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How to Become a Pool Technician in 2023: Step-by-Step Guide

August 28, 2023

Does the thought of being outside in the fresh air, working with your hands, and having dynamic, ever-changing work responsibilities excite you? Then, you may be the perfect candidate to become a pool technician.

Pool technician job opportunities are promising, with a 5% growth in employment predicted from 2019 to 2029 and an average annual income of $34,000 in sunshine states like California. But where do you start?

Do you need some sort of pool technician certification? What are the essential skills in this work, and how can you learn them quickly and easily to start prospecting jobs immediately? This post will cover everything you need to know, from job duties and educational requirements to professional certifications.

By the end of this post, you'll know:

  • The specific roles of a pool technician
  • A step-by-step roadmap to becoming a pool technician
  • How to transfer your knowledge into potentially starting your own pool service business

Let's get started!

The role of a pool technician

A pool technician is a highly skilled specialist whose primary role is managing and maintaining swimming pools. These professionals ensure that pools, whether in residential backyards, commercial properties, public facilities, luxury hotels, resorts, or recreational centers, are kept in optimal condition for users.

Geographical job opportunities

The demand for pool technicians sees a significant spike, particularly during the summer months when pool usage is at its peak. Moreover, certain regions in the United States, commonly called the Sun Belt states, have a particularly high requirement for these professionals due to their warm climate and extensive pool ownership.

States such as Florida, Texas, Arizona, and Southern California, with their year-round sun and high concentration of pools, offer vast opportunities for those in the pool maintenance industry.


Source: Intuit Mint. 

Pool technician duties and responsibilities

  1. Cleaning pools: This involves skimming the water surface to remove debris, vacuuming the pool floor, brushing the pool walls, and ensuring that the pool area is free from contaminants.
  2. Chemical maintenance and testing: Proper chemical balance is crucial for a pool's hygiene and safety. A technician is responsible for adding necessary chemicals to sanitize the water and inhibit the growth of harmful microorganisms. They also frequently test water for pH levels, chlorine content, and other essential factors to ensure that it's safe for swimming.
  3. Pool equipment management: A pool relies on various equipment to keep it clean and running smoothly. This includes filters that catch debris, pumps that circulate the water, and vacuums that help clean the pool's surfaces. A pool technician installs, troubleshoots, and repairs these vital components as required, ensuring they function efficiently.
  4. Customer service: Providing top-notch customer service is essential to a pool technician's job. This includes addressing any concerns a pool owner might have, offering advice on pool maintenance, and ensuring clients are satisfied with the services provided. Building strong customer relationships can lead to repeat business and positive word-of-mouth recommendations.

How to become a pool technician

The first step to becoming a pool technician is to acquire a basic education. That doesn't necessarily mean formal education, although a high school diploma is helpful. Aspiring pool technicians could also take swimming pool and water chemistry courses at local colleges or universities or online resources such as webinars and videos from professional organizations.

After establishing a solid foundation of knowledge on these subjects, aspiring pool technicians need to gain hands-on experience under expert supervision. Lastly, pursuing certifications can offer tangible evidence that one has acquired competence within their chosen field, which may open more opportunities for jobs in both commercial and private settings, from public parks or country clubs down to residential spas!


Resources for self-guided learning

The beauty of the internet is that everything you could possibly want to know about a given subject is online and usually free. Here are some of our favorite resources for getting up-to-speed quickly on the fundamentals of pool service:

Gaining hands-on experience

You can watch every YouTube video out there on pool service, but there's no replacement for on-the-job practice. Most pool service businesses recognize the importance of on-the-job training. They will hire you even if you don't necessarily have certifications or experience yet (but it helps to be a certified service technician; more on that later).

If you want to hedge your bets further, start by servicing the pools of friends and family to practice your skills. Let them know you'll service their pool cheaply or for free and cover the initial cost of chemicals. Be sure to take before and after photos if the pool you're servicing is in particularly bad shape. You may not ever end up using them, but they may be handy ways to prove your growing expertise down the line.

Who knows? You may accidentally start your own company and not even need to get hired by someone else!

Pursuing professional certifications

If you want to pursue more competitive employment, getting a pool technician certification is a good idea.

Certified Pool Operator certification (CPO) or Certified Aquatic Facility Operator (CAFO) certification demonstrates knowledge and skill sets that can lead to higher income, greater recognition among peers and customers, and staying ahead of trends in an ever-changing job market.

We love the CPO classes offered by Lauren Broom at Space Coast Pool School, available online, in-person, and in English and Spanish. The National Swimming Pool Foundation (NSPF) at one point offered training for these certifications, but they've since merged with another organization to form the Pool and Hot Tub Alliance (PHTA), which similarly provides several certification training courses. You can find them all here

(By the way, becoming a certified pool technician usually means being a spa service technician, as the two often go hand-in-hand.) Through classroom training and hands-on experience, students will learn topics including water chemistry maintenance techniques, pool safety procedures, and equipment training. Being certified gives professionals more credibility when seeking employment, resulting in increased earning potential due to mastery proven by completing required coursework.

Essential skills for a pool technician

The best pool technicians exemplify these traits:

Good customer service skills

Why it matters: Engaging effectively with customers is at the heart of the role. Ensuring that clients have a positive experience will make them return for repeat services and possibly recommend your services to others.

Deep Dive: Pool technicians should be attentive listeners, empathetic to client concerns, and quick in providing solutions. A satisfied customer means a job well done.

Clear communication

Why it matters: Clarity in communication ensures understanding between the technician, customers, and other professionals in the field.

Deep Dive: Whether it's explaining technical issues, giving maintenance advice, or discussing repair costs, the ability to convey information in a straightforward and understandable manner is invaluable.

Knowledge about pool equipment

Why it matters: Pools come with a range of equipment that requires regular maintenance and occasional repairs.

Deep Dive: A sound understanding of equipment, from pumps and filters to heaters, is necessary. The technician should be adept at troubleshooting issues, recommending appropriate solutions, and ensuring the longevity and efficiency of these systems.

Physical strength and endurance

Why it matters: The job isn't just technical; it can also be physically demanding.

Deep Dive: Tasks may include lifting heavy equipment, bending or crouching for extended periods, or working in varying weather conditions. A technician must be prepared for this physicality to efficiently and safely execute their tasks.

Job opportunities and growth in the pool industry

Job prospects for pool technicians are promising. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics expects a 5% increase in the employment rate among grounds maintenance staff, which includes these professionals, from 2019-2029 due largely to higher demand for their services and more swimming pools constructed domestically and commercially. Those with experience can obtain competitive pay levels when working at big companies assigned by well-known resorts, hotels, or fitness centers.


Establishing your own pool service business

Having a professional pool service business can come with multiple advantages, such as:

  • More control over your career path
  • Increased earning potential
  • And personal growth as an entrepreneur

Starting a pool service business allows you to scale beyond your technical skillset into something bigger than yourself. You can hire a team, expand to multiple service areas in your city or town, and start to increase revenue exponentially.

To truly thrive in this business, it's crucial to consider and implement several key strategies:

  1. Foster long-term client relationships: Building trust with your customers is fundamental. By delivering consistent, high-quality service, you can ensure that clients will continue to choose your business over competitors and even refer you to others.
  2. Prioritize customer rare: Respond promptly to inquiries, be attentive to customer feedback, and ensure every client feels valued. Personalized care can differentiate your business in a crowded market.
  3. Network within the industry: By attending trade fairs and other industry events, you can stay connected with peers, learn about potential opportunities, and even establish partnerships that might benefit your business in the long run.
  4. Stay updated on pool maintenance techniques: The world of pool care is ever-evolving. Ensure you're updated about the latest methodologies, tools, and products to ensure your services are top-tier.
  5. Invest in cutting-edge technology: Tools like automated or robotic pool cleaners can significantly enhance the efficiency of your services. Such investments optimize the cleaning process and also reduce manual labor, potentially saving time and money.
  6. Prioritize pool technician certifications: Earning recognized certifications in the pool service industry enhances your credibility and showcases your commitment to adhering to the highest standards. Clients are likelier to trust and hire technicians who have proven their expertise through formal certification.

By meticulously following these strategies, you can position your business to attract new clients while continually maintaining the highest service standards. This dual approach of growth and quality will cement your reputation in the pool service industry.


Preparing an effective pool technician resume

When composing a resume for pool technician positions, showcasing your applicable experience, certifications, and competencies is important. Be sure to prominently feature your CPO qualification (if you've got it) – these show potential employers how committed you are to staying up-to-date with pool service best practices.

Zippia's AI Resume Builder is an excellent tool that uses AI to help people create better, more comprehensive resumes. It gives helpful advice and specific examples to show job seekers how to highlight their strengths and qualifications. A great resume can make you stand out even before the interview, so use all the help you can get to increase your chances!

Tips for a successful job search in the pool industry

Finding quality pool technician jobs requires a multi-pronged approach. Here are some tips for getting hired quickly.

  • Networking: Build connections with field service professionals (not just pool service pros) to build a solid referral network.
  • Attend industry events: This helps you meet potential employers and learn about upcoming trends.
  • Join professional organizations and Chamber of Commerce meetups: Membership increases your industry visibility and connects you with like-minded professionals.
  • Engage proactively: Active engagement with peers can help unearth fresh employment prospects.
  • Research employers: Gaining knowledge about potential employers shows dedication and initiative.
  • Stay updated on trends: Knowing the latest in the pool industry can make you a more attractive applicant.
  • Pursue certifications: Shows your commitment to quality and can give you an edge in pool technician jobs.
  • Master maintenance techniques: Being well-versed in current products and processes will set you apart from other candidates and ensure better service delivery.

Final thoughts

Navigating the pool industry job market might seem daunting, but you can significantly elevate your chances with the right tactics. Whether you're aiming for pool technician jobs or other roles within the sector, remember that a blend of networking, continuous learning, and showcasing your expertise will set you apart.

Stay proactive, continually grow your skill set, and prioritize engaging with the community. With dedication and the right approach, you'll find the right job and excel in your chosen career path in the pool industry.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does a pool technician earn in Florida?

The average salary of a pool technician in Florida is approximately $32,000 annually. This figure ranges from $17,000 to around $54,500 every year.

How do I become a pool cleaner in Texas?

For those interested in becoming a certified pool cleaner in Texas, Pool Certs' online course is one of the best ways to get CPO-certified.

How much does a pool technician earn in California?

Pool technicians in California earn an average income of around $34,000 annually, with wages ranging from $18,000 to a maximum of about $56,000 according to their levels of proficiency and experience.

What is another name for pool technician?

Another common name for a pool technician is "pool service professional" or "pool maintenance specialist."

Do I need a college degree to become a pool technician?

No, a college degree is not typically required to become a pool technician. However, you'll want to compensate with specialized training, certifications, and hands-on experience if you don’t have a college degree.

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