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Careers on the Beach

There are different career options on the beach that are available in several fields and vary in job duties. Learn about some of the available jobs, their median salaries, expected job growth rates and education requirements.

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Career Options on the Beach

People who would like to work on a beach have several careers to choose from that span a range of job fields. Some of these careers may study various aspects of the beach and ocean, while others may serve people on the beach in various ways. Find out about a handful of career options on the beach below.

Job Title Median Salary (2016)* Job Growth (2016-2026)*
Lifeguards $24,452 8% (for all lifeguards, ski patrol and other recreational protective service workers)
Zoologists and Wildlife Biologists $60,520 8%
Environmental Scientists and Specialists $68,910 11%
Lodging Managers $51,840 6%
Photographers $34,070 -8% (Decline)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Career Information for Careers on the Beach

Lifeguards

Lifeguards work around various bodies of water, including beaches, to monitor patrons and help ensure their safety in and around the water. On occasion they may need to rescue distressed swimmers and/or provide first aid or emergency care as needed. They may monitor swimmers from a tower or on foot. Lifeguards undergo on-the-job training, but do not need any formal education.

Zoologists and Wildlife Biologists

Some zoologists and wildlife biologists may study animals and ecosystems on and around beaches. These scientists usually study a particular species to better understand the animal, and therefore, may look at physical or social characteristics, how the animal interacts with its environment, population dynamics or even how humans impact the animal and its habitat. Zoologists and wildlife biologists typically present their findings in scientific papers and presentations and may apply their findings to improve breeding and/or conservation programs for a given species. Education requirements range from a bachelor's degree for entry-level positions to a master's or doctoral degree for more research-based positions.

Environmental Scientists and Specialists

Environmental scientists and specialists are responsible for protecting the environment and human health, therefore some may monitor beaches and conditions surrounding bodies of water. They perform some fieldwork to collect water, air, soil and other biological samples to take back to the lab to analyze for pollution or other contaminants. Based on their findings, they may suggest possible plans for improvement and continue to monitor an area to ensure that conditions improve. Environmental scientists and specialists must hold a bachelor's degree in a natural science.

Lodging Managers

Some lodging managers may manage beach-side resorts and establishments. These managers are responsible for ensuring that their guests have everything that they need and that the establishment's accommodations are clean and usable, including beach areas. Lodging managers also hire and train staff, set prices for the establishment, coordinate the front desk, monitor finances and address any questions or concerns that guests may have. Lodging managers may have a high school diploma and work experience or a certificate, associate's or bachelor's degree in hospitality or hotel management.

Photographers

Photographers may not work on the beach all the time, but some may utilize the area for various nature photos, to capture watersport events or as a beautiful background for their clients. Most photographers today use digital cameras, various lighting techniques and photo-enhancing software to capture and create high-quality images to sell. Photographers need to keep a professional portfolio to help them attract new clients and demonstrate their work. Many photographers only need a good technical understanding of the field, but some kinds of photographers, such as scientific photographers or photojournalists, may need a bachelor's degree.

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