YMCA Lifeguard

YMCA Lifeguard Job Description & Interview

Job Description and Duties

What Does a YMCA Lifeguard Do?
A YMCA lifeguard monitors pool activities and ensures member safety. Lifeguards need to possess knowledge of rescue procedures and emergency medical procedures. To help prevent incidents, lifeguards must enforce all safety guidelines as outlined by the YMCA. To ensure safety, lifeguards must remain alert throughout an entire shift.

What Certifications are Necessary?

To gain a YMCA lifeguard job, applicant must hold lifeguard and CPR certification. A lifeguard may need to possess a pre-employment physical and a skills test. Additional job duties a lifeguard performs include preparing activity and incident reports and performing pool maintenance.

Salary and Compensation

How Much Do They Get Paid?
A YMCA lifeguard earns about $9.00 an hour on average. Pay typically varies by location and duration in the position. Some YMCA lifeguards may earn higher hourly wages. In addition to salary options, YMCA lifeguards can get lucrative employee benefits.

Additional Job Benefits

An eligible YMCA lifeguard receives paid time off, basic life insurance, medical and dental coverage, and 401(k) retirement plans. All YMCA lifeguards receive free club memberships, schedule flexibility, and free uniforms.


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YMCA Lifeguard Interview Video

Video Transcript

Interviewer: Please describe your job title and primary duties?

YMCA Lifeguard: Lifeguard. My primary duties were to keep the pool safe. Just make sure that all the patrons were behaving in a safe manner, no running. Especially how they were swimming, how they’re jumping into the pool. There was a lot. And if anything would go wrong on the pool deck, we’d have to clean up and make sure that everyone was treated properly with first aid and stuff like that.

Interviewer: What was the work environment like?

YMCA Lifeguard: Very humid, very noisy. Most of the time when we had events going on it would get really crowded really fast so it was a pretty high stress environment when you had a lot of little kids, especially. The camp was crazy. But it also could get really slow sometimes. You just always have to keep yourself alert so that no matter what’s happening, you’re there.

Interviewer: What was your favorite part about working there?

YMCA Lifeguard: It was really nice to work with the kids there because … well actually we had more elderly people come as patrons than the younger kids. But when they were there they would like to like … sometimes you could play toss with them if you had more than one guard on the pool deck, just talking with family members about their lives. It’s just nice, feel a part of the community.

Interviewer: Please describe the application and interview process.

YMCA Lifeguard: So you had to go in to get a paper application at the Y that I was working at. And it took a lot of pestering to get an interview because the aquatic directors are only there during business hours. So from maybe 10 in the morning until three in the afternoon if you’re lucky. So you have to get in there and talk to them at a time where they’re not busy. Which is also difficult because there weren’t that many staff members there so they were kind of stretched pretty thin. And then you had to set a date to go in. And they don’t have a lot of time, as I just said. So it took a lot of effort just to get in there.

Interviewer: What questions did the interviewer ask during the job interview?

YMCA Lifeguard: They wanted to know a lot. Like if you had life guarding experience before and where. And if you had any saves or anything like that. And just how you operate as a guard. They just want to know that you’re a person who cares about safety. And then they did ask a few personality questions. And they wanted to know about availability. But it was mostly focused on that first aid training. Just being able to keep yourself present in the pool deck so that you could keep everyone safe.

Interviewer: How were you notified that you received the job?

YMCA Lifeguard: They told me at the end of the interview because they were pretty short staffed.

Interviewer: What other advice would you give to a job seeker looking to gain employment?

YMCA Lifeguard: Only do this job if you are going to dedicate yourself to that job while you’re there. Because as soon as you walk off the pool deck it doesn’t really matter. But once you’re there, you have to really pay attention to everyone there. Everything that they’re doing, just so you can not only help them if something bad happens, but prevent those things, those unsafe activities.

YMCA Lifeguard Interview Video

Video Transcript

Interviewer: Please describe your job title and primary duties.
YMCA Employee: I was hired as a lifeguard at the Y. My primary duties involved opening up on the morning shift – check the chemicals in the pool, check the pH level, and I make sure the doors are open and the lights are on. And sometimes there’s a cleaner that’s under the pool, and I pull that out. And, other than that, I lifeguard and all that entails with lifeguarding.

Interviewer: What was the work environment like?
YMCA Employee: It’s really positive, everything is very neat, and everything is very organized.

Interviewer: What is your favorite part about working there?
YMCA Employee: My favorite part is just how everybody knows everybody, and it’s kind of like a community. People don’t know everything about each other, but they’re friendly to one another, and I really enjoy that.

Interviewer: Please describe a typical day as an employee.
YMCA Employee: I open, and they open really early, so they have members that come in and exercise and swim super early. It’s crazy – there are so many people. I come in at five-thirty, turn on the lights, and just open the pool, make sure the pool area is good for them to swim in. Then, for about three hours, I just lifeguard as normal. There are a lot of lap swimmers that come in every day, same time every day, same weekdays. They’ll swim from twenty minutes to an hour and a half. Then, there are classes later in the day. They have aerobics class for senior citizens, and there’s also classes for children, where moms bring their babies in and get them used to the water. And then there’s classes for five and six-year-olds to learn how to swim.

Interviewer: How would you describe the application and interview process?
YMCA Employee: You can print an application online and then turn it in at your local YMCA. As far as my application process, I called a couple times and asked for the aquatics director, left a message. The second time I called, I actually got a hold of her, and we arranged for an interview. The interview process was serious, but they were still really friendly. I was interviewed by the aquatics director as well as the director of the whole Y.

Interviewer: What questions did the interviewer ask during the job interview?
YMCA Employee: “What are your greatest strengths?”, “What are your greatest weaknesses?”, and “If you could rate your reliability on a scale of one to ten, what would it be?” The last question she asked was, “If you had a pan of Jell-O, how would you go about throwing it at the wall?” I think it was just like a break-the-ice question.

Interviewer: What other advice would you give a job seeker looking to gain employment?
YMCA Employee: They don’t pay as well because it’s not-for-profit. You’re not going to make a whole lot of money working there, but you’ll be making a difference, and it is a really good work environment.

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