For more than 100 years, the American Red Cross has been the premier lifeguard training organization in this country. More than 300,000 candidates are trained each year with the knowledge and skills to help prevent, recognize and respond to emergencies at pools, waterparks and non-surf beaches.
Currently, a shortage of trained lifeguards has led to the closing of some aquatic facilities or reducing hours available for public use. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, staff shortages go beyond the aquatic industry and the increased competition for workers has made it difficult for aquatic facilities to hire and retain staff.
GET TRAINED Interested in becoming a lifeguard? People age 15 and above can sign up for courses conducted by our aquatic training providers. Upon successful completion, participants receive a 2-year certification in Lifeguarding that includes First Aid and CPR/AED for the Professional Rescuer
- Shallow Water Lifeguarding (up to 5 feet of water)
- Aquatic Attraction Lifeguarding (3 feet of water or less)
- Optional add-ons for Waterpark and Waterfront Lifeguarding (non-surf areas).
The courses are about 25 hours long. Options include instructor-led and blended (online learning with instructor-led on-site skills sessions) offerings.
ADDITIONAL OPTIONS The Red Cross offers other lifeguarding programs for those at different levels and ages.
- The Learn-to-Swim and Junior Lifeguarding programs help prepare future lifeguards.
- The Lifeguard Management Program (online course) helps managers and supervisors build a solid lifeguard team through recruitment, selection, training and supervision.
- Aquatic facilities can take advantage of our Aquatic Examiner Service to help improve operations, training and lifeguard performance.
More information is available at redcross.org/lifeguarding. You can also contact your local pool, waterpark or parks and recreation department. Take the first step toward becoming an aquatic professional today.