The purpose of this course is to provide entry-level lifeguard participants with a comprehensive course that focuses on water rescue, safety and prepares lifeguards to anticipate and prevent dangers. Upon successful completion, participants are qualified to work at an aquatics facility as a certified lifeguard. Participants must attend all classes and successfully pass exams to receive certification.

Upon completion participants will receive YMCA Lifeguard Certificate, American Health and Safety BLS, Basic First Aid and Emergency Oxygen Administration.


  • Be at least 16 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 the head up, sidestroke, breaststroke, breaststroke with the head up and elementary backstroke kick with hands on the chest.
  • Feet-first surface dive to depth of 10 feet and swim underwater for 15 feet.
  • Sprint 60 feet, perform head surface dive to retrieve object in 10 feet of water, tread water for 1 minute without hands, return object to depth of 10 feet, swim remainder of pool length, exit pool and perform 100 chest compressions on a mannequin.

Additional Pre-Assignments

  • ASHI e-learning
  • YMCA Lifeguarding e-learning


  • Approximately 40 hours.
  • Course times may vary to include breaks.

Certification Requirements

  • 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 the Lifeguard test with a minimum grade of 80 percent.
  • Pass American Health and Safety Institute BLS, First Aid and Emergency Oxygen Administration tests with a minimum grade of 80 percent.