Learn To Lifeguard

Updated: May 19, 2020

If you are looking to make extra money on the weekends or need money to get through college and want to be outside for the summer, then taking a lifeguarding class could be an option for you. Actually it is a job you can choose to do all year round since there are many pools at schools, local gyms, and resorts.


There are different options when it comes to certifications but here we will take a look at the American Red Cross track.


There are prerequisites. These may vary slightly so check with your local facility but here are a few basic guidelines.


Participants must be at least 15 years old and pass a swim test in order to enter the class. There will be a small upfront fee for this test. You will need to be able to complete the following 3 steps to be accepted into the class.


1. Swim 300 yards in a continuous manner while displaying rhythmic breathing. A combination of front crawl (freestyle) and breaststroke may be required. Goggles are permitted.




2. Starting in the water, swim 20 yards and perform a surface dive to a depth of 7-10 feet, to retrieve a 10-pound object. Return to the surface and swim back with the object and exit the water. Goggles are not permitted and this skill needs to be completed in 1 minute 40 seconds.


3. Tread in deep water for 2 minutes using only your legs.


The course itself consists of about 30 hours of a combination of pool, classroom time, or online work, depending on what is being offered. You will also learn CPR, First Aid, and AED skills. There will be a water test and two written tests that need to be completed in order to obtain your base level lifeguard certificate. Classes can be offered on weekends, evenings, or a combination.


You can go directly to the American Red Cross website and click on training and certifications to find out about the fees, and class scheduling near you.