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How do I Choose the Best Lifeguard Courses?

Mary McMahon
Updated May 17, 2024
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Lifeguard courses provide training which leads to certification as a lifeguard, allowing people to work as lifeguards at pools, beaches, and other facilities where people play in the water. There are several different kinds of courses open to lifeguards, and people should make sure that they pick the courses which are most appropriate for them.

No matter why one is taking such courses, they should be offered at an accredited facility by an accredited instructor. If courses are not accredited, the certification may not be accepted by all potential employers, and the student may need to take lifeguard courses all over again to get a valid certification. People should also look into the reputation of the facility they are interested in, and get specific information about their scheduling and the cost of the courses so that they can weigh this information when they decide where they want to go.

For people who have no lifeguarding experience, it will be necessary to seek out lifeguard courses which provide instruction about lifeguarding which includes water rescues, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, first aid, and basic water safety. Students can choose from deep and shallow water certifications, depending on the kind of work they want to do. These basic courses provide broad coverage of a range of topics, and may also be useful for people with lapsed certifications who would like to refresh their training with the latest information.

For someone who has lifeguard experience or training in topics such as first aid, more advanced lifeguarding courses which provide material in modules which people can mix and match may be more suitable. For example, someone with a CPR certification doesn't need CPR training, and may want to focus on water safety and water rescues. Someone interested in working in dive rescue, on the other hand, needs to take lifeguard courses which offer this advanced certification. People who are interested in working in water rescues with an organization such as a fire department will also need to get training in rescue equipment and more advanced topics.

Something else to think about is how lifeguarding skills will be used. A basic lifeguarding certification qualifies someone to work as a lifeguard in a wide range of settings, but not to provide instruction. People who want to teach water safety or lifeguarding classes need to take additional coursework to qualify as lifeguard instructors. Graduates of lifeguard courses which offer an instructor certification can work as lifeguards or instructors, which provides more flexibility and may make someone more employable.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a WiseGeek researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

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Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

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