Becoming a Certified Lifeguard

Certified Lifeguards oversee the safety and well-being of people at swimming pools, water parks, lake and beaches. They are dedicated to rescue swimmers, surfers, and other people who get into difficulty in and around the water bodies. In certain cases like water sports activities, these professionals are part of the emergency services.

The responsibilities of Certified Lifeguards include preventing people from drowning, carrying out rescues and initiating other emergency action, administering immediate first aid in the event of injury, providing instructions on water safety, taking measures to prevent accidents etc.

Certified Lifeguards are expert swimmers. They are employed at leisure centres, recreational centres, private clubs, community pools, water parks, beaches, etc.

Educational Requirements

To become a Certified Lifeguard, the aspirants need to earn at least a high school diploma or GED equivalent. However the candidates must pass physical fitness tests and obtain a Lifeguard training from a recognized organization. The training program normally covers lifeguard techniques, CPR, AED, first aid and responding to aquatic emergencies.


Certified Lifeguard professionals can obtain exam-based certification from various organizations such as The American Red Cross Lifeguarding program, American Lifeguard Association, the YMCA, NASCO, the Boy Scouts of America etc.

Skill set

Certified Lifeguards must be vigilant at all times. They also possess various traits such as life-saving skills, understanding of safety protocols, knowledge of administering first aid, strong physical and psychological stamina, swimming ability in adverse situation, ability to take precautionary actions etc.

Job Outlook and Salary

The job outlook for a Certified Lifeguard remains excellent across the USA. According to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the growth rate for job opportunities in this profession may rise 10% during 2010-2020. The average annual salary of a Certified Lifeguard was $19,040 in 2013.