Becoming a Lifeguard
Lifeguarding is a fave summer-time gig cuz you get paid to hang in the sun, surf and sand - but it's not always just a day at the beach. Find out what it takes to become a lifeguard!
Lifeguards - Climbing Up the Pool Ladder
Having a background in swimming and water sports like surfing and water polo is great, but isn't always necessary. Even if you haven't been splashing around in the water since the second you were born, it's never too late to learn how to swim (think about it - there are even beginner swimming lessons for your grandparents!). So other than the obvious requirement of being a strong swimmer, you need to enroll in a Junior Lifeguard program, where you'll learn basic water safety, rescue techniques, CPR and first aid. Check out organizations like the Red Cross and the United States Lifesaving Association cuz they offer courses to train and certify you as a lifeguard. Certification courses, which usually take several months to complete, include personal interviews, physical fitness testing and even more training!
Lifeguards - On the Job
Lifeguards can work at water parks, private and public swimming pools, rivers, lakes and ocean beaches. Duties and responsibilities vary for each location, but no matter where you are, the most important thing is to save people's lives. It's also vital to remain alert at all times - that means no chatting on your cell phone and no stopping by the concession stand to pick up some munchies (unless, of course, you're on your break).
Lifeguards - An Ocean of Opportunities
The best place for you to start is your local swimming pool cuz they give basic lifeguard certificate classes and provide good summer job opportunities for students. Lifeguards can eventually move on to search and rescue, manning patrol boats and even working in scuba units!