Learn how to effectively prevent and respond to water emergencies with American Red Cross lifeguard training, the most respected source for this training and certification. With our lifeguard training courses, you will learn how effective preparation and quick response times are vital to being a lifeguard while also understanding the crucial elements in helping to prevent drownings and injuries.
Lifeguarding Courses and Prerequisites
The American Red Cross lifeguard training and certification program is the first step to get hired as a certified Red Cross lifeguard. Our detailed training includes both testing of hands-on skills as well as a written test. Upon successful completion of the Lifeguarding course, you will receive a Lifeguarding/First Aid/CPR/AED certification, which is valid for two years and is accepted nationwide.
Flexible training options available. Participants can train in a traditional in-person environment or need the flexibility of blended learning (online courses followed by Instructor-led classes). The multi-hour courses are typically scheduled for a long weekend if eLearning is used or on multiple days if it is entirely onsite. Check with your Training Provider to determine which type of courses they offer and which one might be best for you.
Prerequisites for lifeguard training include:
Age: Students must be at least 15 years old by the last day of class.
Qualifications: Students must pass a pre-course swimming skills test prior to taking lifeguarding courses. This includes a 300-yard swim using front crawl or breaststroke, a 2-minute tread using legs only and the ability to retrieve a 10-lb dive weight from 7 ft deep, surface and swim 20 yds with the weight, using legs only and exit the pool without using a ladder within 100 seconds.
Lifeguarding: Full Course –
This option is for those training for the first time or for those whose certifications have expired. This course is available in traditional, in-person course format (28 hours, 35 minutes) and the Blended Learning course format (20 hours in person, 7 hours online).
Full Lifeguarding courses are also offered specifically in Shallow Water Lifeguarding and Aquatic Attraction Lifeguarding. Optional add-on modules include Waterpark Skills and Waterfront Skills. Please check with your local aquatic facility to determine which course is best suited for the job you are seeking.
Review Course –
These abbreviated renewal courses are offered only to current Lifeguards, or those with a Lifeguarding/First Aid/CPR/AED certification expired by no more than 30 days.
Training with the Red Cross
The American Red Cross has been the gold standard in lifesaving aquatic science, instruction and lifeguard certification since 1914. Our commitment to water safety, education and drowning prevention has been a part of our mission for more than 100 years – and will continue for decades to come.