Lifeguard Job Description | Duties & Responsibilities

If you want to know what being a lifeguard entails, read this job description.

It contains the duties and responsibilities of a lifeguard, essential skills to have, and salary expectations.

Some of the duties and responsibilities of a lifeguard include monitoring swimmers, administering first aid, and cleaning the pool.

They are primarily responsible for ensuring safety around and inside the pool.

Performing the duties and responsibilities of a lifeguard requires possessing certain skills.

An ideal candidate should be observant and possess good team working skills.

You should also possess communication and interpersonal skills.

The minimum academic requirement for becoming a lifeguard is an associate degree.

But, employers usually give preference to those with a bachelor’s degree.

If you want to know the duties and responsibilities of a lifeguard, keep reading this job description.

But, just before we get into that, let’s see what lifeguards do.

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What Does a Lifeguard Do?

Lifeguards are responsible for ensuring that people stay safe.

You will ensure that individuals adhere to all relevant safety measures.

Also, you will be in charge of making sure that no guest acts in a way that can create an unsafe environment.

Lifeguards also clean the pools, the restroom, and the whole environment around the pool.

They are also responsible for treating the pools by adding chemicals according to the required standards.

Usually, head lifeguards avoid doing certain tasks like cleaning the restroom.

As such, they assign junior lifeguards to perform them.

Lifeguards are to be around the water watching people to ensure that nobody drowns.

The most interesting part of being a lifeguard is being able to save others.

Sometimes, when there are fewer people in the pool, it can be boring.

But, when there are so many people in the pool, it can get really dangerous, and you must be very observant.

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What are the Duties and Responsibilities of a Lifeguard?

The duties and responsibilities section of every job description is usually the most important.

Therefore, you will be doing yourself well to give serious attention to this section of this free lifeguard job description.

This is because there is no way you can work effectively without knowing your duties.

Here are some of the duties and responsibilities of a lifeguard:

#1. Ensure the Safety of Swimmers

A lifeguard is responsible for ensuring that all swimmers are safe.

This is done by ensuring and enforcing safety precautions among the swimmers.

You are responsible for ensuring guests do not create an unsafe environment.

Also, lifeguards are in charge of assisting novice swimmers.

#2. Coordinate Pool Activities

In most organizations, lifeguards are responsible for organizing and coordinating activities in the pool.

You will be in charge of organizing swimming lessons and pool parties.

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#3. Monitoring the Weather

Another way lifeguards ensure safety is by monitoring the weather.

This way, they can detect signs of danger as early as possible.

Those who work on beaches monitor the waves, while those who work in swimming pools monitor thunderstorms.

#4. Opening and Closing Beaches and Parks

It is the responsibility of a lifeguard to open and close swimming areas.

You will be in charge of removing the cover of the pool.

You will also replace swimming pool covers and barriers.

#5. Maintenance

As a lifeguard, you will also be responsible for the upkeep of the swimming pools and their environment.

You will be responsible for cleaning the pools and adding adequate chemicals.

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What Qualifications Do I Need to Become a Lifeguard?

The minimum requirement for becoming a lifeguard is an associate degree.

But, most employers prefer employing those with a bachelor’s degree in physical education or any other related field.

Also, lifeguards should have a red cross-certification.

Schools that provide training for lifeguards often tailor their training to align with Red cross standards.

Also, you can take online training from the American red cross.

Such online programs provide certification for those who want to become certified in first aid, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, and basic life support.

To become a head lifeguard, you must work as a lifeguard for some years.

During your years as a lifeguard, you will gain the necessary experience to work well as a head lifeguard.

As much as having experience is necessary to become a head lifeguard, a good relationship with the hiring manager is advantageous.

Also, lifeguards who show some leadership attributes are preferred when applying for the position of head lifeguard.

What Skills Should a Lifeguard Have?

A lifeguard needs to possess certain essential skills.

This is because these skills are relevant for predominant most of your duties and responsibilities.

As such, these skills are also featured in the job description of a lifeguard.

Here are some of the skills lifeguards should possess.

#1. Problem-Solving Skills

As a lifeguard, you will likely have to deal with emergencies periodically.

Such situations require that you think critically and take action almost at the same time.

As such, a good lifeguard should possess strong problem-solving skills.

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#2. Team Working Skills

Typically, lifeguards work as a team with others.

As such, an ideal lifeguard should possess a high team spirit.

You should be able to work well with others and accept your colleagues’ opinions.

#3. Leadership Skills

Typically, a lot of people depend on lifeguards for safety.

As such, you should possess relevant leadership attributes.

This skill is relevant for saving lives and directing the public during a case of emergency.

#4. Physical and Mental Stamina

An ideal lifeguard should be physically fit; you must be capable of lifting heavy objects such as swimming equipment.

Also, you have to be mentally and emotionally stable.

This is because you will deal with emergencies and also administer first aid.

#5. Communication Skills

Lifeguards should be capable of communicating effectively in writing and verbally.

This skill is important for relating with members of the public and your colleagues.

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#6. Organizational Skills

Performing your duties and responsibilities as a lifeguard requires a lot of organization.

Therefore possessing good organizational skills is also relevant.

Having the ability to pay attention to details is also advantageous.

#7. Interpersonal Skills

It is also relevant for a lifeguard to possess interpersonal skills.

You will have to develop a good relationship with your colleagues and members of the public as well.

How Much Do Lifeguards Make?

According to the United States Bureau of labor statistics, recreational service workers and lifeguards earn a median salary of $22,410 annually.

Their salary ranges from $17,560 per year to $34,400 per year.

The salary expectations for lifeguards on an hourly rating range from $8.44/hour to $16.54/per hour, with an average of $10.77/hour.

The figures above may be smaller or larger depending on your geographical location.

Some of the factors that may influence the salary of a lifeguard include:

  • Location: Lifeguards working in countries or states where the economy is poor may not be paid much.
  • Experience: Usually, lifeguards with more experience receive a larger salary than their less experienced colleagues.
  • Qualification: Those who have fewer qualifications are typically paid less.
  • Employer: Lifeguards working for big companies or organizations are usually paid more.

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Lifeguard Work Environment and Schedule

Lifeguards typically work outdoors; the side of swimming pools and beaches usually requires their services.

You may also have to drive water vehicles like boats and jet skis.

Head lifeguards may work indoors in offices.

Lifeguards usually deal with difficult and dangerous situations such as bad weather, drowning, and dangerous aquatic animals.

The working hours of lifeguards vary depending on your place of work.

What Should I Include in My Lifeguard Resume?

When creating a professional lifeguard resume, here are some of the information you should consider including:

  • Years of experience
  • Previous place of work
  • Hard skills
  • Soft skills
  • Qualification

During your interview, referring to the above information when responding to questions is important.

Feel free to use this guide on the job description of a lifeguard to create a professional lifeguard resume.

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Lifeguard Job Outlook

The United States bureau of labor statistics does not have data on the job outlook of lifeguards.

But, many lifeguards are currently employed in the United States.


If you have a thing for saving lives and swimming, and of course, the relevant degree, becoming a lifeguard is a good choice.

Although this job description was compiled with applicants in mind, it can also serve as a template for employers to create a unique job description that suits their organization’s needs.

If you have further questions about being a lifeguard, please leave them in the comment section.

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