Lifeguards look after the safety of people at beaches or swimming pools through accident prevention and rescue, as well as public relations and public education.
You can work as a lifeguard without formal qualifications but you may need to obtain a special licence from the relevant body. Entry to this occupation may be improved if you have qualifications. To become a pool lifeguard, you usually have to obtain a certificate or licence issued by the Royal Life Saving Society Australia (RLSSA). To become an ocean lifeguard, you usually have to complete a VET qualification in public safety (aquatic search and rescue). As subjects and prerequisites can vary between institutions, you should contact your chosen institution for further information.
Lifeguards may perform the following tasks:
Lifeguards who work at outdoor venues spend most of their time in conditions that vary from extremely hot to cold and windy.
Pool lifeguards are employed by local councils or by private commercial pool owners. Indoor facilities and some councils retain people all year round, but there are more opportunities for outdoor pool and beach work during the warmer months, or casual work during school holidays and on weekends. Ocean lifeguards are employed by seaside councils or private commercial contractors such as Surf Life Saving Australia and Lifeguarding Services Australia.