Pool and Spa Operator  What They Do

Just the Facts

Insider Info

dotPool 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."

dotSome 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.

dotPool 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."

dotPool 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.

dotHours 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."

dotSince 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.

dotA 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.

dotPool and spa operators should be good at troubleshooting and solving problems. They should also be comfortable dealing with people and working outdoors.

dotOperators often use a company truck to do work, but are usually paid more if they use their own vehicle.

At a Glance

Construct, clean, maintain, repair and sell swimming pools, spas and hot tubs

  • You can work in people's homes or in hotels and recreation centers
  • You should be comfortable working outdoors
  • Some people learn on the job, but certified pool operators earn more money