When you choose to become a lifeguard or swim instructor, you are taking a stand to be a lifesaver, to teach lifesaving water safety skills and to be there to make a difference in your community. In the US, an average of 3,500 to 4,000 people drown per year. According to Stop Drowning Now, that is an average of 10 fatal drownings per day.

Whether you are looking for a fun summer job or a rewarding career, the YMCA is the place to start! YMCA aquatics positions offer flexible schedules, competitive pay, opportunities for year-round employment, a complimentary YMCA membership, discounts on YMCA programs and fun!

About YMCA Lifeguard Training

This lifeguarding certification course gives participants the skills and knowledge needed to become certified lifeguards. It offers up-to-date information on how to anticipate and prevent problems and how to take action to help those in danger. It also covers safety and survival skills every swimmer needs to know, accident prevention, guarding techniques, emergency systems including lifeguarding first aid CPR, rescue skills and first aid in aquatic environments. Complete attendance is required for lifeguard certification, and all e-learnings must be completed before the in-class portion of training.

Lifeguard Certification Course Includes:

  • ASHI Basic Life Support, Basic First Aid and Oxygen Administration
  • YMCA Lifeguarding


  • Be at least 16 years old by the last day of the scheduled course
  • Pass the physical competency requirements conducted on the first day
  • Tread water for 2 minutes using legs only
  • Swim 100 yards of front crawl
  • Swim 50 yards of each: Front crawl with head up, sidestroke, breaststroke and elementary backstroke kick with hands on chest
  • Feet-first surface dive to a depth of 10 feet and swim underwater for 15 feet
  • Sprint 60 feet, perform head surface dive to retrieve an object in 10 feet of water, tread water for 1 minute without hands, return the object to a depth of 10 feet, swim the remainder of pool length, exit the pool and perform 100 chest compressions on a mannequin

Additional Pre-assignments:

  • ASHI e-learning and YMCA Lifeguarding e-learning

It is not a requirement of the YMCA Lifeguard Certification to work at a YMCA, as many pools accept this certification. However, we are always hiring individuals who want to make a difference at the YMCA. Apply today or contact your local YMCA for more information.

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About YMCA Swim Instructors

YMCA Swim Instructors work with individuals ages six months-adults to teach swim skill progression and water safety techniques. Instructors provide leadership, instruction and motivation for participants in swimming lessons, creating a safe and positive atmosphere that promotes member safety and engagement, youth development and healthy living. Interested individuals must hold a swim instructor certification through the YMCA or another certifying organization and be at least 16 years of age. Not certified? No problem. The YMCA offers training throughout the year for YMCA employees.

Interested in teaching a life-long skill through swim instruction? The YMCA needs YOU! To learn more about available positions and how to join a team where you can truly make a difference, please visit our careers page.