Lifeguards monitor the safety of people when using the swimming pool or at the coast, they will intervene when needed and administer first aid if necessary. They will make swimmers aware of any dangerous situations and will carry out a rescue procedure in an emergency.
You could get into this role by either taking an Apprenticeship or through a work based route
You could complete an intermediate Lifeguard apprenticeship
You don't necessarily need any formal qualifications but you will need to be a strong swimmer
Work based route
You may be able to start as a pool attendant or assistant and take qualifications as you work
To be a pool lifeguard you'll need one of the following qualifications
To be a beach lifeguard you'll need a different qualification.
You will need to:
- be aged 16 or older
- have a background check which your employer will arrange for you
To qualify as a pool lifeguard you will need to:
- Be able to swim 50 metres in less than one minute
- Be able to swim 100 metres on your front and back without stopping
- Surface dive to the deepest part of the pool
To qualify as a beach lifeguard you must have a good level of fitness. You will also be expected to
- Surface dive to a depth of 1.5 metres.
- Tread water for two minutes.
- Climb out of deep water unaided and without steps.
- Be competent at swimming in the sea.
Click here to find out more about becoming a RNLI Lifeguard
Career Path and Progression
You could become a leisure centre manager with the National Pool Management Qualification.
Some pool lifeguards gain swimming teaching or coaching qualifications and give swimming lessons.
You could compete in lifeguarding competitions.
You could lead a team of lifeguards and train them.
Related careers you may be interested in:
- Leisure centre manager
- Leisure centre assistant
- Sport and exercise psychologist
- Sports coach
- Swimming teacher
Although this role doesn't require any formal qualifications, we highly recommend that you try to achieve at least a grade 4 (C) in English & Maths. Achieving this minimum grade in these subject will increase opportunities in the future and help with your career development and prospects.
If you don't achieve the minimum grades, you will be supported to continue to study English and Maths throughout your full-time education or an apprenticeship.
- A very strong swimmer
- A good level of fitness
- Good concentration levels
- Very observant
- Able to keep calm in difficult situations
- Able to act quickly in an emergency
- Good communication skills
- Confidence in your own abilities
£13,000 to £29,000