Pool and spa operators construct, clean, maintain, repair and sell swimming
pools, spas and hot tubs. "We do almost any kind of work on anything that
holds or circulates water," says Bruce Carlson. Operators also run pool shops,
service and repair pools, construct pools or operate pool sites.
"On a daily basis we stock shelves, price items, clean, test water samples
for chlorine and pH levels and operate cash," says Fern Boldt. She works with
a pool company. "And when you have 27,000 customers, like we did last summer,
then it keeps you pretty busy."
Some pool operators may work in a residential setting, installing and maintaining
private pools and spas. Others may work in public facilities, such as hotels
or recreation centers.
Pool and spa operators work on all kinds of water containers, from Olympic-size
pools to home Jacuzzis. "We clean and maintain motels, apartments, home pools
and spas and fountains in business buildings," says Wesley Czerwinski.
"We can work out of offices, cars or trucks, or, like I do, in all kinds
of places," says Carlson. "My office could be in someone's backyard."
Pool and spa operators can work for small companies, with one to 10 employees,
or they can work for larger equipment manufacturers with more than 250 employees.
Some also work as subcontractors to other pool and spa companies, doing specialized
work in decking or concrete.
Hours in the profession usually run 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in a shop. But some
have to work weekends during pool season.
"Work does slow down a little in winter," says Czerwinski. He lives in
California, where the work never comes to a full stop.
"I mostly do repairs," he says. "We do a couple spas, but more homeowners
clean spas themselves."
Since pool and spa operators do lots of different things, the amount of
physical strength required varies with each task. A person working in a pool
shop needs to do very little physical work, while a pool builder needs to
do hard manual work. Pool salespeople need to be able to access people's homes.
A pool and spa operator who does service calls needs to be mobile, able
to reach into awkward spaces and able to lift heavy objects. They should also
enjoy working outdoors.
Pool and spa operators should be good at troubleshooting and solving problems.
They should also be comfortable dealing with people and working outdoors.
Operators often use a company truck to do work, but are usually paid more
if they use their own vehicle.