people enjoy activities safely on lakes and rivers. 
  4. Ski patrol lifeguards help skiers and snowboarders stay safe on the slopes. 
  5. EMTs and paramedics provide emergency medical care to sick or injured people. 
  6. Nurses work in hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare settings to care for patients.

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How Can I Get the Best Qualifications for This Career?

To become a lifeguard, you must be at least 15 years old and have a valid Red Cross Lifeguarding certificate. 

You must also have CPR and First Aid certification. If you are interested in becoming a lifeguard, the best way to get started is to take a Red Cross Lifeguarding course. 

This course also teaches you everything you need to know about being a lifeguard, including first aid and CPR. 

It also provides hands-on training on all skills needed for successful lifesaving. 

When you complete this course, you will receive a Red Cross Lifeguarding certificate, which will give your resume extra credibility when applying for jobs.

What Skills Do I need?

You must be at least 15 years old to work as a lifeguard. Many employers also require that you have a valid driver’s license. 

You will need to be able to pass a physical fitness test, which may include swimming laps, running, and treading water. CPR and first-aid certification is also required. 

As a lifeguard, you will be responsible for the safety of swimmers at your assigned location. 

You will need to stay alert and be able to react quickly in case of an emergency. You will also be responsible for enforcing pool rules and keeping the area clean. 

Lifeguards typically work in shifts that are 4-8 hours long. Some lifeguards may work weekends or holidays.

How Much Does a Lifeguard Get Paid?

The salary of a lifeguard varies depending on the location. For example, the annual mean wage for a lifeguard in California is $20 an hour or $40,000 a year. 

As far as the location in question goes, this would be well below average. Nonetheless, this occupation pays well for those who enjoy being around water and people. 

Plus, there are many other benefits such as flexible hours/schedule, possible advancement opportunities within or outside the company if one desires to leave their current position, and a risk-free environment, among others. 

How Long Does It Take To Become a Lifeguard?

It takes about a week to become a certified lifeguard. The first step is to take a lifeguarding class, which is usually offered at community pools. 

After passing the class, you’ll need to pass a swim and first-aid/CPR test. 

Once you’re certified, you can start applying for lifeguard jobs.

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Conclusion

While the life of a lifeguard may seem glamorous, the pay is often not as high as one would expect. 

The average hourly wage for a lifeguard is $9.25, but this can vary greatly depending on the location and type of facility. 

Lifeguards typically work 40 hours per week during the summer, but hours may be reduced during the off-season. 

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