Top 5 Ways to Make a Living by Swimming

We can’t all be Michael Phelps or Missy Franklin.  We probably won’t go pro or make millions from Nike endorsements. And maybe it’s just me, but we don’t all want to be lifeguards until we’re 60.
Is there any hope?  Is there any way to make a living by swimming?  Believe it or not, there are LOTS of ways to earn money simply by knowing how to swim, some more profitable than others.

5. Dolphin Trainer: $26,000

Trainers have two main responsibilities: to care for the health of the animals, and to teach them awesome tricks.  No college degree is required, although you must love animals and demonstrate your dedication to their well-being.
Although on the lower end of the salary spectrum (around the poverty line for a 4-person household), this career pays off in love and joy when working with the animals.
You will feel satisfied with your job, and will be able to swim and be in the water every single day!  Not to mention the promotion opportunities….you may even get to work with killer whales!

4.  Swim coach: $40,000

The most obvious career choice for a swim enthusiast, being a swim coach is both rewarding and challenging.
To excel at coaching, your life must revolve around the needs of each team member, potentially causing home life to suffer. However, the bonds that you form with your team and each success that you have together will create deep satisfaction and fulfillment in your life, and you will know that you are making a difference.
While you may not be in the water swimming with your team, you can usually use the pool and you’ll be working with swim techniques and strokes all the time!
For a recreational swimmer, especially one with an investment or interest in the community, this is a great opportunity to explore.  Since schools, swim clubs, youth centers and gyms all need swim coaches, there is sure to be something available in your area.  It’s also a great second job or volunteer opportunity to pick up if you are already happily employed elsewhere!

3. Underwater Photographer: $60,000

Who knows what lurks in the depths of the ocean?  Underwater photographers are paid to explore just that, capturing stunning photographs of the plethora of marine life  around the world.
Not only will you get to immerse yourself in beautiful, exotic landscapes all over the world, but you will be in the water, swimming and exploring every day.  And each night, once you are warm and dry, you will have gorgeous, colorful photographs as proof of your adventures.
Nature publications employ hundreds of photographers, but the rarer the fish, the more indispensable you’ll become!

2. Famous Olympian: $6,000,000

If you’re looking for glory and fame to accompany millions, consider a career as a world-famous, record-breaking Olympic swimmer.
While competitors receive nothing but medals from the Olympic committee, individual countries give their athletes cash incentives as gratitude for their excellent performance. The U.S., for instance, pays $25,000 for a gold medal.
Michael Phelps, however, receives the majority of his income from endorsements from major companies such as Visa, Under Armour, and Subway.
His income in 2012 was a whopping $6,000,000, while he is expected to make over $100,000,000 in his lifetime although he has already retired.  Easy money?  Only if you can beat his record as the most decorated Olympian of all time!

1. Shipwreck Explorer: $0 – $76 Million

Since beating Phelps’ records is unlikely and you may know nothing about dolphins or photography, I encourage you to pursue a career in shipwreck exploration.
An unconventional career to say the least, you may need a full bank account to buy the initial equipment, such as diving gear and a boat.
But once you’re diver-certified and find yourself in the middle of the ocean on your newly-acquired boat, the sky’s the limit!  Sunken pirate ships could be anywhere, waiting for you to discover their hidden booty.
The most valuable haul was discovered just last year off the coast of Britain, bringing in $76,000,000 worth of silver bars!  That’s a lot of zeros!  Just imagine, if that was only recovered last year, think how much more treasure is waiting on the sandy ocean floor for YOU?
Although it’s essentially working on commission and you may find nothing at first, perseverance may pay off after all and you may become a billionaire in no time!

But Really……

There are lots of practical, attainable careers that use swimming, such as triathlete, triathlete coach, swim instructor, lifeguard, personal trainer, Coastguard, Navy, Marines, and others!  If you are passionate about making swimming into a career or just volunteering, I would encourage you to explore becoming a coach, trainer, or instructor at any local pool, school, or fitness center.
Would you recommend becoming a swim coach or instructor if shipwreck exploration doesn’t pan out?
What is the most unusual job that you know of involving swimming or water?

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