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Career and Education Opportunities for Lifeguards in Los Angeles, California

Lifeguard career and educational opportunities abound in Los Angeles, California. Currently, 11,100 people work as lifeguards in California. This is expected to grow 20% to 13,300 people by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for lifeguards are expected to grow by about 11.2%. Lifeguards generally monitor recreational areas, such as pools, beaches, or ski slopes to provide assistance and protection to participants.

The income of a lifeguard is about $11 hourly or $23,280 per year on average in California. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $8 per hour or $18,450 per year on average. Lifeguards work in a variety of jobs, including: bus monitor, ski patrol director, and park ranger.

The Los Angeles area is home to 274 schools of higher education, including two within twenty-five miles of Los Angeles where you can get a degree as a lifeguard. The most common level of education for lifeguards is less than a high school diploma. It will take only a short time to learn to be a lifeguard if you already have a high school diploma.


Lifeguard video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, lifeguards monitor recreational areas, such as pools, beaches, or ski slopes to provide assistance and protection to participants.

Lifeguards patrol or monitor recreational areas such as trails and swimming areas, on foot or from towers. They also contact emergency medical staff in cases of serious injury. Equally important, lifeguards have to rescue distressed persons, using rescue techniques and equipment. They are often called upon to examine injured persons and administer first aid or cardiopulmonary resuscitation, if needed, using training and medical supplies and equipment. They are expected to instruct participants in skiing or other recreational efforts and furnish safety precaution data. Finally, lifeguards complete and maintain records of weather and beach conditions, emergency medical treatments performed, and other relevant incident data.

Every day, lifeguards are expected to be able to evaluate problems as they arise. They need to articulate ideas and problems. It is also important that they understand events and object details at a distance.

It is important for lifeguards to examine recreational equipment, such as rope tows, T-bars, J-bars, and chair lifts, for safety hazards and damage or wear. They are often called upon to observe efforts in assigned areas, using binoculars, to uncover hazards or safety infractions. They also furnish assistance with staff selection and supervision. They are sometimes expected to operate underwater recovery units. Somewhat less frequently, lifeguards are also expected to furnish assistance in the safe use of equipment.

Lifeguards sometimes are asked to examine recreational facilities for cleanliness. And finally, they sometimes have to rescue distressed persons, using rescue techniques and equipment.

Like many other jobs, lifeguards must be reliable and have strong self control in the face of challenging situations.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Los Angeles include:

  • Animal Attendant. Handle animals for the purpose of investigations of mistreatment, or control of abandoned, dangerous, or unattended animals.
  • Casino Surveillance Officer. Act as oversight and security agent for management and customers. Observe casino or casino hotel operation for irregular activities such as cheating or theft by either employees or patrons. May utilize one-way mirrors above the casino floor, cashier's cage, and from desk. Use of audio/video equipment is also common to observe operation of the business. Usually required to provide verbal and written reports of all violations and suspicious behavior to supervisor.
  • Correctional Officer. Guard inmates in penal or rehabilitative institution in accordance with established regulations and procedures. May guard prisoners in transit between jail, courtroom, or other point. Includes deputy sheriffs and police who spend the majority of their time guarding prisoners in correctional institutions.
  • Fire Code Inspector. Inspect buildings and equipment to detect fire hazards and enforce state and local regulations.
  • Fire Fighter. Control and extinguish municipal fires, protect life and property and conduct rescue efforts.
  • Fish and Game Warden. Patrol assigned areas to prevent fish and game law violations. Investigate reports of damage to crops or property by wildlife. Compile biological data.
  • Forest Firefighter. Control and suppress fires in forests or vacant public land.
  • Private Investigator. Detect occurrences of unlawful acts or infractions of rules in private establishment, or seek, examine, and compile information for client.


Coast Career Institute - Los Angeles, CA

Coast Career Institute, 1354 S Hill St, Los Angeles, CA 90015-3040. Coast Career Institute is a small school located in Los Angeles, California. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 50 students. Coast Career Institute has a less than one year program in Security and Protective Services, Other Specialties which graduated seven students in 2008.

California State University-Long Beach - Long Beach, CA

California State University-Long Beach, 1250 Bellflower Blvd, Long Beach, CA 90840-0115. California State University-Long Beach is a large university located in Long Beach, California. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 37,891 students and an admission rate of 47%. California State University-Long Beach has a master's degree program in Security and Protective Services, Other Specialties which graduated 156 students in 2008.


ACA Instructor: As an ACA Instructor, you are certified to teach a body of knowledge including all the skills, maneuvers and information required in canoeing, kayaking, and rafting.

For more information, see the American Canoe Association website.

Oxygen Administration: Prepares laypersons and professional rescuers with the knowledge and skills needed to know when and how to use supplemental oxygen and breathing devices.

For more information, see the American Red Cross website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Los Angeles, California

Los Angeles, California
Los Angeles, California photo by Diliff

Los Angeles is located in Los Angeles County, California. It has a population of over 3,833,995, which has grown by 3.8% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Los Angeles, 166, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Los Angeles are valued at $361,500 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, seven hundred twelve new homes were built in Los Angeles, down from 1,551 the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Los Angeles are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. The average travel time to work is about 30 minutes. More than 25.5% of Los Angeles residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 9.1%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Los Angeles is 13.9%, which is greater than California's average of 12.3%.

The percentage of Los Angeles residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 58.1%, is more than both the national and state average. All Peoples Christian Church, All Saints Episcopal Church and All Saints Roman Catholic Church are some of the churches located in Los Angeles. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the LDS (Mormon) Church.

Los Angeles is home to the Balboa Municipal Golf Course and the Angels Flight Railway as well as Hazard Park and State Street Recreation Center. Shopping centers in the area include Encino Junior Shopping Center, Encino Oaks Shopping Center and Encino Town Center Shopping Center. Visitors to Los Angeles can choose from Best Western Mid-Wilshire Plaza, Best Western Westwood Pacific and Alma Lodge for temporary stays in the area.