Lifeguarding

The American Red Cross Lifeguarding program trains lifeguards to act with speed and confidence in emergency situations both in and out of the water.

The Red Cross program offers more value and greater convenience with a 2-year certification in Lifeguarding, First Aid, CPR and AED; free digital skills refreshers; and a choice of free or affordable training materials for students and instructors.


Core content includes:

  • Water rescue skills
  • Surveillance and recognition
  • First aid, CPR and AED
  • Breathing and cardiac emergencies

This 2012 update reflects the latest Emergency Cardiovascular Care science and findings from the 2011 United States Lifeguard Standards Coalition Report.

Core Courses:

  • Available in traditional in-person delivery or blended learning option that combines online and onsite learning.
  • Lifeguarding
  • Shallow Water Lifeguarding (for depths less than 5 feet)

Optional Add-On Modules:

  • Waterfront Skills (non-surf)
  • Waterpark Skills
  • Administering Emergency Oxygen
  • Bloodborne Pathogens (onsite or online training)
  • Use of Asthma Inhalers
  • Use of Epinephrine Auto-Injectors

Superior Instructor Support:

  • Red Cross Aquatics Authorized Providers enjoy the following support:
    • Comprehensive instructor resources, including step-by-step lesson plans, assessment tools, multimedia presentations, extensive video support and more
    • Online training management system to access course records and print certificates
    • Dedicated instructor website with convenient online ordering and resources

Purchase Course Materials


Get Started Today

Current Red Cross instructors

To get started teaching this program, visit the Lifeguarding Program Page on Instructor's Corner. (Login to Instructor's Corner is required)