Finding a Lifeguard Certification Class Near You
So you’ve decided you want to become a lifeguard? Great! However, it’s not as easy as you may think. It’s a serious job, as the name suggests, you’ll be responsible for ensuring people’s safety and well being. Lifeguard training is a rigorous process, so make sure this is what you want to do because it requires 100 percent effort.
If you’ve decided that being a lifeguard is definitely the right career path for you, you’ll need to find a lifeguard certification class. But you may be wondering where you’re supposed to start. What classes do you need to take? Where can you take them?
We’ve answered these questions and more in this useful guide. From how to find lifeguard classes to preparing to take the test. If you’re ready to take the plunge, be sure to read on to find out how to get into this exciting career.
These days there are numerous places to find a lifeguard training program. Your first stop is probably going to be online. The American Red Cross offers all types of safety training and as a Red Cross lifeguard, you’ll have received guidance from trained professionals.
You could also ask at your local swimming pool. If you’re a regular swimmer it may be easier to get your foot in the door. Many leisure centers and pools run classes so it’s well worth asking around.
There are also many other reputable organizations that offer training courses. Search online and find out which classes are close to you and what they provide, the internet will be your best friend when it comes to finding a suitable training course.
Before you enroll in your chosen course, you’ll usually be required to complete and pass a swimming skills test first. If you’re not 100 percent confident you’ll pass this part, it’s a good idea to take some swimming lessons beforehand, that way you’ll get to practice before and you should have more confidence on the day.
Once you’ve passed that section and you’re enrolled in the course, you’ll receive expert training from a professional water safety instructor. The skills that you’ll develop will be crucial to you becoming a successful lifeguard, and you can usually opt for either classroom training or a mix of online written work and in-person hands-on lessons.
You will learn about the latest rescue techniques and perform life-saving measures such as CPR, AED, and first aid, which are all essential skills required to become a lifeguard. Each class will vary but they’ll all cover a range of important topics that will help you to keep other people, and yourself, safe in the water.
Before you can take your exam, you’ll need to pass three tests - first aid, essential lifeguard training, and CPR/AED for the Professional Rescuer.
It can be nerve-wracking when you come to take your exam, but as long as you’ve done all of your training, you should breeze through it. You’ll need to take your exam at the end of your course. This includes a swimming section as well as the first aid CPR/AED test. Don’t worry though, the swim part is simple, and as long as you practice, it’s super easy to pass.
In total, you must ensure that you can swim for 300 yards continuously. This can be either a front crawl, breaststroke, or a mix of the two. You’ll also have to pass the retrieval test. This involves swimming for around 20 yards and then diving to where a 10-pound weight has been dropped.
You’ll have to pick up the object and swim back to the starting point, holding the weight above the water. Imagine you’re saving someone who is drowning, you need to keep their head above the water so they can breathe. You then need to exit the water without help or using the steps. It’s also mandatory to be able to tread water for at least 2 minutes, using only your legs.
Once you pass your exam, you’ll be a fully qualified United States lifeguard, and your certificate is valid for two years. If you want to continue with your lifeguarding career after two years, you’ll need to take a recertification course. Your exam is just like any other, as long as you've practiced what you'll have to do on the day, you'll be fine. Making sure you attend all of your lifeguarding classes will help tremendously. That way, you'll have all of the information and training that you need, and you won't have missed anything.