The Top 5 Reasons Why Swimmers Should Consider Lifeguarding

Photo Courtesy:

By Kaylie Williams, Swimming World College Intern.

As a swimmer, chances are you already spend a majority of your life around a pool. With all the hours you put into training during the school year, it’s nearly impossible to hold a job. When school is out for summer, swimmers are often scrambling to find a seasonal job that will allow them to continue with their training schedule.

Are you in need of work for the summer? Are you looking for a dynamic job that always keeps you on your toes? Do you like people-watching? Why not take up lifeguarding? Still not convinced? Keep reading to see the top reasons why lifeguarding may be the job for you!

1. Important Lifelong Skills

Lifeguard Rescue

Photo Courtesy: Sgt. Zachary Gardner

Being a lifeguard is often trivialized and pushed on teenagers and young adults as “the perfect first job” due to the relatively easy workload. But what most people fail to realize is that lifeguarding is more than just perching atop a lifeguard tower and supervising a pool full of swimmers. Lifeguarding requires a person to be physically fit, carry multiple certifications and have the patience and attention of a kindergarten teacher.

As a fully certified lifeguard, a person must be licensed in CPR, First Aid and must pass the in-water skills assessment – all three being very rigorous and time consuming. But, if you happen to be a swimmer, you already have the skills to succeed in the in-water assessment. The process of certification may be long and rigorous, but once you pass the classes and obtain the certifications, most are valid for two years and the skills that come with them are valid for life. The skills that lifeguards employ for their jobs are valuable and necessary for everyday activities; you never know when you may need to use CPR and First Aid to help someone in need.

2. Getting Tan and Getting Paid


Photo Courtesy: chrisinphilly5448

Working outside and near a pool during the summer definitely has its perks. As a lifeguard at an outdoor pool, you almost automatically get a nice summer glow (watch out for those T-shirt tan lines) from the amount of time you spend in the sun. Make sure to wear sunscreen, take breaks and drink a lot of water in order to avoid sunburn, heat exhaustion and dehydration.

Remember all of those certifications that lifeguards need in order to work at a pool? They come in handy when it comes to calculating a paycheck. Most lifeguards are paid a few dollars above minimum wage because of the certifications they must have before they step on deck for their shift. Additionally, most guards are paid hourly, which can either be a pro or a con. If you’re working at a pool that allows you to be flexible with planning your schedule, you can make your shifts as long or as short as you need.

3. Working At A Pool

S.R. Smith

Photo Courtesy: S.R. Smith

As a swimmer, spending more time around a pool might not be ideal, but it has a few positives if you choose to look into it! For example, if you are working outdoors and you have a cool supervisor, you can basically get in the water and swim whenever you get overheated. Besides the obvious positive of getting a nice tan with minimal effort, the pool is generally a fun place to work. Most patrons are in a good mood when they arrive, because going to the pool during summer is a fun way to cool off and hang with friends. Who knows, maybe you’ll end up as the judge for the neighborhood cannonball contest!

4. Making New Friends


Photo Courtesy: Austin Kirk

Working as a lifeguard can be really rewarding in terms of the relationships you build with your co-workers and maybe even community members who regularly visit the pool. Working as a team to practice and sometimes perform rescues will bring you and your co-workers much closer together and will create lasting friendships for years to come! If you work at the pool that you also swim at, there’s a pretty good chance that you’ll be working with teammates. Who doesn’t love working with your friends? As for the regular patrons that come each day to the pool, it’s never a bad idea to strike up a conversation and network with them. You never know where a conversation with a community member can get you!

5. People Watching/Entertainment

Perhaps the most hilarious and entertaining part of being a lifeguard is the fact that it is literally your job to watch the patrons in the pool. You could become the judge for the most entertaining cannonball or dive contests while at the same time hanging out at the pool and getting a tan. To say the least, you’ll never be bored if you become a lifeguard!

Still Not Convinced?

If you’re unsure about becoming a lifeguard, at least consider getting certified in CPR and First Aid, because those skills are applicable and valuable for the rest of your life. With the amount of time spent around the pool as a swimmer, it makes sense to be certified just in case you ever encounter a water-related emergency. It never hurts to be prepared!

-All commentaries are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Swimming World Magazine nor its staff.

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Kathleen Larson Radloff

Lacey Lorraine Radloff Bobby Radloff duh

Donielle Derington Underwood

Madison Underwood

Brent Fletcher
5 years ago

It’s a rite of passage for many of us :).

Marianne Lione
5 years ago

Still a lifeguard all these years later

Darl Bonnema
5 years ago

I always preferred beach patrol to pool lifeguarding. Ocean rescue is more challenging and physically demanding plus you can surf on your lunch break, before and after work. Both are great for swimmers.???‍♂️

Darl Bonnema
5 years ago
Reply to  Darl Bonnema
Kathy Neville Lemay
5 years ago

For college kids, it’s generally the highest paying student job on campus.

Tammy Foor Collier
5 years ago

Kathy Neville Lemay My son is a guard at Purdue University. It’s the only job he would consider. He loves being at the pool and swam with their club team this season. It’s a great community.

Charlene Tallen
5 years ago

Kathy Neville Lemay my daughter is a lifeguard at Depauw University

Lisa M Weir
5 years ago

Declan Weir ?

Sidney Tran
5 years ago

LA County lifeguards are very selective and the requirements are too. It is a great job for late teens and early adulthood.

Ocean lifeguarding is the way to go.

Leandre Turner
5 years ago

Katherine some good reasons. No 2 the best I reckon

Katherine Turner
5 years ago
Reply to  Leandre Turner

Leandre Turner yep, number 2 is definitely my favourite

Janice MacDonald
5 years ago

I could go No 2 also.

Ed Friedlander
5 years ago

Best job ever

Cecilia Orrell Ball
5 years ago

Kristina Ball

Sarah Megan Wins
5 years ago

Giggle. This might be the most duh headline ive ever seen

Annette Cohen Pallowick

This could have been a great article for recruiting lifeguards, but it really should have been vetted by those who are in the business of training good lifeguards.

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