Lifeguarding is the perfect summer job for many teens. It is fun, relatively easy, provides a social environment many of us miss when school is not in session, and has significant earning potential since lifeguards are currently such a coveted resource. There aren’t always clear requirements for facilities and organizations that offer training programs.
If you’re thinking about becoming a lifeguard, you need to know everything you need to know about the certification process, from passing the tests to mastering the skills to finding a job. The most common lifeguard certification course that is offered is the American Lifeguard Association course for pools. Depending on the organization that offers training courses can be different from state to state and facility to facility. Some of the information will be the same, but you should check your local facilities for specific information.
Identifying what environment you’re working in is the first thing you need to do. While training to be a lifeguard at a pool is the same as training to be a lifeguard at a beach, you need to take the correct course in order to be certified to work at each place. You need to locate a lifeguard class near me.
Lifeguard certification courses can be taken for up to two years and will include lifeguard, first aid, and CPR. These skills can be used outside lifeguarding as well.
What to look for in a lifeguard certification course
If you’re serious about becoming a professional lifeguard, you need to look into how to get lifeguard certification. The cost of the lifeguard class depends on the location. The price may be higher if the training is being conducted in an expensive city. The length of time required to complete the lifeguard certification varies depending on the state. The state where you live may require anywhere from six months to two years of study. Some states may require a one-year course.
Online lifeguard class
The online portion of the class is needed to complete the next step. Basic knowledge of the different entries and rescues you will use, first aid protocols, neck and spine injuries, and more can be found in this series of videos and questions.
In order to continue with the in-person training, you have to pass the 40-question multiple-choice test with an 80% score. Since the online class takes about 7 hours to complete, make sure you set enough time aside for that, and you will have to show proof of completion of this online section before you can participate in the classroom sessions. You can access the online class through the link provided by the facility.
On-site lifeguard class
On-site lifeguard class consists of two to four days of hands-on practice with entries, rescues, first aid techniques, CPR and equipment, and emergency scenarios. Before taking the class, you must pass a test that tests your water skills. The test is different from program to program, but there is always some combination of swimming, treading water, and diving for a brick.
The lifeguard certification course includes a 300-yard swim, two minutes of no-hand treading, and a timed swim with a 10-pound brick dive in the middle. Lifeguarding can be a physically demanding job, and while you will likely be spending the majority of your time as a lifeguard sitting and watching, lifeguarding can be a physically demanding job.
Physical fitness is important
It isn’t easy to rescue people from the water, so be prepared to spend a lot of time being physically active during the training course. You’ll play both rescuer and victim and get a lot of practice with back boarding as well.
Before you officially get a lifeguard certification, there are three finals that need to be passed. The 35-question multiple-choice test is the first one. It is the same format as the online one, but it focuses more on lifeguarding techniques, rules, and steps than it does on cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
There are two chances to pass the final with at least 80%. In a group of four, the second final is completed. One person plays rescuer, another back-boarder, and the other two come in later with an antidote and a bag valve mask. The goal of this final is for you to act out a scenario where you are providing aid in a group setting and there is a need for cardiopulmonary intervention.
Lifeguard training is essential for working as a lifeguard because people’s lives depend upon you. It helps you to understand the laws of swimming, and how to apply them to save lives in an emergency situation. You should take this course not only to become a lifesaving expert but also to know the basic rules of swimming and safe water activities.
The American Lifeguard Association (ALA) offers lifeguard courses that are designed to provide the participants with the knowledge and skills necessary to be able to perform effectively as a lifeguard at beaches and other aquatic locations.