What to Know About Being a Lifeguard This Summer

By Kaitlin Hurtado on July 23, 2022

Now that school is out, there is plenty of free time to sit back and relax. While you may want to spend your free hours playing games, planning hangouts, and catching up on sleep, summer is the perfect opportunity to land a part-time job to cushion your savings for your summer adventures and your tight budget when you inevitably start school back up in a couple of months and have less time to work. Depending on where you are job hunting, seasonal jobs may be hard to come by, but one seasonal job may be the one that’s the right fit for you. If you are looking for a seasonal job to hold you over this summer, consider becoming a lifeguard.

Keep reading for what to know about being a lifeguard this summer.

Photo: Pexels

Be ready to put in the time for training 

Just like with any job, there is going to be some sort of training you are going to have to successfully complete upon hiring.

Every lifeguard job will have varying requirements as far as training fo. Some will require general certifications, while others may require company-specific training prior to throwing you on a lifeguard chair. For example, if you become a lifeguard for the California State Parks, your training will include Public Safety First Aid, CPR, AED, open water lifesaving techniques, and aquatic search and rescue procedures. You may not need this much training if you are looking for a job at your local community pool.

Prove your swimming skills

As expected, being able to swim fast and well is one of the most essential parts of being a good lifeguard. While you can pass your interview with flying colors and have the right first aid certifications under your belt, you are not going to get the job if you are a weak swimmer. Showing off your swimming skills is going to be part of the application process, so you may want to refresh your swimming skills prior to applying to be a lifeguard this summer.

It is also important to note that you will want to match the job to your skill level. If you only really have experience swimming in a backyard pool, you may not be the right fit for an open lifeguard position at a nearby beach. The beach job may sound more fun than the open position at the community pool, but swimming in open water with unexpected variables like riptides and waves thrown in the mix is a lot different than swimming in still pool waters. Don’t overestimate your swimming abilities, especially when your job is to potentially have to save someone’s life in a dangerous situation.

Be ready for high-stress situations

You may think that becoming a lifeguard is the perfect summer gig – you can spend hours perfecting your summer tan, enjoy the sun, and get paid to do it. However, it is important to remember the task at hand – saving lives in the event that someone encounters trouble.

While you are not going to be saving a life every shift, you do need to head into every shift ready to do so. You need to be on constant alert throughout your shift, staying ready to help as soon as it’s needed. If you aren’t good with high-stress situations, becoming a lifeguard is not the right choice for you.

Get ready to spend hours outside

Not everyone loves the heat, and if you aren’t one to bask in the summer sun, lifeguarding may not be the gig for you. While you may think you can easily cool off in the pool throughout your shift, you may be stuck on your lifeguard perch for the majority of your shift in order to keep an eye on the pool and visitors.

If you are lucky, you may be working as a lifeguard at an indoor pool, so having to worry about overheating or constant sunscreen application isn’t even on your list of concerns. However, for most lifeguard gigs, you should expect to be exposed to the elements for the majority of the job.

Be a people person 

You may think that being a lifeguard will save you from having constant interactions like you would in a typical customer service role, like a store clerk, but you are going to be interacting with patrons on a daily basis. Depending on where you end up working, you may not have as high of traffic as you would expect, but you are going to be interacting with guests, whether it’s to save them from a pool or reminding them of pool policies and safe practices.

If you have read all of this and still are interested in becoming a lifeguard this summer – start applying to local gigs in your area. Good luck!

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