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Career and Education Opportunities for Lifeguards in Tampa, Florida

Many educational and employment opportunities exist for lifeguards in the Tampa, Florida area. There are currently 5,860 working lifeguards in Florida; this should grow by 18% to about 6,920 working lifeguards in the state by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for lifeguards are expected to grow by about 11.2%. In general, lifeguards monitor recreational areas, such as pools, beaches, or ski slopes to provide assistance and protection to participants.

Lifeguards earn about $9 hourly or $20,690 yearly on average in Florida and about $8 hourly or $18,450 per year on average nationally. Jobs in this field include: aquatics director, gamewell operator, and swim instructor.

The Tampa area is home to fifty-four schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Tampa where you can get a degree as a lifeguard. Lifeguards usually hold less than a high school diploma, so it will take only a short time to learn to be a lifeguard if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Lifeguard

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 Tampa include:

  • Animal Attendant. Handle animals for the purpose of investigations of mistreatment, or control of abandoned, dangerous, or unattended animals.
  • 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.
  • 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.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Lifeguard Training

St Petersburg College - Clearwater, FL

St Petersburg College, 14025 58th Street North, Clearwater, FL 33760. St Petersburg College is a large college located in Clearwater, Florida. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 26,099 students. St Petersburg College has a bachelor's degree program in Security and Protective Services, Other Specialties which graduated twenty-eight students in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

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: Tampa, Florida

Tampa, Florida
Tampa, Florida photo by Caltrop

Tampa is located in Hillsborough County, Florida. It has a population of over 340,882, which has grown by 12.3% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Tampa, 95, is near the national average. New single-family homes in Tampa are valued at $188,700 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, six hundred thirty-five new homes were constructed in Tampa, down from 1,008 the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Tampa are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 23 minutes. More than 25.4% of Tampa residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 9.2%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Tampa is 11.8%, which is greater than Florida's average of 11.3%.

The percentage of Tampa residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 41.8%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. Abundant Life Assembly of God Church, Florida Tampa Mission and Most Holy Redeemer Church are among the churches located in Tampa. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the United Methodist Church.

Tampa is home to the Parkers Railroad Station and the Drew Station Railroad Station as well as Ybor City Museum State Park and American Legion Playground. Shopping centers in the area include Northgate Shopping Center, Old Hyde Park Village Shopping Center and Benttree Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Tampa can choose from Backstage Restaurant & Lounge, Baymont Tampa Busch Gardens and Budget Inn for temporary stays in the area.