What Does A Lifeguard, Ski Patrol and Other Recreational Protective Service Worker Do (including Their Typical Day at Work)

Stan T.Career, Overview

Salary, Job Description, How To Become One, and Quiz

Lifeguards

Lifeguards monitor recreational areas, such as pools, beaches, or ski slopes, to provide assistance and protection to participants.

Salary
$27050
Becoming One
Easy
Education
No degree required
Job Satisfaction
Low
Job Growth

Personality
Interest Match





Find a job you love and you will never work a day in your life.Confucius

What they do

Lifeguards monitor recreational areas, such as pools, beaches, or ski slopes, to provide assistance and protection to participants.

  • Examine injured persons and administer first aid or cardiopulmonary resuscitation, if necessary, using training and medical supplies and equipment.
  • Contact emergency medical personnel in case of serious injury.
  • Rescue distressed persons, using rescue techniques and equipment.
  • Instruct participants in skiing, swimming, or other recreational activities and provide safety precaution information.

Typical day

On a daily basis, Lifeguards maintain the quality of pool water by testing chemical levels. They patrol or monitor recreational areas such as trails, slopes, or swimming areas, on foot, in vehicles, or from towers.

A typical day for a Lifeguard, Ski Patrol, and Other Recreational Protective Service Worker will also include:

  • Inspect recreational equipment, such as rope tows, T-bars, J-bars, or chair lifts, for safety hazards and damage or wear.
  • Observe activities in assigned areas, using binoculars, to detect hazards, disturbances, or safety infractions.
  • Instruct participants in skiing, swimming, or other recreational activities and provide safety precaution information.
  • Inspect recreational facilities for cleanliness.
  • Warn recreational participants of inclement weather, unsafe areas, or illegal conduct.

Other responsibilities

Besides their typical day, Lifeguards also rescue distressed persons, using rescue techniques and equipment. They may also provide assistance with staff selection, training, and supervision.

On a weekly to monthly basis, Lifeguards provide assistance in the safe use of equipment, such as ski lifts. They might also inspect recreational equipment, such as rope tows, t-bars, j-bars, or chair lifts, for safety hazards and damage or wear.

In addition, they instruct participants in skiing, swimming, or other recreational activities and provide safety precaution information.

Although specific duties may vary, many of them complete and maintain records of weather and beach conditions, emergency medical treatments performed, and other relevant incident information.

To some Lifeguards, it is also their responsibility to examine injured persons and administer first aid or cardiopulmonary resuscitation, if necessary, using training and medical supplies and equipment.

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What is the job like

Job satisfaction

Low

Is this job meaningful

High

57% said they were satisfied with their job and 62% said they found their job meaningful.


A community pool

One of the first jobs, when I was younger, is a lifeguard at the community pool. My days consisted of waking up early to open up the place with my co-workers and keep watch of the kids and people who used the pool throughout the day. When we were short-staffed I had to pull extra … Read More


We would start our day by reporting to HQ for a team debrief, and the team lead would issue tasks to pairs of us. This would include doing beach patrols, cleaning lifeguard equipment such as sea doos and rescue boards, and closing off sections of the beach prone to seasonal rip currents. We would also … Read More


My day used to start at 7.15 am and finish at 3.15. The leisure center opened at 8 am for the early swimmers so we had to be there early to clean the pool and to maintain cleanliness. When the pool opened we had one of 4 positions in the pool to monitor. The shallow … Read More


Pros

Suitable for people who like practical and hands-on work.

Suitable for people who value relationships between co-workers and customers and want to work in a friendly non-competitive environment.

This career is perfect for people who love to work both indoors and outdoors.

It is easy to get into this career. Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for this career.

Short working hours (Less than 40 hours per week).

Cons

Not suitable for people who like to work with designs.

One of the lowest paying jobs.

How much do they make

Average salary

$27050 per year

Average hourly wage

$13 per hour

Entry-level Lifeguards with little to no experience can expect to make anywhere between $18,490 to $20,680 per year or $9 to $10 per hour.

Salary by experience Annual Hourly
Highest (Top 10%) $38,330 $18
Senior (Top 25%) $30,070 $14
Median $25,020 $12
Junior (Bottom 25%) $20,680 $10
No experience (Bottom 10%) $18,490 $9

This table shows the top 10 highest paying industries for Lifeguards based on their average annual salary.

Salary by industry Annual Hourly
State Government $36090 $17.35
Child Day Care Services $32580 $15.66
Grantmaking and Giving Services $31210 $15.01
Religious Organizations $30800 $14.81
Specialty Hospitals $30740 $14.78
Individual and Family Services $28890 $13.89
Local Government $28880 $13.88
Social Advocacy Organizations $28610 $13.75
General Medical and Surgical Hospitals $28120 $13.52
Real Estate $28020 $13.47

View more salary by industries here.

Where can they work

Where can Lifeguards work? Here is a table showing the top 10 largest employers of Lifeguards including the average salary in that industry.

Employers Total Employed Annual Salary Hourly Wages
Local Government 44730 $28880 $13.88
Other Amusement and Recreation Industries 25560 $24870 $11.96
Civic and Social Organizations 14300 $24880 $11.96
Amusement Parks and Arcades 5330 $24530 $11.79
Traveler Accommodation 4890 $27630 $13.28
Elementary and Secondary Schools 3040 $27400 $13.17
Business, Professional, Labor, Political, and Similar Organizations 2180 $27020 $12.99
State Government 2100 $36090 $17.35
Other Schools and Instruction 1910 $27740 $13.34
Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools 1770 $26160 $12.58

What is the work day like

Working hours

Less than 40 hours
63%

40 hours
20%

More than 40 hours
18%

Working schedule

78%

14%

8%

Email

How often do you use email in this job?

Once a week
40%

Every day
44%

Telephone

How often do you have telephone conversations in this job?

Once a week
30%

Every day
31%

Group discussions

How often do you have group discussions in this job?

Once a week
2%

Every day
77%

Public speaking

How often does this job require you to do public speaking?

Never
35%

Once a year
28%

Once a month
19%

Once a week
0%

Every day
18%

Level of competition

How much competitive pressure is in this job?

Not competitive at all
46%

Slightly competitive
16%

Moderately competitive
3%

Highly competitive
18%

Extremely competitive
17%

What is the work environment like

Office-style environment

Indoors in an environmentally controlled condition

Never
20%

Once a year or more
2%

Once a month or more
2%

Once a week or more
23%

Every day
54%

Warehouse-style environment

Indoors in a non-controlled environmental condition such as a warehouse

Never
39%

Once a year or more
0%

Once a month or more
0%

Once a week or more
5%

Every day
57%

Outdoors

Outdoors exposed to all weather conditions

Never
28%

Once a year or more
5%

Once a month or more
0%

Once a week or more
4%

Every day
63%

Outdoors – Under Cover

Outdoors but under cover (e.g. structure with roof but no walls)

Never
45%

Once a year or more
2%

Once a month or more
0%

Once a week or more
5%

Every day
48%

How to become one

Difficulty to become one

Easy
You may need some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience. Most careers in this difficulty category usually don’t require a degree. However, you will need a few months of on-the-job training with experienced employees. Similar careers include Customer Service Representatives, Security Guards, and Bank Tellers.

Required level of education

What level of education do you need to perform the job?

Less than a High School Diploma
39%

High School Diploma or equivalent
21%

Post-Secondary Certificate
17%

Some College Courses
5%

Associate’s Degree or similar
16%

Bachelor’s Degree
1%

Post-Baccalaureate Certificate
0%

Master’s Degree
0%

Post-Master’s Certificate
0%

First Professional Degree
0%

Doctoral Degree
0%

Post-Doctoral Training
0%

Relevant majors

Environmental/Natural Resources Law Enforcement and Protective Services

A program that prepares individuals to enforce natural resource and environmental protection regulations and laws; and to perform emergency duties to protect human life, property and natural resources, including fire prevention and control measures, and emergency and rescue procedures. Includes instruction in natural and physical sciences, natural resource management, outdoor field skills, firearms and outdoor equipment and vehicle operation, evidence collection and environmental sampling and monitoring, natural resource legislation, environmental compliance techniques, patrol procedures, investigation and report writing, interpersonal skills and crisis intervention, community liaison, public safety, public education, and public relations. Note: this program was re-instated after being deleted from CIP 2000; previously, it was coded as 03.0203.

Relevant work experience

How much related work experience do you need to get hired for the job?

None
50%

1 month
6%

1 to 3 months
1%

3 to 6 months
1%

6 months to 1 year
18%

1 to 2 years
8%

2 to 4 years
15%

4 to 6 years
0%

6 to 8 years
0%

8 to 10 years
0%

Over 10 years
0%

On The Job Training

How much on the job training do you need to perform the job?

None or short demonstration
10%

1 month
46%

1 to 3 months
32%

3 to 6 months
2%

6 months to 1 year
0%

1 to 2 years
2%

2 to 4 years
0%

4 to 10 years
0%

Over 10 years
8%

Should you become one

Best personality type for this career

The Builder

People with this personality type likes practical and hands-on work. They prefer working with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery.

The Builder
90%

People with The Builder personality type likes practical and hands-on work. They prefer working with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery.


The Thinker
38%

People with The Thinker personality likes to work with ideas that require an extensive amount of thinking. They prefer work that requires them to solve problems mentally.


The Artist
14%

People with The Artist personality likes to work with designs and patterns. They prefer activities that require self-expression and prefer work that can be done without following a clear set of rules.


The Helper
86%

People with The Helper personality type likes to work with people and in teams. They prefer work that allows them to build relationships with others.


The Leader
43%

People with The Leader personality likes to start and work on projects. They also like leading people and making many decisions.


The Organizer
38%

People with The Organizer personality type likes to follow set procedures and routines. They prefer working with data and details more than with ideas.


You can read more about these career personality types here.

People who are suitable for this job tend to like work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They like working with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery.

They also like working with, communicating with, and teaching people. They like helping or providing service to others.

Take this quiz to see if this is the right career for you.

Work Values

Which values are the most important to a person’s satisfaction for this job?

Achievement
71%

You are someone who is results oriented. You prefer work that allows you to utilize your skills and abilities while at the same time giving you a sense of accomplishment.

Working Conditions
40%

You are someone who values job security, steady employment, and good working conditions. You also prefer work that keeps you busy all the time with something different to do every day.

Recognition
43%

You are someone who values job advancement and leadership roles. You prefer work that receives recognition for the work you do and jobs that are looked up to by others in the company and your community.

Relationships
81%

You are someone who likes to provide a service to others. You prefer a work environment where you can work with your co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment.

Support
76%

You are someone who values a company that stands behind their employees. You prefer a work environment where everyone is treated fairly and is being supported by the company.

Independence
67%

You are someone who likes to work on your own and make your own decisions. You prefer work that requires little supervision and are allowed to try out your own ideas.

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