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No Formal Qualifications On The Job Training VOC Course Subject Prerequisites Police Check First Aid Working With Children check Other Qualification

Also known as Lifesaver, Pool Attendant and Swimming Pool Attendant.

Lifeguards look after the safety of people at beaches or swimming pools through public relations, public education, accident prevention and rescue.

Lifeguards who work at outdoor venues spend most of their time in conditions that vary from extremely hot to cold and windy.


    Lifeguards may perform the following tasks:

  • supervise swimmers and bathers to prevent accidents and make sure they follow safety regulations
  • rescue swimmers in difficulty and provide first aid treatment if required
  • educate the community about water safety
  • place signs or barriers to warn of dangerous conditions or areas and make sure users are aware of potential dangers
  • caution people behaving in an unsafe manner and expel those who refuse to cooperate
  • report incidents to management or other authorities
  • design and implement emergency procedures
  • undertake basic water quality control and testing procedures
  • maintain rescue equipment
  • care for lost children
  • perform basic administrative duties such as writing reports


  • enjoy outdoor activities
  • able to cope with the physical demands of the job
  • good communication skills
  • work well in a team environment
  • able to be alert for long periods
  • be of appropriate age as restrictions may apply

Interest Area

Outdoor Helping/Community Service


No Formal Qualifications On The Job Training VOC Course Subject Prerequisites Police Check First Aid Working With Children check Other Qualification

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 VOC 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. You may be able to study through distance education.

Additional Information

    To obtain an RLSSA certificate or licence, you must hold a current Bronze Medallion Certificate. For full details, contact the Royal Life Saving Society Australia in NSW or the ACT.

    Ocean lifeguards must have high levels of swimming and surfing competence, and may be required to hold a current drivers licence and motorised watercraft licence. You may be able to gain the necessary qualifications and certifications by completing a Surf Life Saving Australia Advanced Life Saving Certificate (Gold Medallion). Contact Surf Life Saving (NSW) or the Australian Professional Ocean Lifeguard Association for further information.

    Pool and ocean lifeguards may also require a National Police Certificate, a Provide First Aid Certificate and a Working with Children Check (NSW) or a Working with Vulnerable People Check (ACT).

    Councils and private commercial contractors ensure that employees meet the minimum qualifications required by the state government.


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 and Lifeguarding Services Australia.

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More Information - External Links

Job Outlook for Lifeguard Australian Professional Ocean Lifeguard Association Royal Life Saving Society Australia Surf Life Saving (NSW) NSW Working with Children Check Office of Regulatory Services (ACT)

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