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What Is the Average Starting Pay for a Certified Pool Operator?

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Certified pool operators receive training on how to clean, maintain and treat pools. This training allows them to keep pools both safe and sanitary. Unfortunately, it doesn't necessarily guarantee a high pay rate. Starting salaries for certified pool operators at the time of publication were comparable to minimum wage, although those with additional facilities operations duties outside of pool operation earned more.

Industry Average

The Simply Hired website indicates that all certified pool operators averaged $35,000 per year in June 2011; this equates to $16.83 per hour. reports that the average was $38,000 annually, or $18.27 per hour.

Examples of Pay

The limited data on starting salaries for CPOs makes it necessary to look at job postings for the industry for examples of pay rates. The Garden City Recreation Commission of Garden City, Kansas, listed a position for a pool manager with CPO qualifications for 2011: This job listing indicated that the low end of the salary offered was $10 per hour. In a 40-hour week, this translates to $20,800 per year. Another job listing from Aquatic Pool Management Services of Clark, New Jersey, showed a low-end starting salary of $8 per hour, which converts to $16,640 annually. The city of Monticello, Minnesota, provided a job posting for the city's community center at $9.79 per hour, or $20,363 yearly. Another posting from Wytheville, Virginia, for 2011 listed starting compensation for an assistant pool supervisor as $9.25 per hour, or $19,240 yearly. Based on these examples, starting salaries for CPOs appear to be around $7 to $9 per hour less than the salaries for experienced CPOs.


Those with the certified pool operator designation don't only make sure the pool is functioning properly and is safe: They often also work as lifeguards, perform other grounds maintenance or manage the entire pool site. Operators with these added responsibilities have higher starting salaries than those who handle basic pool operations. For example, a 2011 job posting from the City of Conway, South Carolina, for an aquatics coordinator indicated that certified pool operator applicants would be responsible for teaching fitness and swimming classes, as well as training and scheduling other staff. This job had an offered salary range of $31,100 to $46,650.

Other Considerations

Whether the pool is indoors or outside may influence salaries: People usually close outdoor pools in the winter in cooler geographical regions, which means that operators aren't able to work year-round on those pools.


Wanda Thibodeaux is a freelance writer and editor based in Eagan, Minn. She has been published in both print and Web publications and has written on everything from fly fishing to parenting. She currently works through her business website,, which functions globally and welcomes new clients.

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