How to become Lifeguard Certified
There are several ways to become lifeguard certified. One way is to apply for a lifeguard position at a lifesaving agency and receive lifeguard training directly from that organization. Another way to become lifeguard certified is to sign up for a private lifeguard course. Becoming lifeguard certified enables you act as a completely independent contractor and sell your lifeguard services to private parties. These private lifeguard jobs can either be a one time job or a steady employment depending on the needs of your employer. This is very unique of being employed by a regular lifeguard agency, such as the YMCA lifeguarding course. In effect, you become your own boss and are responsible for setting up your own lifeguard jobs. For example, an elementary school may need to hire a lifeguard to watch over a school group on a beach field trip. This is the type of job you can expect when you become a completely independent lifesaver.
Being an independent lifeguard comes with certain pros and cons.
If you don’t have previously received lifesaver training from a previous organization, such as YMCA or California State for example, you will have to sign up for a lifeguard training course. These courses can be obtained by numerous organizations, such as the Red Cross. You must also be CPR and medical certified, however this is often included in most lifesaver certification classes. It is highly advisable that the lifesaver course you sign up for offers CPR and medical certification.
You will also be expected to own your personal equipment. Alternatively, in a regular employed lifeguard position, your lifeguard agency will supply majority of your lifesaving equipment. As an independent lifeguard, you must purchase and gaze after all of your equipment. The amount of equipment you must possess will depend on your environment. If you expect you’ll be hired out for private pool jobs, the conventional equipment should include a lifeguard buoy, uniform (red tankini, shirt labeled lifeguard), medical equipment, whistle, and personal gear (hat, sunscreen etc). If you expect you’ll be employed as a private beach lifeguard, you will need more equipment. The conventional equipment should include buoy, uniform, medical equipment, fins, wetsuit (dependent on water temperature), and binoculars.
A major good thing about getting lifesaver certified and becoming a completely independent lifeguard is you will often be paid far more than the typical employed lifeguard. The pay will often range from $20-$100 hourly. This is a huge increase from the typical $10-$20 the average pool/beach lifeguard organization will pay. However, if you don’t can secure a regular private employer, hours are often less regular than lifeguard agencies.
If your schedule permits, you can simultaneously contract your private lifeguard services while still being regularly employed by a lifesaver organization!