Lifeguard certification is becoming more of an important element in swimming pool ownership. Lifeguard certification requirements vary from state to state and country to country. In the United States, there are two main programs offered through the American Society for Lifeguard Recertification (ASRF) and the American Lifeguard Association (ALA). Both offer certificates that will serve as the basis for a lifeguard's certification. There are other certifications that are offered through other associations, but these two are the most widely accepted.
Lifeguard training is required to administer a basic first aid course and to obtain a working permit to work in that state. Lifeguard training also involves the psychological aspects of being a lifeguard that includes dealing with troubled or distressed teenagers. It also covers issues such as how to deal with people who are allergic to certain chemicals in pool lifeguard equipment or who are mentally unstable.
Lifeguard recertification is not a prerequisite for employment, and employers are not required to hire lifeguards who do not have this certificate. Many employers are willing to overlook this requirement if a lifeguard has been through adequate training and has proven that he or she is capable of competency in the field. Lifeguard Training and certification can be a valuable asset for someone who is looking to get into the profession but does not yet have the necessary experience.
Lifeguard certification exams are available both online and in-person at local Lifeguard training centers. Lifeguard certification exams are nationally recognized by many governmental agencies, including the American Red Cross, American Heart Association, and the National Coastal Commission. Many colleges that offer courses in swimming also offer courses in teaching others the art of swimming. These courses can help someone interested in the profession to attain certification.
Lifeguard certification exams will usually consist of a combination of theory and practical instruction. The theory portion will cover basic lifeguard responsibilities and expectations. Lifeguard certification exams will also include a review of the student's swimming skills. Students will be assessed on their ability to learn about lifeguard safety, CPR, first aid, and other emergency procedures. The practical portion of the training consists of actual immersion into real-life situations that will involve students answering questions about water safety and real-life scenarios.
Lifeguard certification exams can be completed in less than 12 months. Lifeguard certification can also be renewed after each certification exam. To apply for certification, students must first complete a training course and obtain a recommendation from a current Lifeguard. Lifeguard certification exams can be taken multiple times. Students who successfully complete the certification exam may be able to complete two more Lifeguard examinations. There are many advantages to becoming a lifeguard, including a possibility for career advancement and earning a higher salary.