Resort Lifeguard Jobs
Being a lifeguard means that you will be responsible for the safety of the guests in the water, whether they are enjoying swimming at one of the resort swimming pools or at the beach.
Sometimes lifeguards will get promoted and become a pool attendant, and aside from watching over the guests in the water, they have to maintain the look of the swimming area, clean up after guest, neaten the sun chairs, ensure that objects are out of the water when bathers leave, and ensure that all the pool equipment is functioning correctly. Watch the cool job listings in our Job Center for lifeguard openings.
There is also a pool manager who you will sometimes have to answer to who is in charge of the pool area at the resort and who ensures that all the guests enjoy the swimming facilities. He or she will answer questions, check that the pool is maintained properly and working correctly, that the lifeguards and pool attendants arrive for shift on time and that they are correctly dressed. The pool manager will also organize all the poolside events such as swimming lessons, water aerobics classes, and private poolside parties.
Quick Fact: Lifeguards can work their way towards becoming swimming instructors, by completing an advanced Red Cross Water Safety Instructor certificate.
To work as a lifeguard you are responsible for every swimmer at the resort, whether they are experienced or not, and whether they are children or adults. Your job is to ensure safety at the pools or at the resort's private beach. This includes making the swimming area safe, by getting rid of dangerous objects, encouraging safe play in the water and watching out for weaker swimmers. At the beach, you will look for undertows, swimmers being dragged far out to sea, animals, boats that are getting too close to swimmers, and at the pool area you will uphold the rules of the pool, deal with medical emergencies, make sure that the pool is sanitary and safe, and even send unruly children and adults out of the pool area if they are engaging in dangerous or illegal activities.
Your responsibility will also include teaching water aerobics or swimming classes, and provide assistance to those who might be having difficulty swimming. You will also need to teach the guests to use certain of the equipment that is provided by the resort, such as the flotation tubes and blow up boats to make sure that they are used safely and that those using them are confident.
If there is an incident at the pool or beach and a swimmer is in trouble, the lifeguard must know CPR and first aid, and be able to administer any treatment required to save the swimmer. Even the most advanced swimmers can have problems like cramping or suffer from a heart attack while swimming at sea, so lifeguards must be prepared for any eventuality.
To work as a lifeguard at a hotel or resort you will need to have certain qualifications and physical attributes. For instance, you need to be a strong swimmer and be physically fit and healthy. You must be strong enough to pull people out of the water, and you must be able to use the safety equipment comfortably and confidently.
Personality wise, you will be required to be friendly and welcoming at all times and have a calming attitude about you to reassure guests that they and their children are safe. You must be responsible, mature and be able to think on your feet, working well under pressure.
Another requirement that you should have is to be patient. Looking out over the water for hours at a time can be tiring, so you need to have the ability to remain calm and patient when on duty. Your shift will usually last 8 hours or so and you should be prepared to work weekends and after hours – whenever people are swimming.
Any additional talents you have such as dancing or kick boxing would be to your advantage, as many resorts offer exercise for the guests in the pool which the lifeguards normally lead.
Training & Degrees
To become a lifeguard, whether you want to work at a resort or work for the state, you will have to attend a Red Cross training program, which requires you to be at least 15 years of age. The YMCA also offers training, but you will have to pass a Red Cross Advanced Lifesaving Certificate before you can become a qualified life guard. The training involves various water tests, as well as a written and practical exam.
In Australia you have to be at least 16 years of age and must obtain the following to qualify as a lifeguard:
- Senior First Aid
- Certificate II in Public Safety (Aquatic Rescue)
- Basic Beach Management
- Advanced Resuscitation Techniques
- Spinal Management
In the UK you need to have the National Pool Lifeguard Qualification (NPLQ) or the National Aquatic Rescue Standard (NARS) which are given by the Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS) and the Swimming Teachers Association respectively.
Most life saving courses require you to complete at least 36 hours of water training before you can qualify and regular sessions, courses and training camps are held every 2 years to re-qualify.
Did You Know? The biggest lifeguard competition is the annual Surf Lifesaving Championships held in Australia, and is the second largest sporting event in the world after the Olympic Games.
Salary & Benefits
The mean hourly wage for a lifeguard is $9, but this varies according to the location and type of job, with Hawaii paying the most at $17 per hour. State lifeguards and those working at elderly living facilities and hospitals earning more than recreational lifeguards.
Working at a resort or hotel, however, you will be liable for standard employee benefits including dental, medical, disability insurance, free meals and accommodation, discounted facilities, and much more.
- Earn between minimum wage and $17 per hour
- Spend your summers at the beach or the pool
- Lifeguard certifications are needed