Being a lifeguard is the ultimate summer job

Respect the fanny pack

Summer grind

Just like the typical 90s movie said, being a lifeguard is definitely one of the greatest summer jobs you’ll ever come by.

Yes, the water, the tan, and the pay all have their perks and honestly, if I had the chance, I would go back in a heartbeat.

You get paid to sit

Plain and simple, being a lifeguard is the greatest job ever because you literally get paid to sit. I spent my days by the pool just like everyone else. Only difference: I was getting paid to do it (and above minimum wage). I’ve never had such a glorious tan in my life.

While lifeguarding isn’t all sitting, the option was always nice and after long days in the sun I could sit forever. To this day I could sit for hours and be perfectly content with myself. During my time on the chair I had some pretty deep philosophical conversations with myself and/or unsuspected swimmers who I would wrangle in to talking to me when I got bored.

You don’t have to wear real clothes

A lifeguard’s uniform might be one of the best perks about the job. I feel bad for anyone who works at job where they had to wear collared shirts and a tie, or really just anyone who had a wear shoes. I showed up to work in a t-shirt and Soffees everyday. Flip flops were optional, but usually not worn. So now, not only was I getting paid to sit around, I was getting paid to sit around in basically the same thing I sleep in. The whole time I was lifeguarding, I honestly feared for the day I would have to wear real clothes and shoes to work.

Rain is beautiful thing

I like to believe Luke Bryan’s song “Rain” was written about being a lifeguard. As previously mentioned, lifeguards get paid to sit, but obviously there are responsibilities that go along with that sitting, BUT when it rained, the second I saw lightening I would not hesitate to blow my whistle like it was Liberty Bell and yell “EVERYONE OUT OF THE POOL.” Rain delays guaranteed me 20 minutes of unfocused, phone checking, paid resting and relaxing out of the hot sun. And you better believe I watched the sky like a hawk to extend my paid break as long as possible. Thank goodness for Florida summers and all that rain.

Water makes work fun

Being around the water as much as a lifeguard is, you start to learn all the tricks and secrets to making pool time the best time. When we’re off-duty, we break all the rules and love it. We run, we flip, and we use pool toys. It’s a free-for-all. Lifeguards know how to have a good time, but we also know how to save our friends if something goes wrong. I advise you leave the rule breaking to the professionals.


Not just anyone can become a lifeguard. Only those willing to assume the responsibility of saving a life can man the stand. The second you step onto the stand you begin to realize how important your role is and it feels kind of badass. Being a lifeguard comes with power. People respect you, your buoy, and your pack. It’s pretty crazy.

One minute I would walk into work wearing a basic white t-shirts and red Soffees and no one would think anything of me, but the second I put on my fanny pack – BOOM, everyone knew I meant business. Knowing I held authority and people respected me for it was honestly very rewarding. I’ve had so many parents come up to me and thank me for staying true to the rules and for keeping their kids safe.

Florida State University