Lifeguarding at the Pool vs. at the Beach

Everyone has a different idea about what lifeguards do. Some think they sit in a tall chair at the pool; others think they patrol the beach with a whistle and a megaphone. So what do they really do? Well, it depends. It depends on where you’re lifeguarding, your experience level, and the facility where you work. Today, we’re tackling the difference between lifeguard work at the pool vs. the beach — hang around for a more in-depth explanation!

Lifeguarding at the beach

A lot of people will tell you that lifeguarding on the beach is more challenging. We won’t go that far because all forms of lifeguarding are challenging, but we will say that beach lifeguards are presented with more natural, physical barriers. You don’t have control over the weather, you’re typically guarding more people and you’re working against the waves at all times.

The good news is you’re usually paired with other lifeguards. You’ll rarely (if ever) be lifeguarding at a beach all alone, so you can rest easy knowing you’ll be with other competent lifeguards who are tackling other areas of the beach while you’re working on your own.

Lifeguarding at the pool

The biggest difference is that you have more in your control at the pool. You’re not working against the ocean, marine life or sand. That being said, lifeguarding at the pool provides a bit more variety in terms of day-to-day responsibilities and norms. You’re more at the mercy of the pool manager/facility manager, which means you may have to abide by rules that are very different from those of a beach.

The upshot? These are two totally different work environments, and that’s okay. Pick the one that works best for you. Either way, you’re helping out and making a big difference in your community!

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