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What is Swimming Pool Design?

Swimming is a major hobby and recreational sport for many individuals. Swimming pool design refers to the design and creation of the different types of swimming pools and their accessories.

Although they may seem like something of a modern invention, swimming pools and similar manmade bodies of water are actually an ancient art form. Ancient civilizations, for example, created buildings with pools of water to be used as public bathhouses. Today, it is not uncommon to find all different styles of swimming pools – from simple to ornate – in backyards across the world.

There are several different types of swimming pools. Traditional pools can either be installed above the ground or sunk into the ground. Because of their location, the designs of many above ground swimming pools are somewhat limited, and these generally only come in a few different shapes and depths. Designers typically have more leeway when designing below ground swimming pools, however. For instance, below ground pools can often be made in nearly any shape, with varying depths.

Individuals also have the option of choosing from a traditional swimming pool design and a natural swimming pool design. Natural swimming pools are pools that are made mostly from natural materials, and they are created to mimic the look of a natural body of water, although they also have many of the same amenities as a traditional swimming pool. These pools will often have aquatic vegetation and even fish, for instance, but they will also usually have filtration systems and drains as well.

What Does a Swimming Pool Designer Do?

Simply put, a swimming pool designer designs swimming pools. These types of designers will sometimes create custom swimming pool designs for private clients, like individuals or community centers, and some will create designs for commercial swimming pool manufacturers. During the design process, designers must take into consideration the wants, needs, and budgets of their clients.

A designer will often have to design and draw the visible parts of the pool as well as the non-visible parts of the pool, such as the filtration system and pipes. Most swimming pool designers also have a hand in designing any added swimming pool accessories, such as attached decks, slides, diving boards, and spa systems. When designing a swimming pool, a swimming pool designer must create a pool that is not only functional, but also safe, practical, and aesthetically pleasing, as well as possible.

Safety is a major concern when designing swimming pools. Improperly designed swimming pools can be very dangerous, and designers can possibly be liable for any injuries suffered when swimmers are using their pools. Properly designed swimming pools should include safe entry and exit apparatuses, like diving boards and ladders.

A swimming pool designer must also concentrate on the structural integrity of every swimming pool that he designs. Swimming pools must be designed and built to last, and designers will often need to keep the locations of swimming pools in mind before designing them. In colder areas they should be able to withstand freezing temperatures, for instance, but they should be built to withstand earthquakes in earthquake zones.
The shape of a swimming pool is also an important aspect of swimming pool design. Generally the most common swimming pools shapes include squares, rectangles, circles, and ovals. Other pools shapes, like kidney shapes and oval shapes, are also quite common. When designing a custom swimming pool, a swimming pool designer must make sure that it is possible and practical to make it a particular shape.

Swimming pool designers will also usually determine what a certain swimming pool should be made from. Some of the most common swimming pool materials include vinyl, fiberglass, and gunite. Metal rods and bars can also be used for support, and concrete can be used to make below ground swimming pools.

Once swimming pool designers design a swimming pool, they will also usually oversee the manufacturing or installation process.

What is the Average Salary for a Swimming Pool Designer?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics does not have any specific data relating to the salaries of swimming pools designers. According to SimplyHired.com, however, the average annual salary of a swimming pool designer was roughly $57,000 in 2011.

The salary of a swimming pool designer will most likely be determined by several factors, though. Professional designers living in populated areas in warm climates, for instance, will most likely receive more work, which means that they will be paid more.

What are the Education Requirements for Becoming a Swimming Pool Designer?

Technically, swimming pool design is a specialized type of architecture or civil engineering. Individuals interested in a swimming pool design career should consider earning a degree in either of these fields. Generally, a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree is necessary before starting this type of career.

After graduating, aspiring swimming pools designers may consider completing an apprenticeship. These opportunities will enable budding designers to get valuable experience in this field, while honing their skills. Once they complete an apprenticeship, swimming pool designers should also consider taking an examination to become accredited by the Association of Pool and Spa Professionals.

What can I do With a Degree in Swimming Pool Design?

Individuals who are looking at a swimming pool design career have several different employment options. Professionals in this field may be employed by swimming pool manufacturers to create mass produced swimming pools. They might also be employed by landscape artists and architecture firms as well.

As a swimming pool designer, you can also choose to go into business for yourself. For instance, you could start a swimming pool design and construction company, which caters to clients who are looking for custom swimming pools.

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