Lifeguard

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Sean, 22

What is your job?

I am a lifeguard at the Portsea and Sorrento back beaches.

Is it part-time or casual? How many hours a week do you work?

It's a part-time summer job. Hours can be anywhere between 25 and 35 hours per week, which is usually 4 to 4.5 days a week. It's pretty flexible, though.

What does the job involve?

Duties include:

  • Setting up safe areas on the beach
  • Monitoring the sea and always watching for danger
  • Making sure people stay in the safe areas
  • Helping parents find lost children
  • First-aid

What's the best part of this job?

It's very laid back. Most of the time we're just waiting for something to happen - being there, just in case. The people you work with are all beach people whom you hang out with every summer - a great bunch of people.

What's the worst part of this job?

You can get very bored. Sometimes you're only working with one other person for eight hours and it can get very tedious. You're almost waiting for someone to get swept out so you can just do something.

What did you have to do when applying for this job?

To become a lifeguard, I had to achieve a number of qualifications:

  • Bronze medallion - to become a lifesaver
  • Advanced Resuscitation
  • Advanced First Aid
  • Silver Medallion - after which I volunteered as Patrol Captain or Chief Radio Operator
  • Gold Medallion
  • 50 lifesaver patrol hours

It took me two seasons to become qualified.

Was it difficult to attain this job?

Not really. I used to swim competitively so I didn't find the physical aspect hard. Personally, I found the theory (such as first-aid techniques) the hardest.

Does this job have any relevance to your desired career path? Why/why not?

Not really. I've just finished a Business Accounting course in Melbourne. But I do enjoy my summers so the job serves as a good break.

How do you balance this job with the rest of your week?

The hard thing about this job is that you do need to take off time from other work. It's worth it in the end for three months of hanging out on the beach.

What advice do you have for others looking for this sort of job?

Do your Bronze Medallion first and see whether you like it. If you do, just keep coming back and volunteer for the other camps. It's the best job. You get to sit on the beach with your friends - and you get paid for it!

Find out more about this career path at www.myfuture.edu.au (new window) (Note: free registration is required to access the myfuture site).