Become A Red Cross Instructor
American Red Cross Instructors are a highly trained, elite group of professionals. They teach valuable lifesaving skills to an average of 4.8 million people a year in businesses, schools and communities.
Instructor Courses and Certification
Determine which Instructor certification path fits you best.
New Instructor: These courses are for those who have never been an Instructor and are appropriate for those who wish to teach learners.
Experienced Instructor: Online bridging courses are intended for certified Instructors with another organization(s) who wish to bridge to the Red Cross to teach student learners.
Instructor Trainer: These courses are meant for Instructors who teach other Instructors (also known as train-the trainer or Instructor Faculty at other organizations).
Instructor and Instructor Trainer certifications are valid for 2 years. Instructors and Instructor Trainers may also be required to maintain basic level (provider) certification as required in the program area.
Instructor certification renewal is simple. Most Red Cross Instructors are required to complete an online recertification course. In addition, Instructors must also teach a minimum number of courses dependent on the program area. Lifeguarding Instructors are required to complete an in-person renewal course.
Courses for New Instructors Without Experience
Instructor candidates who are new to teaching students in courses similar to those offered by the Red Cross must meet the following criteria:
Successfully complete the online course prior to an in-person skills session
Successfully complete the in-person skills session
Prior to teaching your first class, an Instructor must become affiliated with or become a Red Cross Training Provider with a signed agreement to teach classes, report Red Cross courses taught and issue certificates.
The Instructor courses listed below are designed for those who do not have any instructor certification, but want to teach and certify learners. All courses (with the exception of First Aid for Severe Trauma) require you to attend an in-person session. You can search for the courses using our “Find A Class” tool to locate one in your geographic area.
First Aid Instructor Courses
- First Aid/CPR/AED Instructor
- Babysitter’s Training Instructor
- Wilderness & Remote First Aid Instructor Skills Session
Aquatics Instructor Courses
- Lifeguarding Instructor
- Water Safety Instructor
- Basic Swim Instructor
Healthcare Instructor Courses
- CPR/AED for Professional Rescuers Instructor
- Basic Life Support (BLS)
- Advanced Life Support Instructor (sometimes referred to as ACLS)
- Pediatric Advance Life Support Instructor (PALS)
- Emergency Medical Response Instructor
Bridging Courses for Experienced Instructors
The free, online Instructor Bridge Courses are available for qualified Instructors certified with equivalent training organizations who wish to become Red Cross Instructors for student learners in the programs listed below. After signing up for the course, submit the prerequisite documentation. You can take these courses once your Instructor certification has been reviewed and accepted.
- Advanced Life Support Instructor Bridge
- Basic Life Support Instructor Bridge
- CPR/AED for Professional Rescuers Instructor Bridge
- Emergency Medical Response Instructor Bridge
- First Aid/CPR/AED Instructor Bridge
- First Aid for Severe Trauma Instructor – Online Bridge
- Virtual First Aid for Severe Trauma – Instructor Crossover (Blended Learning [BL])
- Head, Neck, Muscle, Bone, Joint Injuries and Splinting Instructor Bridge
- Life-Threatening Bleeding Tourniquet Application Instructor Bridge
- Emergency Medical Response Instructor Bridge
- Pediatric Advanced Life Support Instructor Bridge
Once certified, an Instructor must become affiliated with or become a Red Cross Training Provider with a signed agreement to teach, report Red Cross courses taught and issue certificates.
Instructor Trainer Bridging Courses
These free, online courses are meant for Instructors who already teach and certify other Instructors (also known as train-the-trainer). At other organizations you may be called Instructor Faculty.
If you meet the prerequisite requirements and your certification is approved, you can begin the online Instructor Trainer bridging course. Instructor Trainer bridges are available for these courses:
- Advanced Life Support Instructor Trainer Bridge
- Basic Life Support Instructor Trainer Bridge
- Emergency Medical Response Instructor Trainer Bridge
- First Aid/CPR/AED Instructor Trainer Bridge
- Pediatric Advanced Life Support Instructor Trainer Bridge
Once certified, an Instructor Trainer must become affiliated with or become a Red Cross Training Provider with a signed agreement to teach, report Red Cross courses taught and issue certificates.
Become a Red Cross Instructor Today!