December 3, 2023
  1. Becoming a lifeguard is a highly rewarding and challenging job. It is a profession that requires individuals to be vigilant responsible and physically fit. As a lifeguard, you have the crucial responsibility of ensuring the safety of swimmers and preventing accidents. If you are interested in becoming a lifeguard, there are specific steps you need to take to get certified. 

In this article, we will discuss how to become a lifeguard, the necessary qualifications and skills, and what to expect during the training.

Qualifications and Skills required to become a Lifeguard

To become a lifeguard, you must meet specific qualifications and possess particular skills. Firstly, you must be at least 15 years old and possess a high school diploma or equivalent. You must also be proficient in swimming, as you will be responsible for rescuing swimmers in distress. You should be comfortable in deep water and be able to swim at least 300 yards continuously. 

Additionally, you must be able to retrieve a 10-pound object from the bottom of the pool and swim it back to the starting point without assistance. Apart from swimming proficiency, you should also possess excellent communication and observation skills. 

As a lifeguard, you will be required to communicate with swimmers, colleagues, and supervisors effectively. You will also need to have exceptional observation skills to spot potential hazards and quickly react in emergency situations.

Lifeguard training

Lifeguard training is a comprehensive program designed to equip individuals with the necessary skills and knowledge to become professional lifeguards. Lifeguard classes usually last between 25 to 30 hours and are typically taught by certified lifeguard instructors. During the training, you will learn various essential skills, including:

  • Water rescue techniques
  • CPR and First Aid
  • AED usage
  • Basic life support
  • Oxygen administration
  • Pool management and rules
  • Communication skills

Lifeguard training is rigorous and requires physical fitness, as you will be required to perform various swimming and rescue techniques. However, the training is designed to be fun and interactive, making it an enjoyable experience for all participants.

Lifeguard certification

After completing the lifeguard training, you will be required to take a final written and practical exam to receive certification. The exam tests your knowledge and understanding of the skills you learned during the training. You will be required to demonstrate your ability to rescue a swimmer in distress, administer first aid, and perform CPR effectively. If you pass the exam, you will be awarded a lifeguard certification, which is valid for two years.

Maintaining Lifeguard certification

To maintain your lifeguard certification, you must participate in ongoing training and education. Lifeguarding is a profession that requires you to stay up-to-date with the latest techniques and skills. Regular training and education will help you remain competent and confident in your abilities as a lifeguard.

Job Opportunities for Lifeguards

Lifeguarding is a profession that offers various job opportunities. You can work as a lifeguard in various settings, including:

  • Swimming pools
  • Water parks
  • Beaches
  • Lakes
  • Resorts
  • Cruise ships
  • Fitness centers

Lifeguarding can be a full-time or part-time job, depending on your availability and preferences. Many lifeguards work during the summer months when demand for their services is high. Some lifeguards also work on a year-round basis, depending on the location and the employer.

The Benefits of Becoming a Lifeguard

Becoming a lifeguard comes with numerous benefits. Firstly, it is a great way to earn money while enjoying the outdoors and staying fit. Lifeguarding is a physically demanding job, and it requires individuals to stay in excellent shape. Secondly, lifeguarding is a great way to develop essential life skills, such as communication, problem-solving, and decision-making. 

These skills are transferable to other areas of life, making lifeguarding a great starting point for young people looking to enter the workforce. Additionally, lifeguarding provides individuals with a sense of purpose and responsibility, knowing that they are responsible for the safety of others.

How the American Lifeguard Association Can Help

The American Lifeguard Association (ALA) is a nationally recognized organization that provides training, certification, and support for lifeguards across the country. The ALA is dedicated to promoting water safety and providing individuals with the necessary skills to become professional lifeguards. The ALA offers various training programs, including lifeguard classes, CPR certification, and first aid training. 

The organization also provides ongoing support and education to help lifeguards stay current and competent in their roles. By choosing to become certified by the ALA, you will be joining a network of professional lifeguards committed to promoting water safety and saving lives.


Becoming a lifeguard is a fulfilling and rewarding profession that requires individuals to be physically fit, observant, and excellent communicators. Lifeguard training is essential to becoming a certified professional and requires commitment and dedication. 

However, the benefits of becoming a lifeguard are numerous, including earning money while staying fit developing essential life skills and having a sense of purpose and responsibility. The American Lifeguard Association is an organization that can help individuals become certified and provide ongoing support and education to lifeguards across the country. 

With the necessary qualifications and skills, becoming a lifeguard can be a fulfilling and life-changing experience. Make searches of ‘lifeguard certification near me’ on the internet to find an ALA training center near you.

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