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How to Become a Lifeguard: Tips and Steps for Aspiring Lifeguards

Welcome, great people! Are you interested in becoming a lifesaver and safeguarding the lives of swimmers and beachgoers? If yes, then becoming a lifeguard might be the perfect career for you. A lifeguard is a trained water rescuer who monitors and ensures the safety of swimmers, surfers, and other water enthusiasts. In this comprehensive article, we will cover everything you need to know about how to become a lifeguard - from qualifications to tips to stand out during job interviews.

How to Become a Lifeguard

Advantages and Disadvantages of Being a Lifeguard

Before we proceed with the steps, let us first consider the advantages and disadvantages of becoming a lifeguard:


1. Chance to Save Lives: As a lifeguard, you will be trained in various rescue techniques that can help you save someone's life.

2. Stay Fit: Lifeguarding involves regular swimming, running, and other physical activities, which will keep you physically fit.

3. Work Outdoors: Lifeguarding is primarily an outdoor job, which means you'll have plenty of opportunities to enjoy the fresh air and sunshine.

4. Build Life Skills: Lifeguarding involves teamwork, communication, problem-solving, and leadership skills that can be useful in any career.

5. Interact with People: Lifeguards are often seen as friendly and approachable, and you'll have the opportunity to interact with people of all ages and backgrounds.

6. Expand Your Network: Lifeguarding is a great way to build connections within the community, including other lifeguards, swimmers, and beachgoers.

7. Good Pay: Lifeguarding may not be the highest-paying job, but it pays well above the minimum wage and often includes benefits such as healthcare and retirement.


1. Demanding Job: Lifeguarding requires constant vigilance and attention to detail, making it mentally and physically exhausting.

2. Challenging Environment: Lifeguards work in challenging environments such as strong currents, high waves, and extreme heat or cold.

3. Responsibility: Lifeguards are responsible for the well-being of others, which can be emotionally taxing.

4. Risk of Injury: Just like any job, lifeguarding comes with a risk of injury, especially during rescues.

5. Strict Rules: Lifeguards must adhere to strict rules and procedures at all times, which can be tedious and stressful.

6. Long Hours: Lifeguarding usually requires long hours, including weekends and holidays, which may not be suitable for everyone.

7. Seasonal Work: Lifeguarding is often a seasonal job, which means you'll have to look for other options during off-seasons.

Steps to Become a Lifeguard

Now that you know the advantages and disadvantages of becoming a lifeguard, let's dive into the steps you need to take to become one.

Step Description
Step 1 Meet the Qualifications: You must be at least 15 years old, physically fit, and able to swim a minimum of 100 meters to become a lifeguard. You may also need to obtain a cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) certification and first-aid training.
Step 2 Complete a Lifeguard Training Course: You can enroll in a lifeguard training course offered by organizations such as the American Red Cross or the YMCA. Training courses typically cover water safety, rescue techniques, CPR, and first-aid training.
Step 3 Pass the Lifeguard Certification Test: To become a certified lifeguard, you must pass a test that evaluates your swimming, rescue techniques, and CPR and first-aid skills. The test may be conducted by the organization that provided the training course or a third-party provider.
Step 4 Gain Relevant Experience: Once you become a certified lifeguard, it's important to gain relevant experience that can help you stand out during job interviews. You can volunteer at local swimming pools or water parks or work as an assistant lifeguard.
Step 5 Apply for Lifeguard Jobs: You can apply for lifeguard jobs at local swimming pools, water parks, beaches, or other aquatic facilities. Make sure to tailor your resume and cover letter to the job and highlight your relevant skills and experience.
Step 6 Prepare for Job Interviews: Job interviews for lifeguard positions often involve scenarios that test your rescue techniques and problem-solving skills. Be prepared to answer questions about your CPR and first-aid knowledge, as well as your experience dealing with swimmers and other water enthusiasts.
Step 7 Get Hired as a Lifeguard: Congratulations, you've made it! If you successfully pass the job interview, you'll receive an offer to work as a lifeguard. Make sure to complete any necessary paperwork, such as tax forms or employee training, and get ready for your first day on the job.


1. What are the age requirements to become a lifeguard?

Most lifeguard training courses require individuals to be at least 15 years old.

2. Do I need to know how to swim to become a lifeguard?

Yes, you must be able to swim at least 100 meters to become a lifeguard.

3. Can I become a lifeguard if I don't have any CPR or first-aid training?

No, CPR and first-aid training are usually required to become a certified lifeguard.

4. How long does it take to become a certified lifeguard?

It typically takes around 25-30 hours to complete a lifeguard training course and pass the certification test. However, the duration may vary depending on the course provider and your pace of learning.

5. What kind of jobs can I apply for as a certified lifeguard?

You can apply for lifeguard positions at local swimming pools, water parks, beaches, or other aquatic facilities.

6. What kind of skills do I need to become a lifeguard?

You need to have excellent swimming skills, physical fitness, CPR and first-aid knowledge, as well as communication, problem-solving, and leadership skills.

7. Is lifeguarding a good career?

Lifeguarding can be a rewarding career if you enjoy working outdoors, interacting with people, and making a difference in the lives of others.

8. What is the pay scale for lifeguards?

The pay scale for lifeguards varies depending on the location, type of employer, and level of experience. However, lifeguards typically earn more than minimum wage and often include benefits such as healthcare and retirement.

9. Is lifeguarding a seasonal job?

Yes, lifeguarding is often a seasonal job, especially for those working at beaches or outdoor pools. However, some indoor facilities may hire lifeguards year-round.

10. Can I become a lifeguard if I have a medical condition?

It depends on the type of medical condition and its severity. Some conditions may disqualify you from becoming a lifeguard due to safety concerns.

11. What kind of uniform do lifeguards wear?

Lifeguards usually wear red or orange swimsuits or rashguards, and may also wear hats, sunglasses, and sunscreen for protection from the sun.

12. What is the most common type of rescue technique used by lifeguards?

The most common type of rescue technique used by lifeguards is the "rescue tube" or "torpedo buoy," which helps them reach and tow a victim to safety.

13. Can I become a lifeguard if I wear glasses or contact lenses?

Yes, you can wear prescription glasses or contact lenses while lifeguarding. You may also consider purchasing prescription goggles for better visibility in the water.


Congratulations on reaching the end of this comprehensive guide on how to become a lifeguard. We hope this article has provided you with the necessary information and inspiration to pursue a career in lifeguarding. Remember, becoming a lifeguard is not just a job, it's a responsibility to ensure the safety and well-being of others.

If you're ready to take the plunge, go ahead and enroll in a lifeguard training course, gain relevant experience, and apply for lifeguard jobs. With determination, hard work, and a love for the water, you can become a certified lifeguard and make a difference in your community.

So what are you waiting for? Put on your swimsuit and join the elite group of lifesavers who make a difference every day.



Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and should not be relied upon as legal, financial, or medical advice. Before applying for any lifeguard job, please consult the relevant authorities and your hiring manager for accurate and up-to-date information.