A lightkeeper is an individual that navigates boats and ships through bodies of water. It is a huge responsibility that involves preventing shipwrecks and saving valuable lives. Traditionally, lighthouse keeping was a generational profession. However, that changed due to technological developments. Continue reading to discover if you have what it takes to become a lightkeeper:
How to become a lightkeeper?
Here is a complete guideline on how to become a lightkeeper:
Since the profession does not have full-time jobs, it will be difficult to find such work presently. However, you can stay at a lighthouse overnight for a genuine experience. It will show the challenges and communication tactics. As a result, you learn how to manage a lighthouse and guide the sea vessels too.
Nowadays, coastal regions and states offer a vacation in a lighthouse. There are also holiday rentals and breakfast options for individuals wishing to become lightkeepers. Look into the services in your area.
Register with a network
If you are interested in becoming a lightkeeper, we suggest becoming part of a professional network. Common examples are a lighthouse society or a park service. These organizations are dedicated to preserving and operating lighthouses. Furthermore, the navy or coast guard does not have authority over the lighthouses under their leadership so they will have employment for you.
In other words, these non-profit organizations search for volunteers. You can also work as a curator or a guide, as lighthouses have become museums.
Being a lightkeeper is volunteer work. However, you can earn a little through the professional during peak season which is late spring to late fall. As the temperature drops, sea adventures become fewer, too, because of extreme fog and unpredictable weather.
When hired as a lightkeeper, duties include performing maintenance and supervising the surrounding ground. Furthermore, you will also be responsible for teaching about lighthouses to the young enthusiasts visiting the location. The employment period lasts from a few days to some weeks. If you have a lighthouse membership, look into that too. Here are the requirements for working as a lightkeeper
- Participating in lightkeeper orientation
- Letter of recommendation and employment references
- Physically reliable with good mental health
- A clean background check
- Commitment to staying for the time mentioned in the contract
- Be of legal age according to local requirements
Becoming a lightkeeper requires extensive knowledge of the sea, oceans, and coastal areas. Therefore, you must explore the topography for geographical knowledge over other candidates. You can visit your area or the country’s parks, lakes, and other historic landmarks. Moreover, you can also visit tourist spots to watch the professionals. As a result, you will stay updated with the nearest lighthouses and the programs they offer.
Have a passion
This is by far an essential requirement of becoming a lightkeeper. The commitment to navigating ships will translate well into the profession. Moreover, learning about maritime terms, history, and lighthouses is also advantageous.
We suggest spending more time on boats and learning about reading maps. In addition, becoming an avid swimmer is also suggested. Furthermore, inquire more about the lighthouse you wish to call your workplace. Even though lighthouses are now turning into historic landmarks, knowing its story will impress the employer.
Which skills are required to become a lightkeeper?
Having the following skills will make you an impressive candidate as a lightkeeper
You must be physically fit if you wish to become a lightkeeper. The job requires heavy lifting and climbing at least 50 stairsteps endless times a day. Moreover, the work hours are long too.
A lightkeeper manages the lighthouses. Therefore, they must be well-spoken and confident in a public setting. For example, speaking to tourists who asked for a lighthouse tour.
Computers and GPS have now replaced navigation systems in lighthouses. Therefore, the lightkeeper must have the sufficient computer knowledge to operate the mechanisms. You can learn the skills through a training course or volunteering at the lighthouse.
Decision-making and delegating authority will make you a successful lightkeeper. Therefore, you must learn to prioritize tasks, supervise tours, and reply to questions instantly. A lightkeeper’s opinion matters, so don’t keep everyone waiting.
Besides being confident in oral speaking, a lightkeeper is also an expert in written communication. The requirement is essential when the lighthouse is in a remote area. Therefore, the lightkeeper will use radio, email, or in-person communication for effective management.
Everyone appreciates a friendly lightkeeper. A welcoming personality attracts more visitors and makes the lighthouse more popular. However, the frequency of tourists depends on the location and the weather.
Working as a lightkeeper is not part of a huge organization where you meet individuals from different departments. Instead, a lightkeeper works individually, making all the decisions. However, they will oversee a small group of employees. Nonetheless, the job gets too quiet at times too.
The Bottom Line
Lightkeeper is a noble professional who has played an important role for centuries. The individual must be versed in federal, local, and state laws. Moreover, they must inquire about the salary because the income will vary according to experience, season, professional background, and company.