Swimming Pool Servicer

views updated

Swimming Pool Servicer

Education and Training: High school

Salary: Median—$9.82 to $16.99 per hour

Employment Outlook: Very good

Definition and Nature of the Work

Swimming pool servicers clean and check the water in swimming pools. They maintain certain standards of water quality by adding chemicals such as chlorine, iodine, and hydrochloric acid to the water. Swimming pool servicers must follow strict rules for pool treatment and must handle and measure chemicals very carefully. Too little of a chemical may allow algae to grow; too much may cause eye or skin irritation and sickness.

When cleaning a pool, the servicer removes debris with a net, brushes the walls with a bristle brush, and vacuums the pool floor. Pool servicers must be alert for pool equipment problems, such as clogged pipes and rusted equipment. Their tools include pressure gauges, steel snakes, and rubber plungers.

Winter pool closings and summer openings are an important part of servicers' work. At the end of the summer season, the servicers must drain and clean filters and tanks. They also must remove and store diving boards and ladders. They may need to cover the pool with a heavy tarpaulin. At the beginning of the new swimming season, servicers clean the deck, paint the pool interior if necessary, and inspect and repair equipment as needed.

Education and Training Requirements

Swimming pool service contractors look for employees with a high school diploma or a background in the building trades. Beginning pool servicers receive two to eight weeks of on-the-job training. Because the job requires a lot of driving, a driver's license is necessary.

High school courses in chemistry, biology, metal work, and pipe fitting will be useful. Bookkeeping will be helpful to servicers who want to start their

Getting the Job

Job seekers should visit or write to companies that build, install, and service pools. They should be willing to work on pool construction until servicing positions become available.

Advancement Possibilities and Employment Outlook

Swimming pools are often the focal points of health and sports clubs. As more and more of these clubs open, there will be a corresponding rise in the demand for pool servicers. Health departments, concerned about bacterial pollution in home pools, are calling for more pool inspections and controls. Workers who can increase the number of pools they service a day or who are expert troubleshooters will receive higher wages.

The employment outlook for swimming pool servicers is expected to increase faster than the average for all jobs through the year 2014. Nevertheless, there are still seasonal upswings and downturns, and some servicers may need to find other work during the winter.

Working Conditions

Most swimming pool servicers work for small to medium contractors, and they usually work alone. Servicers wear long rubber gloves and special uniforms to protect themselves against chlorine and other harmful chemicals. The work is not overly strenuous but may require some lifting, and workers remain standing for long periods of time. In large servicing companies, workers may specialize in tasks such as repairing or painting.

A swimming pool servicer's schedule may vary from day to day, according to geographic location and seasonal changes. The average worker is sent out to service two or three private pools per day. At the height of the season, however, he or she may service twice that number. Large public pools must be cleaned every day. They often take six hours or more to clean. Sometimes they must be cleaned in the evening hours, when the pool is closed. For this type of job, servicers often work in teams of two or more.

Where to Go for More Information

Association of Pool & Spa Professionals
2111 Eisenhower Ave.
Alexandria, VA 22314
(703) 838-0083

Earnings and Benefits

Swimming pool servicers receive a median wage of $9.82 to $16.99 per hour. Earnings may be higher for workers who can service more than the average number of pools or who are expert troubleshooters and repairers. Swimming pool servicers receive uniforms and group health insurance. Vacation and sick time vary among pool servicing companies.