Career as Pool and Spa Operator
Swimming pool technicians service and maintain swimming pools, spas and hot tubs in homes, gyms, hotels and leisure centres.
As a swimming pool technician, you would make sure that the water is clean and safe for bathers. You would also install and service specialist water exercise equipment which is used in training and physiotherapy pools.
If you enjoy practical work, are comfortable working in and around water, and have good communication skills, this job could be for you.
To get started in this role, you do not need any formal qualifications, but it may help if you have a background in heating, ventiliation, air conditioning or water treatment systems.
• carrying out scheduled water cleaning, using chemicals like chlorine
• testing water quality and pH balance
• cleaning out filtration units
• servicing heating, circulation and de-humidifier systems
• fixing lights above and below water level
• checking and repairing corrosion, cracks and leaks in the pool walls or floors
• making sure equipment like pool covers, diving boards and slides are in good working order
• keeping stock records for cleaning supplies and spare parts
• attending to immediate water hygiene incidents.
• logging and reporting equipment faults or water quality problems to managers.
As well as regular maintenance, you may be responsible for shutting down pools over the winter (especially outdoor pools) and bringing them back into use in the spring. You might also fit and service the solar panels that are often used to provide heat and power to pools and equipment.
Employment Opportunities for Pool and Spa Operator:
You could find work with pool installation and servicing companies, local authorities, educational institutions, hotels, fitness chains or equipment suppliers.
With experience, you could go on to become a team supervisor, pool manager (in a larger organisation) or a contracts manager.
You could also work as a self-employed technician, working on contracts. With experience, you could set up your own company specialising in swimming pool repairs.
If you were interested in moving into swimming pool design, you would need a degree in a related field such as engineering or architecture.
Jobs are advertised in the local press and on company, local authority and college websites.
How to become Pool and Spa Operator?
Employers do not always ask for specific qualifications, but you might have an advantage if you have a background and/or qualifications in one of the following:
• heating, ventilation or air conditioning (HVAC)
• electrical or mechanical maintenance
• water treatment.
You might be able to start work with a pool installation company as a general labourer or plant operator, moving into the technical side after further training
For jobs in the public sector, for example, as a technician at a leisure centre or university, you are likely to need experience and possibly qualifications like those outlined in the Training and development section.
You would normally receive on-the-job training from your employer, including manual handling, safe use of chemicals, and cleaning products and methods.
You could also take the Institute of Swimming Pool Engineers' (ISPE) Home Study course which leads to their Certified Technician status.
You must pass exams in the following four areas to gain certification:
You could also work towards the Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity (CIMSPA) National Pool Plant Foundation Certificate and Operators Certificate. These are nationally recognised awards for pool technicians and managers, and normally take one to three days to complete. See the CIMSPA website for details.
The Safety Training Awards (STA) offer a Level 2 Award in Swimming Pool and Spa Water Treatment, and a Level 3 Award in Pool Plant Operations. These courses cover guidelines on water treatments, heating systems, and potential hazards like legionnaires disease.
Median Pay Scale / salary of Pool and Spa Operator:
Starting salaries for swimming pool technicians range from 17,000 to 25,000 a year.
With experience, you could earn up to 35,000 a year.
Some employers will include a company vehicle if the role includes a lot of travel