What are the Different Swim Instructor Jobs?

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  • Written By: S. Zaimov
  • Edited By: Michelle Arevalo
  • Last Modified Date: 20 December 2018
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People with swim instructor jobs are typically employed to teach others how to swim. These professionals are often certified and expert swimmers, educated in different techniques and styles, as well as first aid. Instructors can give private lessons or teach large swim teams.

A swim instructor usually has years of training in various swim strokes, drills and body physiology. He or she must often be able to adapt teaching methods to every student's specific body type. There are different places where a swimming certification can be obtained, but one of the most popular ones, internationally, is through the Red Cross organization.

Instructors often work indoors, but many also teach outdoors where they are subjected to the sun for long periods of time. These conditions may expose them to risk of sunstroke or sunburn, so swim teachers should take care to protect themselves. Typically, individuals in this field also need a strong voice so they can make themselves heard over people and the sound of water.

Various kinds of people seek help with swimming. Students as young as toddlers or as old as seniors may want to learn the basics of how to swim, while others may seek to improve their skills. Swim instructor jobs can also deal with physically or mentally handicapped patients, and so a teacher needs to be comfortable working with people of very different abilities.


Assistant swim instructors usually start out by helping the head coach in all duties. Assistants can be responsible for keeping drills organized, following the main instructor's directions and maintaining safety and cleanliness around the pool. Swim teams training for sporting competitions sometimes need a number of these assistants in order to help prepare for events.

A lifeguard is another of the possible swim instructor jobs. Professionals in this field can be employed at beaches, schools, summer camps and private or public pools. A lifeguard’s job is to carefully monitor the pool, ensure safety rules are being followed and help swimmers in trouble. Some lifeguards are on duty from the pool’s opening to closing hours, while others work in shifts.

Pool managers or operators are often seasoned professionals who have gone through various swim instructor jobs before advancing to this position. In addition to having a strong background as a swim teacher, a manager often needs good business and customer service skills. An operator is usually in charge of an entire pool facility and may be responsible for hiring, training and supervising a team of swim instructors and lifeguards. Strong leadership and discipline skills are also needed for the job, to ensure all pool workers are meeting the required standards.



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