Lifeguard Training Near Me

Lifeguard and safety training courses are widely available across the United States. However, it can feel overwhelming researching the hows and whys of lifeguard training. In this article, we'll explain what certifications are needed, where you can find lifeguard certification classes and what a typical lifeguard training program would cover.

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Finding Lifeguard Training Near You

Lifeguards must undergo rigorous training before qualifying. While this can seem confusing, it's rather simple and far more accessible than some think. We'll explain the answers to the most frequency asked questions by prospective lifeguards.

What certifications will I need?

In order to become a lifeguard, you must meet certain prerequisites and then successfully complete an approved lifeguard training course. All lifeguard classes will include First Aid and CPR/AED.

The prerequisites for lifeguarding are fairly simple but do differ by course. Firstly, to undertake a lifeguard training program, you must be at least 15 years old before the end of the course. However, some areas may have a higher minimum age, such as 17 years+. Furthermore, it is also, understandably, necessary that lifeguards can swim to a decent level so you must be able to demonstrate competency.

For American Aquatics Safety Training classes you must be able to complete the following –

  • Swim 300 yards continuously in either front crawl or breaststroke.
  • Tread water for 2 minutes.
  • Complete the following timed event within 1 minute and 40 seconds: swim 20 yards, complete a surface dive to a depth of 10 feet of water in order to retrieve a 10-pound object. Once back to the surface, you must swim the same distance back to the starting point to complete the 10-pound object return. Finally, you must exit the water without using a ladder or steps.

Once you've demonstrated proficiency in the swimming-based tests, you will be able to complete registration and enroll on the program. From here, all you need to do is make sure you have proof of registration and any other relevant documentation on your first day of class. These days it really is so accessible to become a lifeguard.

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Where can I get certified to become a lifeguard?

There are lifeguard courses available in every state. It's just important to ensure you enroll on a lifeguarding certification which is both nationally and state-approved. For example, in New York, lifeguard candidates cannot become registered lifeguards without having taken a specific Nassau County lifeguard exam. Such restrictions will differ by state, so it's worth googling the rules in your home state first.

Lifeguard programs do cost, which means you want to ensure you get the best bang for your buck. Many courses will offer a price guarantee or other monetary offers, so it's worth doing your research to get the best deal.

What will lifeguard training cover?

Once you have been enrolled on the course, you will receive the latest training from qualified professionals. In the US, the American Aquatics and Safety Training Lifeguard Certification is what most centers will offer, and is valid for two years upon successful completion. However, the specifics of courses can differ by State. Nonetheless, lifeguarding training always covers the following topics –

  • CPR/ AED Administration
  • First Aid
  • Injury Avoidance
  • Rescue techniques

There is usually more than one basic lifeguarding course. For example, most centres teach basic lifeguarding, waterfront lifeguarding, water safety instructor skills, CPR/AED, and First Aid. Which class will be most suitable for your needs will depend on your existing competency and qualifications.

Ideally, training will take place in person, usually across a period of 26 hours of class teaching. However, there are also blended learning options whereby students combine in-person lifeguarding training with online lifeguarding classes. For this option, students will usually do 19 hours of in-person class training and 7 hours of online class. Both course options are excellent, so it is simply dependent upon which learning option best suits the individual.

To complete a lifeguarding class, students will have to demonstrate proficiency at all water-based skills as well as complete written examinations.

Once completed, you'll be a certified instructor for up to two years from the date of completion. After two years, lifeguards simply have to undertake a lifeguard recertification course to ensure their skills are up-to-date and of the highest quality.

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