Pros and Cons of Working as a Lifeguard

advantages and disadvantages of being a lifeguard

You consider becoming a lifeguard but are still not entirely sure whether this job would be right for you or not?

Great! Stick with me since I will show you all the pros and cons of being a lifeguard in this article.

Table of Contents

Lifeguard Job Profile

Job DescriptionLifeguards prevent people from drowning and injuries and make sure that people can swim and enjoy their day at the beach in a safe manner.
Salary$29,000 per year on average, most lifeguards make between $23,000 and $36,000 per year.
Job SecurityLifeguards have barely any job security at all and always have to fear losing their jobs.
Job SatisfactionDecent if you like spending your time at the beach.
Work-Life BalanceDecent since you don’t have to work at nighttime and also don’t have to work many extra hours as a lifeguard.
Physically / Mentally Demanding?Working as a lifeguard can be physically and emotionally demanding.
Future OutlookPoor since some lifeguards will lose their jobs since intelligent machines will do part of the work.
RequirementsNo special educational requirements, you can become a lifeguard without having to get fancy college education.

Advantages of Being a Lifeguard

  1. Lifeguards can enjoy their workday at the beach
  2. Easy to hook up with people
  3. Lifeguards don’t need to get fancy education
  4. Lifeguards don’t have to work in an office
  5. You stay fit as a lifeguard
  6. You do an important job for society
  7. You can make people feel safe
  8. Risk of suffering from burnout is relatively low for lifeguards
  9. Lifeguards don’t have to work at nighttime
  10. You work where other people spend their leisure
  11. You can meet many relaxed people
  12. People will be grateful for your work
  13. Lifeguards come home from work relatively early

Lifeguards can enjoy their workday at the beach

One benefit of being a lifeguard is that you can enjoy your workday at the beach.

In fact, you will often just sit there and wait until something happens and this can be really relaxing and you can really enjoy your time in this atmosphere.

Easy to hook up with people

Lifeguards also easily get in touch with many different people and it will therefore be pretty easy for you to hook up with people and to get dates while you are at work.

Lifeguards don’t need to get fancy education

Another advantage of working as a lifeguard is that you don’t need to get fancy college education for working in this field.

Instead, it will be enough to finish high school and to get some certificates and you will be good to go.

Lifeguards don’t have to work in an office

Becoming a lifeguard may also be great for you in case you don’t want to work in a classical office job and rather want to spend your time outdoors.

You stay fit as a lifeguard

Another reason to become a lifeguard is that you will also stay pretty fit since you often have to rescue people in tense situations and this really shapes your body in the long run.

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You do an important job for society

As a lifeguard, you also do a pretty important job for society since you can save many lives while many other people like financial controllers just work in an office environment and don’t have a high social impact at all.

You can make people feel safe

Another upside to working as a lifeguard is that you can make people safe while they enjoy a great day at the beach.

In fact, many people feel much safer when qualified lifeguards are present and can help them out in case of emergency.

Risk of suffering from burnout is relatively low for lifeguards

Since you will spend your workday in a rather relaxed manner, you will be at pretty low risk of suffering from burnout as a lifeguard compared to other people who work in stressful jobs all day long.

Lifeguards don’t have to work at nighttime

Another advantage of a lifeguard career is that you also don’t have to work at nighttime.

Instead, you will come home from work relatively early and will have more than enough time to spend with your loved ones or to meet up with your favorite people after work.

You work where other people spend their leisure

Being a lifeguard is also great since you can work where other people spend their leisure and your family and friends will often be quite envious about your job and secretly wish they were you.

Now that you know all the upsides to becoming a lifeguard, we also have to address all the downsides that come along with it to give you a more realistic picture of what working as a lifeguard really means for your life.

You can meet many relaxed people

Another reason to become a lifeguard is that you can also meet many cool people and can really enjoy your time at the beach and make many new social contacts on a daily basis.

People will be grateful for your work

Most people will also really appreciate your work and will be grateful for your presence since they know that someone will be watching what happens and can act in case of emergency.

Lifeguards come home from work relatively early

Lifeguards also often come home from work pretty early and therefore have more than enough leisure to spend with their loved ones.

Disadvantages of Working as a Lifeguard

  1. Lifeguards have pretty poor job security
  2. Lifeguards don’t make good money
  3. Rather low social standing of lifeguards
  4. Lifeguards are often not able to save enough money for retirement
  5. Lifeguards often suffer from old-age poverty
  6. You may need a second job to pay your bills
  7. Many people will not consider your work a real job
  8. You have a high level of responsibility
  9. Working as a lifeguard can be emotionally demanding
  10. You can’t work remotely as a lifeguard
  11. You may have to quit your career early
  12. You may have to risk your own life at work
  13. People may not follow your instructions
  14. Lifeguards often can’t afford proper health insurance
  15. Lifeguards sometimes have to work on weekends
  16. Lifeguards are not able to afford any luxury
  17. Hard to provide for your family as a lifeguard
  18. Hard to start your own business as a lifeguard

Lifeguards have pretty poor job security

One disadvantage of working as a lifeguard is that you will have pretty poor job security.

In fact, you will be easily replaceable since many people out there can do this job and you may just lose your job from one day to the other and may get into financial trouble.

Lifeguards don’t make good money

You should also note that lifeguards make pretty poor money and many of them are not able to make a living from their jobs.

Consequently, you will always have to worry about money if you decide on becoming a lifeguard.

Rather low social standing of lifeguards

Lifeguards also have a pretty low social standing.

While you will do an important job for society and may even be able to save lives, you will still not have the same high social standing as nurse practitioners or doctors.

Lifeguards are often not able to save enough money for retirement

Due to their low salaries, lifeguards often have serious trouble saving and investing enough money for retirement and their pensions are also pretty low.

Lifeguards often suffer from old-age poverty

Due to their low pensions and their overall poor income prospects, many lifeguards also suffer from serious old-age poverty and are often no longer able to pay their bills once they quit their active careers and retire.

You may need a second job to pay your bills

Another problem with working as a lifeguard is that you will often not make enough money to cover your expenses and this means that you will often need to work a second job which can be really annoying and frustrating in the long run since it will eat up all of your leisure.

Many people will not consider your work a real job

While you will do an important job for society, many people out there will still belittle your work and may not consider what you are doing a real job.

Consequently, you will often have to deal with snarky comments in this regard and you should make sure that the comments of others don’t bring you down.

You have a high level of responsibility

Another downside to being a lifeguard is that you also have a high level of responsibility.

In fact, mistakes on your side may take away the lives of people and you therefore always need to stay focused at work.

Working as a lifeguard can be emotionally demanding

From time to time, you will also experience emotionally challenging situations at work and you also need a strong mindset to overcome those situations and to carry on with your own life.

You can’t work remotely as a lifeguard

Another disadvantage to working as a lifeguard is that you will also not be able to work remotely.

Instead, you have to be present at the beach in person and this takes away lots of flexibility from you.

Moreover, while financial analysts and other people are often able to work from home, you as a lifeguard will have to spend lots of time and money commuting to work and back.

You may have to quit your career early

Due to the physical nature of the job, you may have to quit your lifeguard career once you get older since your body may simply no longer be strong enough to do this job and to save the lives of people in a reliable manner.

Thus, working as a lifeguard may not be a long-term income source and you may struggle finding a job in a different field due to a lack of hard skills you learn as a lifeguard.

You may have to risk your own life at work

If you are not careful, you may even lose your own life as a lifeguard and you will therefore have a significantly higher risk of suffering from serious accidents or to even lose your life at work compared to other people like compliance officers who just work in a safe office environment.

People may not follow your instructions

While most people will be reasonable, some people will just not follow your instructions or may even make fun of you and it can be really annoying to deal with those kinds of people in the long run.

Lifeguards often can’t afford proper health insurance

Due to their poor salaries, lifeguards are often also not able to afford proper health insurance and may not be able to afford the best medical treatment in case of emergency.

Lifeguards sometimes have to work on weekends

Since many people want to spend their weekends at the beach, you may also have to work on weekends as a lifeguard and will not have time to spend those days with your loved ones.

Lifeguards are not able to afford any luxury

Due to the poor money lifeguards make, they are also not able to afford any luxury and while your friends may be able to buy nice things, you as a lifeguard may become pretty frustrated in the long run since your work doesn’t seem to pay off.

Hard to provide for your family as a lifeguard

Another reason not to become a lifeguard is that you will have a hard time providing for your family since your salary will just be pretty poor and your spouse may have to work as well.

Hard to start your own business as a lifeguard

You should also not become a lifeguard if you want to work self-employed since lifeguard jobs are often managed by official authorities and it would be almost impossible to get a foot in the door as a private person in this industry.

Top 10 Being a Lifeguard Pros & Cons – Summary List

Being a Lifeguard ProsBeing a Lifeguard Cons
Lifeguards don’t have to work at nighttimeLifeguards make pretty poor money
You can work where other people spend their leisureYou will have barely any job security at all
You can make many social contactsLifeguards receive pretty poor pensions
You can hook up during workYou may suffer from old-age poverty
You can enjoy the nice weatherMany lifeguards have to quit their careers early
Lifeguards can relax during their workdayYou will not learn many hard skills
People will appreciate your supportHard to switch fields as a lifeguard
Lifeguards stay fit at workYou may have to work on weekends
You do an important job for societyYou have a high level of responsibility
You can save the lives of peoplePeople often belittle you

Should You Become A Lifeguard?

Now that you got all the advantages and disadvantages of being a lifeguard, it is on you to decide for yourself whether you still want to work as a lifeguard or rather want to work in a different field.

If you come to the conclusion that a lifeguard career is not for you, you may also want to check out the following articles:

Advantages and disadvantages of becoming a forester

Advantages and disadvantages of becoming a faller

Advantages and disadvantages of becoming a roofer

Sources

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lifeguard

Own research and interviews.

About the author

My name is Andreas and my mission is to educate people about the different career paths that are possible in our current state of the world. In my opinion, people often make the mistake to choose their profession solely based on how much money they can earn from it instead of doing what makes them really happy.

This is quite sad and I just want to give people a more objective picture of how a fulfilling career could look like. I did the same when I started working in consulting after finishing my Master’s degree in Economics. However, I’ve quit pretty soon after that since I haven’t found true meaning in my job.

Now I can do what I really love to do and I want to enable as many other people as well to go this exciting path towards happiness instead of money.

I conducted various interviews with employees to give you a good impression of what working in different fields will look like and that you can make the best possible decision regarding your future career choice.

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