What Do Lifeguards Do (including Their Typical Day At Work)

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Job Description, Daily Responsibilities, and Work Life.

Job Description

Lifeguards monitor recreational areas, such as pools, beaches, or ski slopes to provide assistance and protection to participants. They also examine injured persons and administer first aid or cardiopulmonary resuscitation, if necessary, using training and medical supplies and equipment.

Other tasks include:

  • 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.
  • Patrol or monitor recreational areas such as trails, slopes, or swimming areas, on foot, in vehicles, or from towers.
  • Observe activities in assigned areas, using binoculars, to detect hazards, disturbances, or safety infractions.
  • Complete and maintain records of weather and beach conditions, emergency medical treatments performed, and other relevant incident information.

We asked Lifeguards how satisfied they are with their job. Here is what they said.

Job satisfaction

57%

How meaningful is this job

62%


57% of them said they were satisfied with their job and 62% said they find that their job makes the world a better place or helps to make someone else’s life better.



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Typical Day At Work

On a daily basis, Lifeguards maintain 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.

We asked some Lifeguards a few questions to find out what else does their work day look like. Here is what we found.

Do you have telephone conversations everyday in this job?59% said yes
How important is it to work in a team in this job?72% said very important
Do you have group discussions everyday in this job?74% said yes
Do you talk or work with customers everyday in this job?73% said yes
Do you have to deal with angry customers everyday in this job?6% said yes
Do you have to make decisions everyday in this job?58% said yes

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.


Working life

Working hours

Less than 40 hours per week

Working schedule

Irregular work schedule that changes depending on weather conditions, customer demand or contract duration.

In a typical work week as a Lifeguard, Ski Patrol and Other Recreational Protective Service Worker, you can expect to work less than 40 hours per week.

Do Lifeguards work in an office-style work environment?

Every day
64%


Never
26%


Do Lifeguards work outdoors?

Every day
36%


Once a week
24%



Is this right for me

Best personality for this career

The Builders and The Helpers

People who are suitable for this job tends 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.

You can read more about these career personality types here.




Learn more about Lifeguards

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Additional resources

http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes339092.htm


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