What it takes to get a Lifeguard Certification
Whether it’s a summer outdoor position or working indoors during the colder months, being a lifeguard offers flexibility, plenty of time poolside, and valuable skills. You’ll combine your love of swimming with the benefits of altruism by keeping the pool safe for all.
To get you prepared for a position as a lifeguard, here’s a rundown of what it takes to get a lifeguard certification:
The Swim Test
Before you start training make sure you’ve mastered the basics. The required swim test will check your swimming abilities. To complete this test you’ll need to:
Swim 300 yards (or about 6 laps)
Tread water (for 2 minutes, legs only)
Complete a timed event (see how to pass the brick test)
American Red Cross Lifeguard Training
Now that you have the basics, it’s time to enroll in certification training. Start with the Red Cross — check your state’s requirements to see what courses to take. Generally, lifeguard training takes 25 hours to complete with weekend, accelerated, and written online training options available. Over the course of training, you’ll become comfortable with:
– Preventing, recognizing, and responding to emergencies in the water
– Providing care for breathing and cardiac injury
– Applying proper first-aid
– Administering CPR and AED treatment
To demonstrate your understanding you’ll need to attend all classes, pass a written test (with a score of 80% or better), and successfully complete 3 skill scenarios. After you’ve passed — with flying colors– you’ll receive an American Red Cross certificate. Valid for two years, you can show off your lifesaving abilities and apply to any lifeguard position with confidence.
It’s not too soon to think about a job as a lifeguard. Join a junior lifeguard program to prepare!
By signing up for training through Guard For Life, we can guide you through the process and help you figure out what training you need based on your schedule, prior certifications, experience, where you live, and which pools are hiring. We can also help you find and apply for jobs. For more read “How to Become a Lifeguard: 5 Steps” or visit our “Become A Lifeguard” page.