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Career and Education Opportunities for Lifeguards in Columbia, Maryland

Many educational and employment opportunities exist for lifeguards in the Columbia, Maryland area. There are currently 2,070 working lifeguards in Maryland; this should grow by 24% to 2,580 working lifeguards in the state by 2016. This is better than the national trend for lifeguards, which sees this job pool growing by about 11.2% over the next eight years. In general, lifeguards monitor recreational areas, such as pools, beaches, or ski slopes to provide assistance and protection to participants.

Income for lifeguards is about $9 hourly or $19,100 per year on average in Maryland. Nationally, their income is about $8 hourly or $18,450 yearly. People working as lifeguards can fill a number of jobs, such as: surveillance system monitor, recreation attendant, and swim instructor.

There are two schools within twenty-five miles of Columbia where you can study to be a lifeguard, among 109 schools of higher education total in the Columbia area. 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 Columbia 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

University of Maryland-University College - Adelphi, MD

University of Maryland-University College, 3501 University Blvd East, Adelphi, MD 20783-8010. University of Maryland-University College is a large university located in Adelphi, Maryland. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 34,130 students. University of Maryland-University College has a two to four year program in Security and Protective Services, Other Specialties.

Everest College-Arlington - Arlington, VA

Everest College-Arlington, 801 N Quincy St-Ste 500, Arlington, VA 22203. Everest College-Arlington is a small college located in Arlington, Virginia. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 285 students and an admission rate of 65%. Everest College-Arlington has a less than one year program in Security and Protective Services, Other Specialties which graduated forty-two 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: Columbia, Maryland

Columbia, Maryland
Columbia, Maryland photo by Jeff Kubina

Columbia is located in Howard County, Maryland. It has a population of over 96,421. The cost of living index in Columbia, 100, is near the national average.

The three most popular industries for women in Columbia are educational services, health care, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, public administration, and educational services. The average travel time to work is about 30 minutes. More than 59.0% of Columbia residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 28.7%, is higher than the state average.

The percentage of Columbia residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 49.3%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. Abiding Savior Lutheran Church, Atholton Seventh Day Adventist Church and Long Reach Interfaith Center are all churches located in Columbia. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Methodist Church and the Southern Baptist Convention.

Columbia is home to the Symphony Woods Office Center and the Rivers Corporate Park as well as Middle Patuxent Environmental Area and Clarksville Environmental Area. Shopping centers in the area include Governor Century Plaza Shopping Center, Atholton Shopping Center and Owen Brown Village Shopping Center. Visitors to Columbia can choose from PFMG, Courtyard by Marriott and Hilton Inn Columbia for temporary stays in the area.