What It Takes to Become a Successful Trained Lifeguard - Newslibre

What It Takes to Become a Successful Trained Lifeguard

Most of the time, lifeguards keep silent watch over swimmers, but they have the training to leap into action when an emergency arises. They help prevent dangerous situations at beaches and swimming pools and play a critical role in water safety.

If you’re a strong swimmer with a passion for helping others, learn what it takes to become a trained lifeguard. Plus, you’ll learn great life skills like teamwork and responsibility.

Decide What Type of Certification You Want

The first step is to decide what type of lifeguard job you want. For example, if you’d like to work at a neighbourhood pool or aquatic centre, you’d need a shallow watercourse for lifeguards working around 5 feet of water or less. Aspiring beach lifeguards would look for open water courses.

Some courses are a mix of online and in-person sessions, while some are completely in-person. Think about your schedule, career goals, and your learning style to make the best choice.

Make Sure You Meet the Prerequisites

While the exact requirements may depend on your state and type of certification, most programs have an age requirement and a swimming test. In most states, you must be over the age of 15. You also need to prove that you have strong swimming skills, which is why most classes start with a swimming pre-test.

Typically, you’ll have to swim several hundred yards while breathing properly, tread water without using your arms, and rescue an underwater object within a time limit.

Check the Lifeguard Requirements in Your State

First, look for lifeguarding jobs in your area. Once you make a list of some possibilities, see which state certifications they’re looking for. Some facilities, such as the YMCA, will even cover the certification cost and offer in-house training.

Most pools and aquatic centres require certification classes that have approval from your state’s Department of Health. If you’re unsure about the requirements for your location, you can reach out to facilities that are hiring for more information.

Complete the Certification Course

Once you meet the prerequisites and check your local laws, it’s time to sign up for a course. Most courses will take between 25 and 30 hours over several days or weeks. You’ll learn about the signs of drowning, performing water rescues, and providing emergency first aid. While first aid training is part of the job, the required CPR certification has many advantages that benefit yourself and others outside of lifeguarding. You may need to use CPR in cases of drowning or cardiac events.

Maintain Your Lifeguard Certification

Lifeguard certifications typically last for two years, so keep track of the date yours will expire. Renewal courses are usually much shorter than your initial certification. If you want to continue, make sure to renew your certification before the deadline to avoid a lapse in employment.

Next Steps

Do you have what it takes to become a trained lifeguard? If you enjoy spending time near the water and would like to learn valuable first-aid skills, you should consider becoming a certified lifeguard. It can be a rewarding career with many opportunities.


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