The appeal of becoming a beach lifeguard and spending your working days by the sea seems very obvious, but in a recent RLSS UK Lifeguard Survey*, current lifeguards identified several other reasons that make the job rewarding and fulfilling, with one respondent stating: "It is the best job ever. It is so much fun. And you are never bored because there is always something to do."

The benefits of being a beach lifeguard

To train to become a beach lifeguard, you can complete Royal Life Saving Society's (RLSS UK) National Vocational Beach Lifeguard Qualification (NVBLQ) to train to become a lifeguard. The skills learned in the training, coupled with the daily duties of a lifeguard, have many additional benefits that can assist you in many other aspects of your life. 

Develop life skills

The duties of a beach lifeguard mean that there are regular interactions with the public to enforce beach rules, as well as to monitor incidents and react to situations as they arise. The results of the 2023 Lifeguard Survey found that 93% of individuals felt that being a lifeguard enhanced their communication skills, whilst 89% felt that it increased their self-confidence.

The NVBLQ training also teaches lifesaving skills, including first aid, CPR, and rescue techniques; over a third of those who completed the 2023 Lifeguard Survey stated that learning the lifesaving skills was a primary reason for completing the training. One said, "A very full-on job which allows me to pursue my passion for lifesaving." 

Job satisfaction

Beach lifeguards work as a team to keep people safe in and around the water. Working together builds trust and camaraderie, ultimately making the role more enjoyable. The survey findings also show that lifeguarding is a hugely satisfying occupation, with 92% of lifeguards having already recommended a job as a lifeguard to others.

One beach lifeguard who rated their experience as a lifeguard as excellent commented, "Amazing teams and incredibly rewarding job."

The survey also indicated that, on average, beach lifeguards command higher pay rates than any other lifeguard.

Health, wellbeing and fitness 

It has been well-documented that working outdoors improves mental and physical wellbeing. Sensible exposure to the sun and a good state of fitness required to be a lifeguard can boost your vitamin D levels and lift your mood. 

A beach lifeguard said: "It was a very fulfilling job where I got to work outdoors with reasonable hours in a place I would usually already spend my summers. I also had the opportunity to keep fit on the job and work with interesting people."

Train to become a beach lifeguard

The RLSS UK National Vocational Beach Lifeguard Qualification (NVBLQ) course gives candidates the skills and knowledge required to be a beach lifeguard. The course covers beach lifeguard theory, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), first aid, and sea skills. It lasts a minimum of 40 hours and comprises four modules that must be passed to receive the qualification. Once completed, the qualification is valid for two years. 

NVBLQ courses are held at locations across the UK and Ireland.

Book yourself onto an NVBLQ today and take the first step to becoming a beach lifeguard.

Click here to find NVBLQ courses near you.

Or contact your local training provider or lifesaving club for possible upcoming courses. 

Beach lifeguard jobs

Spring and early summer are the primary time of the year to recruit beach lifeguards in preparation for the summer season. There are external job opportunities on the RLSS UK website or RNLI opportunities on their website.

More thoughts from NVBLQ holders**

"Because you learn so many crucial skills, develop fitness, confidence, leadership and teamwork abilities, get to work outside and be active, make friends, and the pay is very good." 

"It's a great opportunity, a really fun, engaging job; you make great connections and get to work on the beach."

"Working in a team, in the sun, and learning skills such as first aid, lifesaving, 4-wheel driving on the beach and operating an RWC is absolutely great, a lot of fun, and I noticed it really helped me grow as a person."

"It is a great job, it's very social, you develop confidence, and it's a great way to learn skills that you can use in everyday life, as well as put on your CV."

"I believe working as a lifeguard is an amazing opportunity. The pay can be better than some other jobs for young people."

"Not only do you learn valuable life skills such as confidence and competence in stressful situations, but it also keeps you active and fit. The social aspect is also a massive factor. At the end of the season, you have a large community and group of friends. Finally, the schedule and routine it brings is very helpful as during summer routine can easily go out the window without any commitments."

"It's so fulfilling, and every day is different. You get to be outside constantly, which is amazing!."

"I think it's a great experience to be able to transfer the skills you've learnt into something that is helpful to others. I've learned many new skills, including teamwork and leadership, and how to save lives at sea."

* Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS UK) (2023), n=2,456 RLSS UK qualified lifeguards working in a lifeguard role
** Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS UK) Lifeguard Survey 2022