how to become a lifegaurd

Last Updated on January 17, 2023

You may find it hard to access the right information on the internet, so we are here to help you in the following article, providing the best and updated information on how to become a lifeguard as a teenager. Read on to learn more.We at collegelearners .com have all the information that you need about lifeguard training. Read on to learn more.

how to become a lifegaurd

WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO BECOME A LIFEGUARD?Everything you need to know about how to become a lifeguard, what to expect day-to-day, and future career prospects.

Being a lifeguard comes with significant responsibilities. Pool lifeguards save lives and prevent serious injuries.

A career as a pool lifeguard brings challenges and rewards, and can lead to further job opportunities in the aquatic industry. It uses many core workplace skills such as communication, risk management, decision making, problem solving, teamwork, customer service and performing under pressure, all of which are transferable to other industry sectors. With the right qualifications, it is also a job that can take you all over Australia and the world.

You must be a strong swimmer, and, naturally, the job requires a certain degree of fitness, strength and stamina to act quickly in the case of an emergency.

You must have recognised first aid and resuscitation qualifications, and these must be regularly reviewed and updated.


Most lifeguards work part time and casually, and enjoy the flexibility this brings. For example, it allows some people to study while working, or have a second job. For others, it fits in well with childcare or family obligations, allowing you to work when it suits you.

However, lifeguarding can provide a stepping stone for other full-time roles in the aquatic industry and it is also possible to combine roles within a particular facility; for example, you might combine lifeguarding with swim teaching.


After gaining experience working as a lifeguard, you might become a lifeguard team coordinator, and then a duty manager, and eventually an aquatic facilities manager. With additional training, it is also possible take on more technical roles such as a technical aquatic facilities operator.


Each pool lifeguard shift can vary, depending on the day of the week, time of day and time of the year. The challenge is to remain vigilant at all times, regardless of whether it is super busy or quiet at any given time.

Risk management

Every working day requires a lifeguard to think in terms of risk management. Can I identify any hazards and what are the risks associated with those hazards? Is that a broken tile on the steps? How far away is that lightning and thunder? Are those children playing ‘hold your breath’ and, if so, how safe is it?


Your day will involve anything from saying hello and having a quick chat with the regulars, to instructing kids on how to safely use inflatable pool equipment, to explaining rules and procedures to parents and to exchanging information with fellow lifeguards about an area you were just supervising or even to coordinate your response in a rescue situation.

Strong communication skills are a must, which includes the ability to actively listen, analyse and make sense of what is going on around you.


Effective supervision is critical. This means maintaining concentration and focus throughout your shift, constantly scanning for and recognising people in difficulty.

You will generally be assigned to a particular pool or zone of a pool but will be asked to rotate with other colleagues regularly. You may move to a different position or post in the same zone (eg, the deep end of the main pool) or to a completely different area (eg, from the main pool to the waterslide exit).

Decision making

Each day you will be making all sorts of decisions about when and how to act. Decision making and problem solving, independently and with others, are skills you will regularly call on and will need to develop and hone. This includes, for example, deciding how best to ensure your zone is covered while you attend to an elderly person that is feeling unwell or dealing with a group of children that continue to chase each other around the pool deck despite your instructions not to.

First aid

While you may not be required to carry out a major rescue or emergency everyday, your work will involve dealing with minor injuries and incidents, everything from kids with bruises and scrapes to a capable swimmer needing help out of the pool due to cramp.


At the start and end of each shift, you will need to sign on and off, and complete any reporting duties. For example, you may need to submit an incident report in line with the aquatic facility’s operating procedures.

Facilities management

Part of your role will involve setting up or packing up the facility and equipment. This includes checking emergency equipment and supplies, assisting with pool water treatment, checking the environment for hazards and completing appropriate log books and reports.

Conflict management

Lifeguards need to enforce the rules in order to prevent incidents from occurring and keep everyone safe. This can lead to some difficult conversations and even conflict. You may, for example, have to ask parents to better supervise their children or remind a bather they cannot take a drink into the pool. This requires good communication and conflict management skills to resolve such situations as positively as possible, which can be stressful and frustrating, something all lifeguards need to make sure they are physically, mentally and emotionally prepared for.


In an aquatic industry survey, lifeguards told us that the most rewarding and enjoyable elements of the role are working as part of a team and helping people, whether that be colleagues or patrons. 

how to become a lifeguard as a teenager

How to Become a Teen Lifeguard

What Does a Teenage Lifeguard do? 

A lifeguard will ensure the safety of swimmers in the facility they are working in by preventing and responding effectively emergencies. Basically, you will be preventing people from injury around the pool you are working at. By doing this, you will be maintaining surveillance on swimmers and people around the pool, and providing emergency care and treatment until professional help arrives. The benefits of this job are that you have very flexible hours, as you can choose which hours you work, and you are paid very well. Another good point about becoming a lifeguard is that it is a very good experience building activity. You’ll need to know how to swim and basic medical knowledge to become a lifeguard though.

How Much Does a Teenage Lifeguard Get Paid?

As a teenage lifeguard just getting started, you can expect to earn somewhere between $15-$20 per hour.  The biggest issue with this type of work is that you will have to be good at swimming and you will be extremely relied on and stressed in the event that an emergency does occur. If someone does get into an accident, you will have to treat them, as you are the only one around that is certified to do it, and after all, that’s your job. Many people either don’t have the experience required, or just don’t want to be put into a situation with someone’s life on their hands. Because of this, there aren’t many people applying to become a lifeguard and you will have a higher pay and be able to find a job more easily. It’s also a really good experience to put on your resume. It shows how responsible you are, as so many people are trusting you with their lives, so if you do become a lifeguard, you will have no difficulty getting a job in the future.

How Can I Get Started as a Teenage Lifeguard?

  1. Make sure that you speak to your parent(s) before trying to become a teen lifeguard.  Doing so we’ll ensure your safety and they’ll likely be able to help you in your efforts.
  2. Before you begin, you’ll need to get certifications that allow you to become a lifeguard. Since it is such an important job, your employer will want to see that you’re the real deal, and you can actually be a good lifeguard. I would recommend going to your local YMCA to get lifeguard courses, such as CPR and general swimming. These are extremely important to get, and you will not be able to become a lifeguard if you do not have these. Once you obtain these, you can move on to the next step.
  3. Prepare your body. Lifeguarding will follow to 10/20 rule which means that when a problem arises, they will have to act on it in 10 seconds and get to the victim in 20 seconds. This being said, you will have to be very fit to do this, and you should practice your swimming. Do exercises to strengthen your core especially, as this is needed to save the victim. If they are drowning, you will have to carry them to safety, so you definitely don’t want to be getting drowned by them.
  4. Next, find some local swimming pools. Most opportunities will come at your municipal pools, but there are also smaller private swimming pools that you can apply to also. Do a quick Google search and you should be able to find a lot. Another opportunity could be on Craigslist where you can find offerings to become a lifeguard. schools. A lot can be found in your city, as there are plenty of municipal swimming courses that you can apply to. Your city website should have a section where you can see employment opportunities and apply to them. If there are none, you can look to private swimming schools. Search for these with a Google search and try to find bigger, franchise ones like YMCA. You will have better odds when searching there.
  5. Once you’ve found a couple of swimming pools, apply. Lifeguards will need to be thoroughly examined by the company. Be polite and courteous during the interview, and don’t forget to show them your certifications. If you’ve been training a lot, tell them about it to show how dedicated to becoming a lifeguard you are.
  6. Congrats, you’re officially a teenage lifeguard. It may get boring at times, but it’s great experience to have. In the future, when you’re applying to another job, the company you are applying at will be impressed about how many people’s lives are relying on you and will definitely be more inclined to hire you.

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