How to become a lifeguard and earn $10 to $30 per hour


Grab your shade, sunscreen and whistle. There is a shortage of lifeguards across the country, and water parks, camps, and municipalities scramble to hire thousands of people to work for swimming pools, lakes, and beaches. Some provide free training, which takes 25 to 40 hours. Other employers have increased their hourly wages to between 10 and 30 dollars.

“We have raised salaries in all parks… Lifeguard training and licenses are free for every new and returning team member,” said Nick Paradis, Palace Entertainment’s director of corporate communications. The company owns 10 water parks across the country.Hourly wages vary by location, but Sandcastle Water Park near Pittsburgh is $15, and Splish Splash on Long Island, New York is $18 an hour

The shortage is mainly due to the fact that lifeguards must renew their lifeguard certificates every two years, and thousands of people cannot do so.

“In many parts of the country, people are unable to train for a long time, and due to the guidance of keeping physical distance, staff and potential staff feel unsafe about training,” said Lindsay Mondick, who is in charge of YMCA water sports and other initiatives. The United States “Now that potential lifeguard candidates have easier access to vaccines, we may see a slow return.”

However, to find a job as a lifeguard requires more than just excellent swimming skills. The following are the requirements for becoming a lifeguard, the courses you need, and the current job market conditions.

This is payment for some lifeguard jobs

Lifeguard 2021 will no longer be the minimum wage job in most cities and towns.

Recruitment information shows that employers are willing to pay more wages than in previous summers. Look at these salaries: in San Francisco: $22-30 per hour

Foot city.Lauderdale, Florida: Seaside lifeguards from $18.93 to $29.33 per hour

Hyannis Seaport Hotel in Hyannis, Massachusetts: $25 per hour

Durham, North Carolina: $18 per hour

Sandcastle Water Park near Pittsburgh: $15 per hour

St. Petersburg, Florida: $13.25 to $21

Incentives for hiring a lifeguard

Just as restaurant chains provide cash for interviews and recommendations, employers are also looking for lifeguards.

“Some of our parks offer referral bonuses,” Heaven said. “One of the rewards we offer in almost all parks is that if team members and immediate family members apply and complete the recruitment process before a certain date, they will be provided with four free basic season tickets.”

Orange, Iowa, is paying a $20 referral bonus for a lifeguard who asked friends to join a team in a public swimming pool. The Department of Parks and Recreation in Mesquite, Texas will pay $50 for one referrer, $75 for two referees, and $100 for three.

YMCA’s Mondick emphasized that lifeguards can develop skills such as confidence, leadership, and teamwork. These skills can be applied well to any profession and look great on a resume. In addition to promoting the important role of lifeguards, YMCA across the country is experimenting with various incentives, such as referrals and signing bonuses.

She added: “Many YMCA also focuses on non-traditional lifeguards and allows those who have retired or previously served the country in the military to now serve their communities through lifeguard positions.”

Here are the basics of how to become a lifeguard

It takes approximately 25 hours of training to obtain all the certifications required by lifeguards. Some organizations are teaching a combination of face-to-face and online courses, while others are conducting face-to-face courses in the swimming pool.

Private training schools, non-profit organizations, such as American Red Cross with YMCA, And employers themselves will provide lifeguard training courses throughout the summer.

Photo courtesy of the YMCA

The American Red Cross immediately provided a 2-day or 4-day lifeguard training course nationwide. The following are some of the life-saving course requirements.

  • Minimum age: 15 years old
  • Swimming 300 yards in a row
  • Step on the water with your legs for 2 minutes
  • Complete a timed simulation “rescue” in 1 minute and 40 seconds. Start in the water, swim 20 yards, dive to a depth of 7 to 10 feet, retrieve a 10-pound object, return to the surface and swim 20 yards on your back Go back to the starting point and leave the water without using steps or ladders.
  • Applicants must also prove that they can perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation, perform first aid and use automatic external defibrillators, also known as CPR AEDs, on swimmers.

How to become a seaside lifeguard

Coastal lifeguards need additional safety training, skills and abilities. It varies from employer to employer, but most require you to:

  • Swim 500 meters or 550 yards in open water in 10 minutes or less.
  • Run a mile in 8 minutes and 30 seconds or less.
  • Master certain swimmer surveillance techniques
  • Use equipment such as all-terrain vehicles, rescue boards, buoys, kayaks, paddle boards, masks, fins and snorkels
  • Learn about water conditions such as tides and how to identify dangerous wild animals

Lifeguard certification cost

Now, if you want to learn how to be a lifeguard, chances are it won’t cost you a penny. For example, the Sandcastle Water Park website near Pittsburgh opened a page to promote its salary increase to $15 an hour and provide a free lifeguard certificate. Many other employers, including some YMCA, are doing the same thing.

If you are paying the fee varies greatly, but it is well worth it. For example, the lifeguard certification course in Marion, Ohio costs $25. The price of American Red Cross courses ranges from US$100 to US$300, depending on the location.

Katherine Snow Smith is the senior writer of The Penny Hoarder.


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