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Survey finds that aquatic industry workforce is overwhelmingly female

Survey finds that aquatic industry workforce is overwhelmingly female
December 20, 2019

73% of workers in Australia’s workforce are female while less than half of workers earn more than $30,000 per year are among some of the most significant findings from the first ever National Aquatic Industry Workforce Survey.

Undertaken by Royal Life Saving Society - Australia, on behalf of the National Aquatic Industry Safety Committee (NAISC), from April to June 2019, the survey highlights the typical characteristics of the aquatic industry as a whole as well as current trends relating to the key paid roles that make up the industry.

Among a range of significant findings is a snapshot of main industry roles including pool lifeguards, lifeguard duty managers, aquatic technical operators and aquatic industry office workers.

The characteristics of a typical aquatic centre manager are: they over 35 years old will stay in their role for six or more years; they entered the industry between 15 and 24 years and have been in the industry for more than 11 years; they took up employment in the aquatic industry for a career opportunity; and they earn between $60,000 and $90,000 per year.

As for the gender split of managers it is 47% men, 52% women.

The definition of a typical swim school manager is that they are between 35 and 54 years old; work full time; have been with one employer for six or more years and think they will stay in their current role for at least three more years; enjoys making a positive impact on people’s lives and earn between $45,000 and $75,000 per year.

As for the gender split of managers it is 47% men, 52% women.

The definition of a typical swim school managers is that they are between 35 and 54 years old, works full time, has been with one employer for six or more years and thinks they will stay in their current role for at least 3 more years, enjoys making a positive impact on people’s lives and earns between $45,000 and $75,000 per year.

Among swim school managers, the gender split is 14% men, 86% women.

Other key findings from the survey, which focuses on paid workers only, are:

• The aquatic Industry workforce comprises approximately 67,000 workers
• It is an overwhelmingly female workforce
• Almost half the workforce work casually
• Most workers work throughout the year but in a part-time capacity
• Many workers have a second job at least some of the time
• Almost half the workforce live within 15 minutes of their workplace
• Two in every five workers think they will stay in their role for six or more years
• Most workers place a high value on working in a team and knowing their work has a positive impact on people’s lives

The survey identifies ‘aquatic industry’ as all workers who work for, or provide aquatic-related services to, an organisation/body that is involved in the facilitation of water-based activities and programs in aquatic facilities. This also includes self-employed workers.

The key objectives of the Project are to:

• Achieve and share a greater insight and understanding of the aquatic industry workforce
• Build the capacity and capability of the aquatic industry workforce
• Support the development of a strong, sustainable and responsive aquatic industry

The next stage of the Project involves analysing data from the second half of the survey, which focussed on worker’s experiences, attitudes and judgements on key work-related items such as on-boarding and off-boarding, skills requirements, training and professional development, change, and workplace culture and values. This data, alongside information gathered from focus group sessions and one-on-one interviews with industry representatives, will inform the design of a Workforce Development Plan.

The results were based on 3,091 responses to the Royal Life Saving survey.

Click here to view the National Aquatic Industry Workforce Survey 2019.

Lower image shows the employment snapshot of main industry for a swimming and water safety teacher.

Related Articles

16th September 2019 - Rising drowning deaths coincide with record summer temperatures

5th June 2019 - Royal Life Saving Society marks 125 years of service in Australia

16th April 2019 - Aquatic Industry Committee opens Industry Workforce Survey

8th April 2019 - Royal Life Saving opens nominations for third year of National Aquatic Industry Safety Awards

11th January 2018 - New career pathway for lifeguards from mixed cultural backgrounds

30th November 2017 - Australian tourism workers ‘far too qualified’

21st September 2017 - Path to leisure jobs opens for youth in Melbourne’s north

17th August 2017 - Aquatic, fitness and sport employment and salary trends under the microscope

8th December 2014 - Fitness Club managers average annual salaries approach $70,000

20th June 2013 - Aquatic, fitness, recreation and sport employment and salary trends under the microscope

6th December 2010 - Sport, fitness and aquatic industry salaries rise by just 2.7% in the past 12 months

26th May 2009 - Service Skills Australia to research Australian workers


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