National Aquatic Industry Report

14 August 2020

Royal Life Saving Australia conducted a survey of the Australian Aquatic Industry during last year, to gain insights into the full range of aspects that make up, influence, and affect the characteristics and working lives of the aquatic industry workforce.

The survey led to the production of two important reports, The Aquatic Industry Profile, published in December 2019 and the National Aquatic Workforce Report, published in July 2020.

The Workforce Profile provided a snapshot of specific demographic information for key roles within the industry. The key findings were:

  • 73% of the workforce are female
  • 56% of the workforce earn less than $30,000 per year
  • 46% of the workforce are employed casually and most workers work throughout the year but in a part-time capacity
  • 49% of workers have a second job and 47% are studying while working
  • Those aged between 18 and 64 are relatively evenly represented across the workforce, with 45 to 54 being the most common age group (23%)
  • 74% of workers said the most enjoyable part of their current role was knowing they are making a positive impact on people’s lives


The National Aquatic Workforce Report gives a deeper analysis into employees’ working life, professional development and future needs of those working in the aquatic industry. This report found that:

  • A positive work atmosphere was valued most highly by workers, slightly above improved pay and work conditions
  • Almost three-quarters of workers had experienced a moderate degree of change in their role, with one-third of this group experiencing a large or very large degree of change
  • Two in every three workers believed that the greatest change has been in safety, compliance and legal requirements
  • Most workers believed people leave the industry because of a lack of available work hours, poor remuneration and the seasonal nature of the work
  • Most workers valued face-to-face professional development sessions over online
  • Most workers found that improved skills and performance resulted from day-to-day experience in the role and initial on-the-job training
  • Most workers did two or fewer professional development activities a year, and these were not always funded by employers


The data from both reports will be used to create a Workforce Development Plan for the aquatics industry. The primary focus of this Plan will be to guide and support industry stakeholders to make decisions and take actions to ensure the workforce has the capabilities, opportunities, resources and systems to enable it to best meet client, community and business needs, and respond to ongoing change.

You can download the reports at the links below.

Workforce Profile

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National Aquatic Workforce Report

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