The best beach lifeguard jobs are sources of great competition and are highly prized. A beach lifeguard is responsible for supervising all water-related activity in a specific area of a natural or man-made body of water. Depending on the size of the beach, there are usually at least two lifeguards responsible for the beach. There may be a boat or other type of watercraft to assist a patron in an emergency.
In order to qualify for beach lifeguard jobs, you must have successfully completed the lifeguard certification required by the local municipality. In North America, this certification is issued by the Red Cross® or the Royal Lifesaving Society®. Both these agencies have a specific training program that all candidates must complete. A combination of written and performance-based examinations are required to obtain this certificate. In addition, the certificate must be renewed every two years to be valid.
When looking for beach lifeguard jobs, take the time to think about the different beaches located near you and the unique challenges found at each location. If possible, it is a good idea to visit each location and observe the behavior of the patrons and the challenges of the site.
For example, a public beach located near a children's playground will attract families with small children. Look at the depth of the water, and see if there are any physical markers to indicate where the depth changes. Look at the location of the lifeguard stand relative to the shoreline and determine how long it would take to cover the distance if required.
A beach located on an island that has several nightclubs will attract a completely different set of patrons. Look at the nearby facilities and see if lighting is provided. Determine what kind of watercraft is available nearby and what is required to rent one. Identify the time lapse for emergency crews to arrive and look at the supplies provided to determine if they would be sufficient in an emergency.
Explore the area surrounding the beach and look for amenities, such as restaurants, shops, shelters, and transportation. Research the number of accidents and water-related incidents at that beach in the last three to five years. Avoid areas with a high incident rate, as there is often a combination of issues that causes this value to increase. The very best beach lifeguard jobs are in locations where the chances of having to apply your lifesaving techniques are very low.