How to Become a Certified Lifeguard

A lifeguard watching kids in the pool

When you think about summer jobs, one of the first that probably comes to mind is working as a lifeguard. Whether it’s at a public pool, rec center, or summer camp, lifeguards are essential for keeping people safe while they’re in and around water. Becoming a lifeguard, though, isn’t as simple as just submitting a job application. There is training required for the job to make sure they are prepared to respond in emergencies.

Choosing a Lifeguard Certification Course

The first thing to do if you’re interested in working as a lifeguard is finding a certification course that you can take to learn all of the skills needed for the job. Many institutions offer lifeguard certification courses. It’s important to know before choosing a course if the location you want to apply to work at accepts all certifications or only specific ones.

What to Expect from a Lifeguarding Course

Every lifeguard certification course will be somewhat different based on the organization that provides the training. However, they will all focus on skills that will help to promote water safety. A typical course will require prerequisites to ensure that participants can complete the basic swimming skills needed for the course. These prerequisites can include skills such as:

  • Swimming a specified distance continuously and under a set time.
  • Being able to dive from the surface of the water to retrieve objects.
  • Treading water for a specified amount of time.

Once the prerequisites have been passed, the actual class will begin! In your course, you will participate in classroom and in-water sessions to learn various exciting and valuable skills that can come in handy around water or in your everyday routine. These skills will include things like:

  • CPR
  • First Aid
  • Water Rescue Skills for Various Situations
  • Care for Spinal Injuries

Once you have passed your lifeguarding course and received your certification, it’s time to apply for the job! Be sure to carefully read all the sections on the application, completely fill out each section, and proofread your answers before you click submit. Potential employers will more than likely ask you to prove your skills as a lifeguard, so be sure to review them before heading into your interview.

Apply for Your Lifeguarding Job

Once you have passed your lifeguarding course and received your certification, it’s time to apply for the job! Be sure to carefully read all the sections on the application, completely fill out each section, and proofread your answers before you click submit. You will more than likely be asked by potential employers to prove your skills as a lifeguard, so be sure to review them and before heading into your interview.

At the Y, we believe that well-trained lifeguards are essential to help promote water safety and preventing incidents. Our lifeguard training courses meet the standards needed to keep everyone safe around water. We also offer lifeguard positions to those who hold certifications in order to keep every YMCA body of water safe.

Have more questions about becoming a certified lifeguard? Contact us today!