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Royal Life Saving highlights lifeguard and swim teacher shortage as providing opportunities for job seekers

Royal Life Saving highlights lifeguard and swim teacher shortage as providing opportunities for job seekers
May 18, 2021

Royal Life Saving Society - Australia has today highlighted how an acute shortage of qualified lifeguards and swimming teachers across the country is slowing down the aquatic industry’s efforts to rebuild after the COVID-19 pandemic.

With pools and aquatic facilities badly affected by lockdowns during 2020, as parents now seek to get their children back in the pool for classes, a shortage in key staff is limiting the industry’s ability to meet demand.

Explaining that many pools were now struggling to find qualified staff to deliver water safety and swimming skills, as well as lifeguard services, Royal Life Saving Chief Executive, Justin Scarr advised “this is a significant issue for an industry which really struggled to survive the pandemic lockdowns.”

However, Scarr points out that the current shortage provides opportunities for job seekers, noting “the good news is that for people who are currently unemployed, or looking at a change in career, there are jobs available right now across Australia.

"The aquatic industry is great for people who need some flexibility - parents returning to the workforce, or people looking for hours that fit around their caring responsibilities.”

A Royal Life Saving review of job advertisements on the Seek website this week found 198 job vacancies for paid pool lifeguards and 153 for swim teachers. With many of these advertisements seeking multiple people, the website is advertising more than 500 positions available with an immediate start.

Data Source: (accessed 13th May 2021).

In a Royal Life Saving aquatic industry survey, lifeguards and swim teachers reported that the most rewarding and enjoyable elements of the role were working as part of a team and helping people.

Scarr highlighted “people often wrongly assume that swimming teachers are the kinds of jobs people do while they study before they move on to something else when they want their career to progress. But there are great career paths available, right through to management roles.

“There are good-paying, entry-level roles such as swimming and water safety teacher, pool lifeguard, duty manager and community programs officers.

"There are technical roles, including aquatic technical operator, which involves managing an aquatic facility's pools, plant equipment and water quality.

“People often progress through the industry into management roles, developing highly sought-after professional skills along the way.”

Training for an entry-level qualification can be completed in as little as three days. Some states and territories heavily subsidise courses to make it easier for people to retrain.

To find out more go to

Main image courtesy of Royal Life Saving.

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9th March 2021 - Australian Sports Commission revealed to have underpaid casual pool lifeguards

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