BEST Summer Jobs Guide for US Students 2018: How to Become a Lifeguard in 30 Hours!

3 years ago



Who doesn’t love Baywatch? Bet, many of us dreamed of becoming a sexy lifeguard running on the beach in a beautiful red swimsuit or speedos. And we haven’t mentioned Pamela Anderson, who was a total bombshell back in the day. But, all jokes aside! Working as a lifeguard in hot summer months could earn you a few extra dollars. So, if you’ve always wanted to become a rightful Baywatch member, the time is NOW!


Previously, the Typical Student team explored the ins and outs of working as a barista in summer. If you’re interested, check Summer Jobs Guide for US Students 2018: How to Become a Barista in 3 Days! Now, we’ve hand-picked some tips to help you become a trained lifeguard.




What Does Lifeguard Do?


As you may already know, a lifeguard is a person who supervises the safety and rescues swimmers, surfers, and other people participating in water sports activities. Lifeguards can work both indoors and outdoors. Either in a swimming pool, or water parks, at the beach or river, a lifeguard is responsible for rescuing swimmers in case of emergency.



Do I Need Training to Work as a Lifeguard?


To work as a lifeguard, one has to undergo a training course, which can cost anywhere from $150 to $500, and require about 30 hours to complete. Also, there are different types of lifeguard certification depending on the facility you’re planning to work for. There are two types of certifications accepted by the majority of facilities: American Red Cross or Ellis and Associates certifications. However, YMCAs may require Y certifications.




How Much Is The Certification?


Below you will find the official Red Cross pricing policy for various of lifeguarding courses:


Red Cross Course


Basic Water Rescue




Lifeguarding Challenge


Lifeguarding Review


Waterfront Lifeguarding


Waterpark Lifeguarding


Lifeguarding Instructor


What Are the Requirements for Working as a Lifeguard?

PLEASE MIND: to work as a lifeguard you have to be an apt swimmer! Depending on the type of certification, you must be able to swim 300 meters without rest using the “rhythmic breathing” technique (300m equals 6 full laps on a standard 25m swimming pool).


“Rhythmic breathing” is a term used to describe breathing sequence when a swimmer places their face in the water to exhale, then raises it out of the water to inhale.



What Will You Learn During a Lifeguard Course?


So, what are the typical things lifeguards are taught during the training? For instance, you will learn to:

  • Identify and prevent common land-based emergencies;
  • Work in a lifeguard team;
  • Perform CPR and use an Automatic External Defibrillator (AED);
  • Provide first aid and emergency care;
  • Perform water rescues for distressed swimmers and drowning victims;
  • Act as a secondary rescuer, assisting the primary rescuer in a variety of tasks.

These are just a few skills lifeguards acquire while in training. If you want to learn more about the scope of learning to do, check with the facility of interest.





How Much Does a Lifeguard Earn?


Just imagine, a lifeguard in California can earn around $200k annually. That, of course, depends on variables like the type of facility, location, work experience, etc. Still, impressive salaries like this are more of an exception than a rule.


Students working as part-time lifeguards at swimming pools typically earn around $8 - $12/hour according to PayScale. Those working overtime or in waterfront positions could earn a median rate of $21.67/hour.


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