Lifeguard Training

Lifeguard Training

Are you 15 or older and looking for a great summer job or a challenging career? American Red Cross Lifeguarding is the best place to start! Lifeguarding puts you in an exciting position, working as part of a team to help people safely enjoy the water.

Lifeguarding will help you develop skills and provide an experience that will be valued by colleges and future employers. Colleges and employers look for applicants who can deal effectively with people, who have a take charge attitude and who are willing to work to develop new skills. Through classroom learning and hands-on practice, you will learn:

  • Surveillance skills to help recognize and prevent injuries
  • Rescue skills - in the water and on land
  • First aid training and professional rescuer CPR - to help you prepare for any emergency
  • Professional lifeguard responsibilities, such as interacting with the public and addressing uncooperative patrons

Course length is approximately 26 hours.

For training dates and times, check our seasonal Recreation Activity Guide.

Water Safety Instructor Training


The American Red Cross Water Safety Instructor (WSI) Course provides instructor candidates the training needed to teach courses in the American Red Cross Swimming and Water Safety Program. This training helps develop an understanding of how to use course materials, conduct training sessions and evaluate participant progress. Concepts and features of the WSI course include:

  • New minimum age prerequisite of 16 years of age to take the course.
  • Shortened course time of approximately 30 hours (including pre-course session).
  • Described and applied teaching strategies, including:
    • Explain, demonstrate and practice
    • Task setting
    • Station teaching
    • Guided discovery
  • New instructor manual with tools and information needed to plan and conduct courses. Includes a CD-ROM with information and tools for individuals managing, conducting and administering learn-to-swim courses.
  • Video segments focusing on effective class management and teaching strategies; examples of basic skills, performance and common progressions.
  • New video segments demonstrating what to expect from students throughout the levels.
  • Supported by video, participants work to develop the ability to observe and assess.
  • Opportunities to practice teaching skills through formal practice teaching assignments as well as leading mini-lessons.

Whether you want to teach children to swim, help adults refine their strokes or teach diving safety techniques, the American Red Cross Water Safety Instructor training is for you! For training dates and times, check our seasonal Recreation Activity Guide.

Junior Lifeguard Program

For more information, visit