Our Lifeguards
Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
Navigate Up
Sign In

All council websites and online services will be unavailable from 5:30pm today for essential maintenance

Our Lifeguards

Print this Page

​We're proud to have a skilled and dedicated team of Lifeguards who work at our patrolled beaches and public pools to keep swimmers safe.

Professional lifeguards have been patrolling our beaches since 1912 when the first paid lifeguard took up a position at Austinmer beach to protect summertime visitors. These days, we have up to 75 professional ocean lifeguards working each season across the city’s 17 patrolled beaches.

We also have up to 80 lifeguards working across our eight public pools each summer.

Meet the Lifeguards

Meet the Lifeguards is a series of videos we shot over the 2014-15 summer season to introduce you to some of the staff who patrol our beaches, and give you an insight into what they do. You'll find the clips on the right of this page.

Make sure you follow our Facebook page to get all the latest Lifeguard news, videos and surf updates.

What do Lifeguards do?

A lifeguard’s job is all about making sure swimmers can go for a swim in a safe way. The lifeguards:
  • Set up a safe swimming area by judging the surf conditions and marking out the best spot with the red and yellow flags. The black and white flags are for surf craft.
  • Place rescue equipment at strategic points on the beach.
  • Perform rescues and carry out first aid, including resuscitation, when necessary.
  • Share information on beach and surf conditions with the public, and present beach and water safety lectures to schools and community groups.
  • Help keep the beaches clean by overseeing litter and waste management.

How to become a Lifeguard

We employ a mix of seasonal and casual lifeguards each year over the swimming season, ranging from full-time 7 month appointments through on-call casual roles.  We offer a number of opportunities available for lifeguards of varying experience, skill level and availability.
As a part of the recruitment process applicants are required to successfully complete our internal testing:
  • ​800 metre pool swim under 14 minutes
  • Lifeguard ocean skills test including an 'M' shaped mission (600 metre swim, 500 metre run, 600 metre board paddle and 500 metre run) under 25 minutes
  • Rescue and return a patient to shore on rescue board – over 250 metres. Negotiate a surf break on return to shore on rescue board
  • Theory examination
Applicants may also be required to undertake a pre-employment medical assessment as a part of the recruitment process. 

Make sure don't miss your opportunity to apply, visit our jobs page and set up a job alert now! 

What do I need to be a Council lifeguard?

The minimum requirement for a fully-fledged ocean lifeguard is a Certificate III in Public Safety (Aquatic Search and Rescue) (PUA31312). If you'd like to be a lifeguard, you need to be skilled in surf lifesaving or be a professional lifeguard, and have experience and knowledge of the beach and surf conditions.

This season, we are also offering entry level pathway opportunities for up and coming rookies who hold a Certificate II in Public Safety (Aquatic Search & Rescue) (PUA21012).

In addition to the certificate, you will also need a current First Aid Statement of Attainment (HLTAID003) and a current Advanced Resuscitation Statement of Attainment (HLTAID007).

For a full list of providers who offer these qualifications, visit training.gov.au​ 

The list below details providers that you may wish to contact when seeking lifeguard qualifications;

Mark McCarthy - Wollongong First Aid

Steve Allan - Surf Life Saving Services

Ben Chalmers - Lifeguard International

Greg Hackfath - APOLA
M: 0418 285 073

Page last updated: