What You Should Know Before Getting into the Swimming Pool Industry

The swimming pool industry is growing, and now is a prime time to dive into this thriving field. With rising demand for pools in residential areas, luxury hotels and fitness centers, the industry outlook is bright and flowing with opportunities for job seekers. From swimming pool design to construction, sales to service, there are many career lanes to consider.  

Whether you are a professional ready to re-energize your career or a student considering what to do after high school graduation, the swimming pool industry offers pathways for you to pursue based on your interests and skillset. Before you begin your job search, get to know more about the size and scope of the industry – and where it’s headed for the future.  

Sizing Up the Pool Industry 

You may be wondering, how big is the swimming pool industry? In 2021, the global swimming pool construction market was valued at $6.7 billion, and it’s projected to reach $8.4 billion by 2027, according to market research. That’s a big splash!  

This robust, growing industry also has a strong track record of success. From 2012 to 2021, new residential inground pool construction in the U.S. increased annually by an average rate of 8.2%, per the Pool & Hot Tub Alliance (PHTA) 2021 Market Report. Aboveground pool sales saw a boost, too, with an average increase of 8% between 2016 to 2021. 

These swimming pool industry statistics reflect the health of the market, adding up to strong job stability and employment growth. After all, more pools mean more work for builders, manufacturers, service technicians, salespeople and other employees throughout the industry.  

The pool installer field is expected to grow 14% between 2018 and 2028, creating more than 68,000 jobs. And as pools grow in number, there’s a positive ripple effect in other sectors of the industry. For example, job growth for swim instructors is projected to grow 13% by 2028. 

Careers Across the Swimming Pool Industry 

The swimming pool industry provides more pathways than you may think. Whether you are eager to earn while you learn a trade, have a strong mathematical background, or prefer to put your swimming skills into action, be sure to explore each sector of the industry before you make your next career move. 

For skilled trades, consider getting into the building or service sectors. Construction laborers, tile setters and pool maintenance and service technicians develop skills that are in demand, and a strong work ethic can help you quickly advance into management roles. Job satisfaction in the skilled trades is extremely high, with 83% of tradespeople satisfied in their choice of work, according to Angi's Skilled Trades in America Report. Variation in projects, the ability to work outdoors, and strong teamwork make these types of jobs rewarding. 

Alternative opportunities await in manufacturing and retail. Sales representatives and managers in both sectors serve as advocates for the swimming pool industry, connecting clients with materials that make their swimming pool dreams come true. The median salary for a sales rep in the U.S. is more than $55,000, making this a reliable career option. If the gift of gab is not your strongest asset, there are many other high-growth jobs in these sectors, including warehouse and operations roles or engineering and chemistry positions for the more science savvy. Let your skills steer you in the right direction. 

Not to be overlooked is the swim instruction sector, which gives you the chance to make a difference in people’s lives. Lifeguards, swim instructors and swim school directors play a pivotal role in drowning prevention and make pools safer for their communities. In fact, learning to swim from a qualified instructor reduces the risk of drowning by 88% for children ages 1 to 4. Strong swimming abilities and a desire to teach will help you go far in this impactful sector of the industry. 

Swimming Pool Industry Trends 

As you embark on a career in aquatics, it’s important to take stock of what direction the swimming pool industry is trending and what the future may hold. New technologies and client expectations for pool design and landscaping keep innovation at the forefront.

More and more homeowners are thinking beyond the basic backyard pool. They want to create beautiful aquatic destinations for entertaining and seek out luxury design elements, such as waterfalls or pool bars. “Just as other products are getting ‘smarter’ and ‘greener’, so is the swimming pool industry,” says Rick Woemmel, President of Bi-State Pool & Spa in Missouri. “Products and projects continuously evolve and the old rectangle 2-D pools of 30 years ago are now 3-D pieces of art that involve family living and not just swimming.” 

All sectors of the industry are embracing technology and automation in ways that make processes easier for both workers and clients. Construction methods, pool equipment and customer service are increasingly digital. More user-friendly equipment and advanced apps for service troubleshooting empower pool users to address more issues without a technician on site, allowing technicians to enjoy a greater work-life balance.