It takes a lot of strength and stamina to do the lifeguard job. Lifeguards are a part of the emergency service, therefore becoming a lifeguard requires certain personality traits and set of skills. A person should have the right mind set to cater to a situation of emergency and to take immediate action as and when required. He should also be trained to perform his job adequately i.e. he should be able to help out others while ensuring his safety first.
A person should think of starting off with a basic job of a lifeguard at the poolside, later as he advances in his career he could apply for courses and become a trained International Lifeguard.
Lifeguards do not have work in the same position all their lives, they can become lifeguard trainers, and can train other people to acquire the personality traits and the right set of skills by sharing knowledge and experiences. They can become swimming instructors and can training participants who compete in swimming competitions. They can become a part of the pool operations and safety management team.
They can serve as state representatives and inspectors who ensure that the standards of safety are followed by all swimming pool owners. And lastly, they could become a part of the research team that drafts written material for recommendation and guidelines for following safety rules at swimming pools, water parks and all those places that host huge reservoirs of water that are used by a large number of people for bathing and swimming.
A person who plans on searching an entry level lifeguard job needs to complete one of the following courses. It is also important to bear in mind that the course requirements differ from state to state, therefore, one should find out the course requirements, and details of accredited institutes before paying for a certain course.
- Shallow Water Lifeguard with Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) or Automated External Defibrillation (AED) and First Aid
- Swimming Pool Operators CD self-study course
- Lifeguard, Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) or Automated External Defibrillation (AED) for the Professional Rescuer with First Aid training
- Swimming Pool Operator’s Exam
- Lifeguard recert with cardiopulmonary resuscitation Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) or Automated External Defibrillation (AED) and First Aid
The age requirement for being able to take up a course for lifeguard job also differs from establishment to establishment. For instance to attend a program offered by the American Red Cross one needs to be fifteen years of age or older, for a course offered by the YMCA one needs to be at least sixteen years of age, and to be able to work or acquire a work permit one has to be eighteen years old or he can submit a document containing his parents’ consent to be able to start work.
The lifeguard job requires him work for less than forty hours a week and an entry level position fetches a pay check of a little less than twelve thousand dollars a year. Lifeguards need to remain alert and vigilant at all times and they risk their own lives to save those of other people.