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What They Do

Lifeguards, Ski Patrol, and Other Recreational Protective Service Workers Career Video

About This Career

Monitors recreational areas, such as pools, beaches, or ski slopes, to provide assistance and protection to participants.

This career is part of the Law, Public Safety, Corrections and Security cluster Security and Protective Services pathway.

A person in this career:

  • Patrols or monitors recreational areas, such as trails, slopes, or swimming areas, on foot, in vehicles, or from towers.
  • Rescues distressed persons, using rescue techniques and equipment.
  • Contacts emergency medical personnel in case of serious injury.
  • Examines injured persons and administers first aid or cardiopulmonary resuscitation, if necessary, using training and medical supplies and equipment.
  • Warns recreational participants of inclement weather, unsafe areas, or illegal conduct.
  • Maintains quality of pool water by testing chemical levels.
  • Completes and maintains records of weather and beach conditions, emergency medical treatments performed, and other relevant incident information.
  • Instructs participants in skiing, swimming, or other recreational activities and provides safety precaution information.
  • Inspects recreational equipment, such as rope tows, T-bars, J-bars, or chair lifts, for safety hazards and damage or wear.
  • Inspects recreational facilities for cleanliness.

Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would often handle loads of more than 50 lbs., sometimes more than 100 lbs. You must be used to very heavy physical exertion on a regular basis.
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time
  • Work in this occupation requires being outside most of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Seeing clearly at a distance
  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person
  • Exerting oneself physically over long periods of time without getting out of breath
  • Using abdominal and lower back muscles repeatedly or over time without tiring

Work Hours and Travel

  • Rotating shift work
  • Seasonal work
  • Weekend work

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Beach Attendant — Focuses on customer needs by carrying and setting up chairs, umbrellas and cabanas for patrons; providing menus and serving beverages and snacks; and cleaning furniture and keeping the beach area uncluttered.
  • Beach Lifeguard
  • Marine Safety Officer
  • Ocean Lifeguard
  • Ocean Lifeguard Specialist
  • Pool Attendant
  • Pool Lifeguard — Ensures the safety of swimmers who use public and private pools.
  • Ski Patroller
  • Ski Patrol Paramedic


  • Email Support
  • 1-800-GO-TO-XAP (1-800-468-6927)
    From outside the U.S., please call +1 (424) 750-3900
  • North Dakota Career Resource Network
    ndcrn@nd.gov | (701) 328-9733