Red Cross Lifeguard Course

Is this the right class for me?
The American Red Cross Lifeguard course is the universal certificate accepted at most pools and beaches in the U.S. If you don't have a job yet, this is the class for you. There are a few facilities that use different programs, but they train their own guards after hiring.

 How does it work?
1. You take an online course. You will be emailed this after you register.
2. Come to the two days of instruction at the pool. This is about half wet and half dry.

What is blended training?
Students complete an online training course and readings before the course. This at-home work takes as much as 8 hours. Then candidates come to the instructor-led sessions.

How hard is the course? 
While the course is demanding, we have a VERY high success rate. The biggest roadblock is people who don't swim well. You don't have to be a competitive swimmer, but you have to know how to swim a proper front crawl (freestyle) with breathing to the side or a proper breaststroke with breathing to the front each stroke. As for the content, if you do the homework and pay attention during class, the vast majority of candidates are successful. We provide a friendly supportive coaching environment, not a Full Metal Jacket military basic training environment like in some classes.

Deerfield, IL


1. Must be 15 years old on the last day of the course.
2. On the first day of class you will take a swimming test to make sure it is safe for you to take the course. This Red Cross requirement is non-waivable. We cannot teach you these skills during the course.

Prerequisite 1: Complete a swim-tread-swim sequence without stopping to rest: 
• Jump into the water and totally submerge, resurface then swim 150 yards using the front crawl, breaststroke or a combination of both. (Swimming on the back or side is not permitted. Swim goggles are allowed)
• Maintain position at the surface of the water for 2 minutes by treading water using only the legs
• Swim 50 yards using the front crawl, breaststroke or a combination of both 
(You must know how to either a front crawl or a breaststroke with breathing. You cannot swim with your head out of the water. The Red Cross requires this. We won't be able to teach you how to swim during the course.)

Prerequisite 2: Complete a timed event within 1 minute, 40 seconds: 
• Starting in the water, swim 20 yards. (The face may be in or out of the water. Swim goggles are not allowed).
• Submerge to a depth of 10 feet to retrieve a 10-pound object.
• Return to the surface and swim 20 yards on the back to return to the starting point, holding the object at the surface with both hands and keeping the face out at or near the surface.
• Exit the water without using a ladder or steps.

Certification Requirements:
■ Successfully complete the online course
■Attend and participate in all class sessions.
■ Demonstrate competency in all required skills and activities.
■ Demonstrate competency in all required final rescue skill scenarios.
■ Pass Lifeguarding final written exam with a minimum grade of 80 percent.

Certificate Issued and Validity Period:
American Red Cross certificate for Lifeguarding/First Aid/CPR/AED: 2 years

American Red Cross Lifeguarding Manual (EBook, included in course) 

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Our Camp Partners

Many of the best overnight camps trust us to train their lifeguards.


All boys, summer sports camp
Eagle River.WI

Lake of the Woods
& Greenwoods

Be your best self.

Camp Agawak

Rich traditions since 1921


More than a camp, it’s a feeling! Eagle

Why Us?

■ If your schedule changes, you can switch to one of our other open courses at no cost, up to 48 hours before the course.
■ We have tons of training equipment. In most lifeguarding courses you spend a good portion of the class waiting around for your turn to train on different kinds of rescue equipment. This can shorten our course by HOURS!
■You have access to the instructor by email, phone, and text. You can ask questions ahead of time, voice your concerns, and get help.
■ We waste no time in our courses, they are fast-paced. We know how you value your time. You will never wait for your instructors to prepare, transitions are fast, and we streamline all aspects of the course. This can shorten our course by HOURS! We consistently hear from students who have previously taken courses elsewhere, that they sat around taking "breaks" or waiting for something for hours of the course.
■Most lifeguard courses are scheduled because that pool needs lifeguards. Extra spaces are then offered to the public. So often, to the instructor of these classes, teaching this is considered a nightmare of extra work. An attitude like that can really change a class. We love teaching lifeguarding and pride ourselves on having a great class.
■ We have small instructor to student ratios. This is one of the ways we keep our quality so high and it can shorten the course by HOURS!
■ Many lifeguarding courses are taught by people who only teach one course every other year or so, and may have never been a lifeguard, a class at a high school for example. We have certified thousands of lifeguards over 25 years. Our head instructor is a national expert in lifeguarding and has worked with some of the biggest aquatic facilities in the country, and has been acknowledged in lifeguarding textbooks.