As a professional author and lifeguard trainer with American Lifeguard, I've seen my fair share of myths and misconceptions about the lifeguard certification process. Some even try to discourage people from signing up for classes by spreading false information. Let's dive into 5 common lies told about lifeguard training near me.
Classes are Impossibly Difficult to Pass
One rumor I often hear is that lifeguard training classes have extremely high failure rates and are nearly impossible to complete. While the skills and knowledge tested are important for saving lives, this simply isn't true. As long as students put in the work during practical and written exercises, most go on to receive their certifications.
Our instructors are there every step of the way to provide feedback and ensure everyone has what they need to succeed. Don't let fears of failure stop you from signing up - with dedication and practice, you've got this!
It's too physically demanding and I won't be able to pass.
While lifeguarding itself requires physical fitness, the certification courses are structured to help all students succeed in demonstrating the required skills. From CPR to in-water rescues, techniques are broken down step-by-step and instructors provide feedback to reinforce learning.
As long as you give full effort and attention in class, it is very possible for nearly anyone who can swim to complete the physical assessments. Rather than think of it as a test, see it as a learning experience to build strength and gain confidence in the water.
I need to already be a strong swimmer to take the class.
Classes focus on building the rescue skills that will serve you well as a professional lifeguard training near me, regardless of your current swimming ability. Instructors are there to systematically develop your swimming, endurance and rescue technique.
You do not need to excel at laps or strokes before training - the course will help improve any weaknesses. What matters most is a positive attitude, a willingness to learn and practice, and an ability to pass the required skills assessments at the end. Give the training a chance to advance your skills.
I'll need to already know how to do CPR before class starts.
CPR/AED training and certification is actually a core part of what's taught during lifeguard classes. You do not need any prior CPR experience - American Lifeguard instructors will guide you through all the concepts and techniques, provide practice time, and make sure you understand everything fully before the skills check-off at the end. Developing CPR/first aid proficiency is one important goal of the lifeguard training process.
It's Too Time Consuming
Some claim lifeguard training near me takes weeks or months of intensive study. In reality, most entry-level certifications like Lifeguarding, First Aid, and CPR/AED can be completed in as little as 2-3 days depending on the program. While daily classroom and pool sessions are involved, the material is broken into manageable chunks. You’ll have time for other commitments outside of training. I promise not to overload you with additional work either! Just be ready to focus during class hours.
You need to be a certain age to enroll.
While minimum age requirements do exist for lifeguard jobs, the ages to take certification classes are generally pretty flexible. Any age able to pass the physical requirements of the course can register.
For American approval, Lifeguard Association ages must be at least 15. Some facilities may have their own additional age limits for hiring as well. But when it comes to the actual classroom and pool training, most organizations set no firm lower age boundary.
The certification doesn't transfer anywhere else.
One of the great benefits of American lifeguard certification is that, once earned, it is valid nationwide at any pool, waterpark or waterfront facility. So if you want a summer job at a lifeguarding elsewhere, your ARC card proves your qualifications.
Many organizations also accept certifications from other similar training providers like American Lifeguard Association. So whether staying local or looking further afield, lifeguard certified through American Lifeguard will allow you to apply anywhere.
It takes all summer to complete training.
Most basic lifeguard certification courses can be completed in just 2-3 weeks. American Lifeguard offers both weekday evening/weekend classes as well as intensive 1-2 week formats during summer breaks so that certification isn't an entire season-long commitment. As long as you attend all training dates, it is very possible to finish and become certified within a short time frame.
It's Too Expensive
Cost is understandably a concern, but lifeguard certification is more affordable than many assume, especially through companies like American Lifeguard. Most entry-level courses range from $150-300 including all materials, which is very reasonable for an in-demand career skill.
Additionally, many employers are willing to provide reimbursements to hired guards. Financial assistance options may also be available. Don't let the up-front price scare you away from the experience and job opportunities this training provides.
There Are No Jobs After
A discouraging myth says that lifeguard positions are nearly impossible to find post-certification. In reality, seasonal and year-round opportunities abound at pools, waterparks, beaches and more depending on your location. With the rising demand for aquatic safety, many facilities face staffing shortages.
As long as you remain current on certs and are willing to work various shifts including nights/weekends, getting hired is very achievable. My students regularly land jobs through our services like resume reviews and job boards too. Persistence and networking are key.
As you can see, there is truth behind busting many misperceptions about the lifeguard training process. American Lifeguard hopes this clarifies what to really expect from certification classes. If you have the desire to help those in need, want to work an important outdoor summer job, and are willing to put in the effort, lifeguarding may be a great fit for you.
Our goal is to provide high-quality instruction to candidates from all backgrounds and skill levels. Let us know if you have any other questions - we're here to help guide you towards certifying and launching your career as a lifeguard. Stay safe in and around the water!
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I just finished the lifeguard training.