Lifeguards are people who are responsible for making sure swimmers safely enjoy the water. The job of a lifeguard is a serious one, involving the monitoring of potentially dangerous situations. If a person wishes to become a lifeguard, he or she can expect to perform a variety of lifeguard jobs ranging from first aid to saving someone from drowning.
A lifeguard must be a strong swimmer who is trained in first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). He or she must possess the talent of remaining calm during stressful situations and have the ability to think clearly when emergencies arise. Lifeguard jobs require people who are committed to protecting swimmers and saving lives.
Those who choose to pursue lifeguard jobs can work in a variety of settings. They may work as pool lifeguards or beach lifeguards. Pool lifeguard jobs involve monitoring swimmers in swimming pools, while beach lifeguards work at beaches and lakes. Both types of lifeguards must possess the same forms of swimming and lifesaving skills.
Pool lifeguards work at neighborhood pools, community centers, water parks, hotels, resorts, and other recreational facilities where people go to play in the water. This particular form of lifeguard spends a workday seated in a tall chair or watchtower to ensure that swimmers are safely enjoying the water. In addition to monitoring and lifesaving, pool lifeguards may be responsible for cleaning the pool and removing debris from the pool area. They may give swimming lessons and teach children about water safety.
A lifeguard who works at a beach or lake will often sit in a higher watchtower or chair to survey greater distances. He or she uses binoculars to observe people swimming in the water and to determine if people are violating water safety rules. Some lifeguards drive a vehicle along the beach as they perform their duties. They are constantly searching for people who are in danger of drowning, suffering from heat stroke, or at risk of injuring themselves. Beach lifeguards also assist people whose boats are damaged and need help returning to shore.
People who wish to excel at lifeguard jobs should be physically fit, taking time to exercise on a regular basis. They must be prepared to work in a variety of weather conditions, from scorching heat to cold rain. All lifeguards must be observant, diligently surveying the area for potential dangers. Lifeguards must feel comfortable working with crowds of people, including energetic children. Beach lifeguards sometimes contend with rough water, risking their own lives to save people who have ventured into dangerous parts of the ocean.
Some lifeguard positions are seasonal, while others are full time. Seasonal lifeguard jobs at the local pool are often filled by teenagers who wish to work in the field. Pay rates for lifeguard jobs vary, according to the type of facility seeking lifeguards. Lifeguards with years of experience can command a higher salary than newly trained lifeguards who have never worked in the field.