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Career Profile: Lifeguards, Ski Patrol, and Other Recreational Protective Service Workers

Monitor recreational areas, such as pools, beaches, or ski slopes, to provide assistance and protection to participants.

Salary and Outlook

According to the US Department of Labor, there are 117,500 people employed as lifeguards, ski patrol, and other recreational protective service workers in the United States. The median annual salary is $25,000. Entry level employees earn approximately $18,490 per year and senior employees earn approximately $38,330 per year.

Estimates do not include other potential benefits such as health insurance, overtime pay, or retirement benefits that may be offered by employers.

Job Duties

  • Contact emergency medical personnel in case of serious injury.
  • Examine injured persons and administer first aid or cardiopulmonary resuscitation, if necessary, using training and medical supplies and equipment.
  • Warn recreational participants of inclement weather, unsafe areas, or illegal conduct.
  • Maintain quality of pool water by testing chemical levels.
  • Complete and maintain records of weather and beach conditions, emergency medical treatments performed, and other relevant incident information.
  • Instruct participants in skiing, swimming, or other recreational activities and provide safety precaution information.
  • Inspect recreational equipment, such as rope tows, T-bars, J-bars, or chair lifts, for safety hazards and damage or wear.
  • Inspect recreational facilities for cleanliness.
  • Observe activities in assigned areas, using binoculars, to detect hazards, disturbances, or safety infractions.
  • Operate underwater recovery units.
  • Provide assistance with staff selection, training, and supervision.
  • Provide assistance in the safe use of equipment, such as ski lifts.
  • Patrol or monitor recreational areas, such as trails, slopes, or swimming areas, on foot, in vehicles, or from towers.
  • Participate in recreational demonstrations to entertain resort guests.
  • Rescue distressed persons, using rescue techniques and equipment.

Career List

Job Outlook


Total Current Jobs:
117,500
Annual Openings:
35,700
Increase in Openings by 2030:
25%
Annual Salary Range:
$18,490 - $38,330
Education Requirements:
Some high school