How Do I Become a Water Safety Instructor?

Jennifer Leigh

There are four steps that you must take to become a water safety instructor: show proficient swimming skills, take classes, become certified, and apply for positions. The exact requirements vary depending on which part of the world you live in, so it is important to check with local government authorities to find out more details before beginning your quest to become a water safety instructor. In some places, such as the U.S., you must be at least 16-years-old to begin training for the position, and most classes are certified by the American Red Cross.

Water safety instructors who are involved in instructing divers must be familiar with first aid procedures.
Water safety instructors who are involved in instructing divers must be familiar with first aid procedures.

The first qualification you need to undertake to become a water safety instructor is to become a proficient swimmer. You need to be able to do the major types of swim stroke styles, including front crawl, back crawl, breaststroke, and backstroke. If you currently are unable to perform these swim styles, you will need to learn before qualifying to become a water safety instructor.

A water safety instructor must know how to perform CPR.
A water safety instructor must know how to perform CPR.

After you have become a proficient swimmer in the major areas, you can locate water safety instructor training courses in your area. Check with your local public safety department, public pools, and beach authorities to find out where classes are located. Once you sign up for the courses, which usually require a fee, you can begin training to become a water safety instructor. In the U.S., expect to spend at least 30 hours training for minimum certification.

Once you complete the water safety instructor training courses, you will gain certification to work as an instructor. At this point, you can decide the type of classes that you would like to teach. Water safety instructors teach beginning classes to children and adults, safety training for swimming teachers and coaches, and make presentations on water safety to groups. In order to teach certain classes, you must take additional training classes to be certified as an advanced instructor. In addition, you can further your education and become a lifeguard with more training.

The last step to become a water safety instructor is to find a job teaching. Many public and private pools offer swimming classes to children and adults, so you can begin your search by checking with those located in your area. Water parks and fitness centers also have the need for water safety instructors. You will need to fill out an application with your experience and training listed before you can be hired for a position.

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