Want to Work at the Beach? Land One of These 26 Beach Jobs

A yoga instructor works with another woman on the beach during a class.
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Do you count down the days in your cubicle until your vacation arrives and you can feel the sand between your toes? Whether you’re a snowbird or on summer break, or even looking for full time employment, you can find job opportunities at the beach to make your daydream a reality.

While beaches are often associated with states like Florida, you can find them up and down the East and West Coasts, the Great Lakes and just about anywhere in the country — as long as there’s a large body of water.

Whether you want to be right on the ocean or just close enough to have waves as your background music, here are 26 ways to work at the beach and stay financially afloat.

Want to Work at the Beach? Land One of These Beach Jobs

The beach comes with a plethora of employment opportunities. You’re probably thinking of the most obvious ones, like lifeguarding, which we’ll cover. But, you’ll also find a variety of businesses near whatever beach you choose, no matter if it’s next to a city or a smaller resort town. Even working in a restaurant, the hospitality industry or amusement parks could give access to beach views.

You can find just about any job to suit your interests and lifestyle.

1. Beach Attendant 

As a beach attendant, you’ll ensure the safety of guests and enhance their beachgoing experience. Duties include setting up equipment like chairs and umbrellas and providing services to guests like getting drink orders or towels. While your main job is to assist guests, beach attendants also watch to make sure they’re following safety rules.

Unless you’re somewhere like Long Beach or West Palm Beach, attendant positions tend to be seasonal or part time, but you’ll have the opportunity to make tips on your services.

2. Lifeguard

While the word “lifeguard” may bring red swimsuits and slow motion beach running to mind, it is one of the quintessential beach jobs for a reason.

True, a lot of sitting is involved, but you’ll be responsible for the health and safety of beach goers. You’ll need to be physically fit and have good communication and problem solving skills.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics says that lifeguards have an average annual salary of $28,370. The pay is low, but you do get to be on the beach all day.

You can get an online Lifeguard Certification from the Red Cross. The certification is valid for two years after completion, so you can always find a year round job at a pool too.

3. Beach Home Caretaking

If you like the beach but don’t want to spend all day outside, you can find a position working with the houses you’ll find nearby.

You can become a housesitter and watch a beach sunset from the comfort of someone else’s luxurious home. Like any sitting job, the length of the job and pay will vary.

Want something with a steadier income but still want to peek at the view? There are house cleaning services that cater to beach houses.

4. Bartending

If you’re a fan of the nightlife, consider working as a bartender at one of the many bars and hotels that populate beaches. Bartending can be one of the more profitable beach jobs after tips.

Once you establish a network of customers, you can also become a freelance bartender and serve drinks at parties, beach weddings and other events.

Depending on your state laws, you’ll probably be required to obtain certification to serve alcohol.

5. Beach Patrol

Those who want a little more adventure on the job should look into beach patrol employment.

Like any job, the duties and time length of the position will vary based on location. A patrol officer might be asked to monitor beaches for any ordinance violations, ensure both visitor and wildlife safety. For example, patrol officers on Myrtle Beach assist with identifying and marking sea turtle nesting sites.

You’ll also be in contact with city police, Department of Natural Resources and other agencies in the event of emergencies.

Beach patrol officers are required to be physically fit. As part of the application process, you’ll be tested with possible activities including running, swimming, rowing or rescue drills.

6. Instructor

If you’re already familiar with the water through a hobby, why not pass that knowledge onto others? You can become a diving or surf instructor and hang out in the ocean all day.

The requirements for becoming a surf instructor depend on what organization is local to your region. You’ll need to take an instruction course, obtain documented practical experience and any required first aid training.

Do you do yoga or play tennis? Find a resort near the ocean where you can get a teaching gig. Maybe you could channel your inner Patrick Swayze and teach guests how to dance.

If you’re interested in teaching swim lessons, you can usually find them offered at a pool or recreation center.

7. Photographer

Shutterbugs can find a place at the beach too. You can capture the beauty of the ocean or wildlife or focus on your community with events like beach weddings or surf competitions.

You don’t have to stay on land to get pictures of fish either. Consider investing in underwater equipment for your camera to get that one of a kind shot.

Whether or not you have a client base, consider selling your photos online to stock photo websites. You upload your photos to one of the many websites available and earn commission when someone purchases your product.

8. Dog Walker

If you like dogs and long walks on the beach, why not become a dog walker and take your furry friends for a stroll? You’ll get in a good workout and can make money doing it.

You just might have to deal with a messy dog bath afterward.

If you’re just getting started out, you can sign up as a dog walker on websites like Rover and Wag!. They’ll find the clients for you, but they’ll take a percentage of your earnings.

9. Event Planner

Are you an organized person with a creative eye? Use those skills to be an event planner. You can help a couple plan a beach wedding or coordinate a corporate gala in a nearby city.

If you hone your skills and network, event planning can be a lucrative business. According to Indeed, the average event planner makes over $50,000 per year, with the highest paid earning over $84,000.

10. Real Estate Agent

All of those beachside homes have to get sold somehow, right? If you’re just starting out, you won’t be getting that caliber of commission right away, but it pays to have goals. You could even assist someone with their dream of opening a beach bar.

You’ll need to become licensed, develop your brand and potentially work long hours, but you’ll have the ability to set your own schedule and grow your career at your own pace.

11. Commercial Diver

Commercial divers perform various tasks underwater, from photographing marine life to inspecting and repairing equipment or structures, depending on the job type. It sounds fun, but it’s hard work. You’ll need to be comfortable handling power tools and explosives.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics says that the mean annual wage of commercial divers is over $85,000. The best part? There are training programs for those interested in commercial diving jobs, and you generally only need to pass a diving test to become involved.

12. Marine Biologist

Thinking about going back to school? This is one of the harder career paths on our list, but why not pursue the dream job of many children and become a marine biologist?

As the name suggests, marine biologists research fish, underwater plants and other marine life. Generally, the field requires a PhD, so be prepared to hit the books.

13. Aquatic Veterinarian

This is another intriguing option for anyone seeking to continue their education. Aquatic veterinarians work in a variety of settings, including research centers and zoos.

While it’s an educational commitment, Indeed says that the average annual salary for aquatic veterinarians is over $100,000.

Make Your Remote Job a “Beach Job” 

One of the benefits of remote work is location flexibility – as long as you have an internet connection. You can stay put in the city or explore a Florida beach. Grab a coffee and set up shop at a local restaurant or use your cell phone hotspot to work in between ocean waves.

Here are some examples of employment you can do at the beach. Just be careful to not get sand in your laptop.

  1. Freelance writer
  2. Ebook author
  3. Freelance proofreader
  4. Search engine evaluator
  5. Translator
  6. Website tester
  7. Stock trader
  8. Web or graphic designer
  9. Life coach
  10. Tutor 
  11. Travel blogger
  12. Digital creator
  13. Resume writer

Contributor Jenna Limbach writes on financial literacy and lifestyle topics for The Penny Hoarder from her home base in Nevada. 

Steve Gillman is the author of, “101 Weird Ways to Make Money” and creator of EveryWayToMakeMoney.com.