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How to become a Lifeguard

lifeguard careers

What does a Lifeguard do?

Lifeguards ensure that swimmers are safe in pools or in the sea and inland waterways. They help to prevent swimming accidents by being constantly alert to identify dangerous situations.

Swimming Pool lifeguards may be positioned on a raised observation deck or elevated chair at the poolside. They also patrol the edge of the pool, looking out for swimmers in difficulties, or for potential dangers such as over-boisterous behaviour. They give general first aid and in emergencies use life-saving techniques such as resuscitation.

Other tasks include checking water temperature, pH and chlorine levels, setting up equipment, pool maintenance and advising swimmers on the use of the diving boards and slides.

Beach lifeguards supervise users of beaches and inland waterways, endeavouring to prevent accidents by identifying hazards, taking preventative measures, and applying life-saving techniques in emergencies.

Beach lifeguards also provide a point of contact for people on the beach, and apply basic first aid if necessary.

Many beach lifeguards are volunteers who work at weekends and on public holidays.

What's the working environment like working as a Lifeguard?

Lifeguards usually work a 38-hour week, including weekends, evenings and public holidays.

A number of lifeguards work part-time or on a casual basis, or are volunteers.

Beach lifeguards work seasonally, usually during daylight hours only.

What does it take to become a Lifeguard?

As a lifeguard you will need to be:

  • observant and able to maintain concentration in a busy environment
  • able to remain calm and inspire confidence
  • able to communicate clearly, precisely and with authority, especially in an emergency
  • tactful but firm with people who are breaking rules laid down for their safety
  • a good team worker.

Lifeguard Career Opportunities

Further information

If you would like to know anything about Lifeguard that does not appear on Hotcourses, further information can be found below.

SkillsActive
Castlewood House
77-91 New Oxford Street
London
WC1A 1PX
Advice line: 08000 933300
www.skillsactive.com

Lifesavers The Royal Lifesaving Society UK (RLSS)
River House
High Street
Broom
Warwickshire
B50 4HN
Tel: 01789 773994
www.lifesavers.org.uk

Swimming Teachers Association
Anchor House
Birch Street
Walsall
West Midlands
WS2 8HZ
Tel: 01922 645097
www.sta.co.uk

Surf Life Saving Association of Great Britain
1st Floor
19 Southernhay West
Exeter
EX1 1PJ
Tel: 0870 075 3911
www.surflifesaving.org.uk

Beach Lifeguards
RNLI
West Quay Road
Poole
Dorset
BH15 1HZ
Tel: 01202 663553
www.beachlifeguards.org.uk

Institute of Leisure and Amenity Management
ILAM House
Lower Basildon
Reading
Berks
RG8 9NE
Tel: 01491 874800
www.ilam.co.uk

Facts and Stats:

  • The Ministry of Defence is British Industry''s largest single customer
  • Every year, civil servants are responsible for public spending of around £300bn
  • If every MP turned up at the chambers of the House of Commons at the same time, there would not be enough seats for them all to sit down

Courses to help you become a Lifeguard