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Lifeguards look after swimming areas, help swimmers to stay safe and carry out rescues in emergencies.

Potential salary
£13,000 to £29,000
Working hours
41 to 43 variable
  • customer service skills
  • sensitivity and understanding
  • the ability to work well with others
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • thinking and reasoning skills
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • to enjoy working with other people
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • the ability to monitor your own performance and that of your colleagues
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

As a pool or beach lifeguard you'll supervise swimming areas and help people in trouble. Your main tasks will include:

  • making sure swimmers follow safety rules
  • making sure people stay in safe areas
  • rescuing swimmers in danger
  • giving first aid

As a pool lifeguard, you’ll also be:

  • advising swimmers on how to use diving boards and slides
  • checking pool water temperature and chemicals
  • cleaning the pool area and setting up equipment

As a beach lifeguard you’ll also be:

  • monitoring sea conditions and setting up safety flags
  • a point of contact for people on the beach

You could work at a fitness centre.

Your working environment may be outdoors some of the time and humid.

You could become a leisure centre manager with the National Pool Management Qualification.

Some pool lifeguards get swimming teaching or coaching qualifications and give swimming lessons. You could also train and lead a team of lifeguards.

You could compete in lifeguarding competitions.

You can find out more about training to be a pool or beach lifeguard from:Careers in Aquatics; Royal Life Saving Society UK; Swimming Teachers' Association; Surf Life Saving GB

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