How To Land Your Dream Job As Lifeguard

You’re in your early twenties, and you’ve just moved to a new city. Lifeguarding is all you’ve ever wanted to do you’ve dreamed about it since you were knee-high. 

You spent summers at the beach playing in the sand, going on swimming excursions when school let out, and staying up late into the night watching Baywatch reruns until they were ingrained in your brain. 

Now that you’re living in this new town with no job and no money, what’s going to happen next? The answer is simple: get yourself certified as a lifeguard!

CPR Training

In addition to your CPR training, you will also want to make sure that you have a valid first aid certificate. A first aid certificate is going to be an important part of your job as a lifeguard, and will allow you to help people who need immediate medical attention.

If you want more information on how to get your CPR certification or learn more about other types of certifications that might be required for certain lifeguarding jobs, check out our guide on [How To Get Your First Aid Certificate](

First Aid Certification

First aid certification is a must-have for lifeguards. It’s a great way to show your commitment to safety, and it also shows that you’re prepared for emergencies that may arise at the pool or beach. 

If you don’t have first aid training yet, look into becoming certified with Red Cross or American Heart Association classes in your area.

Lifeguarding Certification

Lifeguarding certification is a good way to show you’re qualified. Many employers prefer lifeguards who have taken the time to get their certification, as it shows that you are serious about your career choice. 

However, there are many places where lifeguard certifications aren’t required or even preferred. If you want to work at a place like this, you will need to find other ways of showing them why you should be hired instead of someone else with the same skills but no certificate.

Pool Operator License (In Some Cases)

In some states, you’ll need to obtain your state’s lifeguard certification. If you don’t have a pool operator license, you can still be hired as a lifeguard, but your employer will have to meet certain requirements to ensure that they are following the rules.

Some states require only an American Red Cross CPR and first aid course (which takes about 3-5 days). 

In other states, including New York State, an American Red Cross lifeguard training program is required by law. This type of program usually takes 6-8 weeks and costs around $1,000-$1,500 (depending on whether or not it includes room and board).

Older Applicants Should Apply In Person

If you are over 40, or 50, or 60, or 70 — in fact, if you’re any age at all — don your bathing suit and head to the beach to apply in person.

If you are under 30 and have a killer résumé and sparkling personality, then by all means apply online. But if those qualities aren’t quite as evident on paper? Then it might be time to go old school with that application process!

Dressing For The Interview

Your appearance is your first impression, so it’s important to dress professionally for the interview. This doesn’t mean you need to wear a suit and tie, but think about what you’d wear if you were going on an interview at, say, the local bank or a law firm and go with that.

Make sure your clothes are clean and fit well. If you’re nervous about something hanging out of your pants or top button being undone when it shouldn’t be, buy some suspenders or clips (like these) if necessary. 

Make sure there aren’t any stains on any part of your outfit; if there are any tiny blemishes that nobody else would notice anyway (say a small mark on a shirt), consider covering them with makeup before leaving home.

The most important thing is comfort: don’t feel like you have to dress up in uncomfortable clothing just because this job calls for it you’ll be outside all day! 

It’s better to wear something loose-fitting that won’t restrict movement than something tight that feels constricting when bending over pools full of inflatable toys and people who don’t know how to swim yet but want their kids playing in them anyway because why not?

Be Prepared For A Short Interview

When you go for an interview, be prepared to answer interview questions about your experience and certifications. Be prepared for a short swim test as well. 

If you know that the lifeguards have gone through extensive training and they will be able to ask you specific questions about your swimming abilities, then it is best not to spend too much time studying how to pass the swim test in advance. 

Instead, study the job description carefully so that when you get there, you’ll know what qualities they’re looking for out of their future employees and so that it doesn’t seem like all of your preparation was based on passing one test!

Before going in for an interview with a lifeguard company or campground near me, read over their job descriptions carefully. 

In addition to being familiar with what duties are required by this position (such as swimming), find out if there’s anything else specific about them: Is there any training required? Do they prefer people who have previous experience working with children?

Be Prepared For A Short Swim Test

Be prepared for a short swim test. You may be asked to swim a short distance in the given style, or you may be asked to swim a short distance with the given strokes. 

In either case, we recommend that you prepare yourself well beforehand by practicing swimming at least twice a week till the time of your interview. If possible, attend swimming classes so that you can learn how to do each style correctly.

Be Prepared To Show Your Certifications

Just before the interview, ask if they would like to see your lifeguard certification. If they say yes, hand it over and allow them time to read it through. If they are interested in hiring you, they may ask which ones you have completed and what pool you trained at. 

This can be great information for them because it shows that you have taken the time and effort to get certified and will be able-bodied enough to do the job well. Make sure all of your certifications are up-to-date!

If possible, show them all of your certifications before either the swim test or being hired on as a lifeguard. This way there will be no surprises when starting work you’ve already proven yourself worthy of!

Be Prepared To Answer Personal Questions About Your History With Lifeguarding And Swimming Lessons You Took In The Past

When you’re applying for a lifeguarding position, it’s important to understand that the job entails more than just sitting on a chair and watching people swim. 

If you don’t know how to swim, then this isn’t the right job for you! You’ll need to be prepared with answers about your history with swimming lessons and being in the water (or not).

If your current job doesn’t require any swimming skills or knowledge, then that can be helpful when applying for lifeguard positions because it means that the employer won’t detect any gaps in your experience. But even then, there are still some other things they may ask about:

Read The Job Description Carefully

The next step is to read the job description carefully. Is it asking for a lifeguard, or does it say “pool attendant”? Are these two jobs similar? If so, then you can be sure that you will probably be asked about your experience with both types of positions. 

Or are they asking for someone who can swim and a little bit of babysitting? In this case, there would not be much overlap in your experience between being a lifeguard and a pool attendant, so make sure you understand what they are asking for before applying!

Your Dream Job As A Lifeguard Is Just Around The Corner, If You Prepare

Your dream job as a lifeguard is just around the corner, if you prepare. Take CPR and First Aid classes. Obtain your Lifeguarding Certification, and Pool Operator License (if applicable), and older applicants should apply in person.

Prepare for an interview by dressing appropriately and being prepared to answer questions about yourself and why you want to become a lifeguard. Be sure to practice answering questions so you don’t sound stilted or rehearsed during the actual interview! 

It’s also a good idea to be prepared for a short swim test if asked, it’ll make an impression on your prospective employer that will help secure your hiring despite other applicants’ lack of experience in this area.


If you’re ready to get your dream job as a lifeguard, there are many resources to help you along the way. 

The first step is always getting CPR and first aid certified, as well as taking a lifeguarding course. From there, it’s all about preparing yourself for the interview by reading up on the position description and preparing some questions of your own. 

You should also make sure that you understand all of your certifications before going into an interview so that you can talk confidently about them! 

Finally and most importantly make sure not just to dress comfortably but also appropriately when meeting with potential employers; they may ask questions about what kind of swimsuits.

Or bathing suits make up their staff uniforms (such as Speedos or bikini bottoms), so don’t forget those details!