What does a Lifeguard do?

A lifeguard is responsible for the general supervision and safety of patrons of an aquatic facility by preventing and responding to emergencies. Lifeguards are superior swimmers who are able to give advice on water safety to patrons, conduct swift water rescues and control unruly behavior if necessary. Lifeguards can have shifts at swimming pools and beaches when the weather permits.

Generally, lifeguards do not need a high school diploma, however, 6 months to 1-year of experience directly related to the duties and responsibilities are required. A valid CPR certification and current certification as a lifeguard by a recognized source of training are required. Successful lifeguards are extremely sociable and safety conscious.

What responsibilities are common for Lifeguard jobs?
  • Maintain constant surveillance of patrons in the water
  • Provide emergency care and treatment as required until the arrival of emergency medical services
  • Able to act quickly and appropriately to secure the safety of patrons in the event of an emergency
  • Present professional appearance and attitude at all times, and maintain a high standard of customer service
  • Perform miscellaneous job-related duties as assigned
  • Prepare and maintain appropriate activity reports
  • Knowledge of customer service standards and procedures
  • Able to follow routine verbal and written instructions
What are the typical qualifications for Lifeguard jobs?
  • 2+ years' lifeguard experience preferred
  • Ability to pass a pre-employment practical skills test in the water
  • Ability to work on weekends and evenings
  • Ability to react calmly and effectively in emergency situations
  • 6 months to 1-year experience directly related to the responsibilities specified
  • Highly-skilled in the application of lifeguarding surveillance and rescue techniques
  • Strong knowledge of CPR and emergency medical procedure
  • Ability to accurately prepare routine administrative paperwork
  • Excellent customer service skills
Education--
Work/Life Balance
3.9 ★
Total Pay--
Career Opportunity
3.3 ★
Avg. Experience8+ years

How much does a Lifeguard make?

Lifeguard Career Path

Learn how to become a Lifeguard, what skills and education you need to succeed, and what level of pay to expect at each step on your career path.

L2
Lifeguard
$41,105/yr
L3
L4
Lead Lifeguard
$42,123/yr
L2

Average Years of Experience

0 - 1
4%
2 - 4
5%
5 - 7
0%
8+
91%
Not including years spent in education and/or training
See Career Path

Lifeguard Insights

Read what Lifeguard professionals have to say about their job experiences and view top companies for this career.
Loews Hotels & CoLoews Hotels & Co
Lifeguard
May 17, 2022

“You get good stable pay at this job and can get as many hours as you want”

City of Irvine, CACity of Irvine, CA
Lifeguard
Jul 6, 2021

“Nothing really too bad could get a little tedious and the pay wasn't great but its solid for a highschooler”

Misericordia Heart of MercyMisericordia Heart of Mercy
Lifeguard/Fitness Aide
Apr 27, 2020

“Staff was incredible to work with and I sincerely enjoyed coming into work everyday to see everyone”

Aqua-Tots Swim SchoolsAqua-Tots Swim Schools
Aquatics Manager
Dec 9, 2019

“Ability to learn and grow within our SNAP Program is so eye opening and rewarding.”

Westchase Community Association
Pool Lifeguard
Sep 29, 2021

“This job is great for high school and college students looking for part time employment.”

Tualatin Hills Park & Recreation DistrictTualatin Hills Park & Recreation District
Lifeguard/Swim Instructor
Feb 15, 2021

“Best (and one of the only good) parts of the job was awesome coworkers.”

Michindoh Conference CenterMichindoh Conference Center
Summer Lifeguard
Oct 20, 2020

“Lot's of great people and a fun camp to live at enjoy while you have downtime.”

YMCAYMCA
Lifeguard
Sep 8, 2020

“Tough drills but overall I think it was an appropriate safety measure considering the nature of the job”

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Lifeguard Interviews

Frequently asked questions about the roles and responsibilities of a Lifeguard

When working as a Lifeguard, the most common skills you will need to perform your job and for career success are CPR First Aid, Guarding, Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation, Fluent IN Spanish, and English Language.

The most similar professions to Lifeguard are:
  • Camp Counselor
  • Business Development Manager
  • Sales Representative
  • Regional Sales Manager

Related Careers

Camp Counselor
$47,353
25% skills overlap
Business Development Manager
$99,359
13% skills overlap
Sales Representative
$80,299
No skills overlap
Regional Sales Manager
$105,854

Lifeguard Jobs