The role can be offered as a full-time job, within an apprenticeship (that is certainly the case for many Swim UK apprentices), or can be offered on a part-time/casual basis. Flexibility, with different shifts means it is often taken up by young people at college or university.
Becoming a lifeguard also provides an excellent foundation for a career in the leisure industry. For example, Apprenticeships that are offered through Swim UK involve lifeguarding on pool side but gives you the opportunity to progress into roles such as Swimming Teaching, Leisure Operations, Management and much more.
Becoming a lifeguard – First Steps
To become a lifeguard, you have to become a qualified pool/beach lifeguard (depending on where you want to work). Bear in mind that in the UK, there are more pool lifeguard opportunities, than beach lifeguard. Beach lifeguard jobs are almost always summer jobs.
In order to become a beach lifeguard, you will need to complete the National Vocational Beach Lifeguard Qualification (NVBLQ). And in order to become a pool lifeguard, you will need to complete a National Pool Lifeguard Qualification (NPLQ). These courses are offered by Swim UK through the Royal Lifesaving Society (RLSS). For more information on the RLSS, visit: http://rlss.org.uk. Swim UK also offer the opportunity for people aged 15-24 to complete an NPLQ course completely free through our #StepIn2Sport programme! This gives young people the opportunity to get FREE qualifications to get them started in the leisure industry!
- You must be 16+ years of age at the time of taking the NPLQ assessment.
- You must be able to jump / dive into deep water, swim 50 metres in less than 60 seconds, swim 100 metres continuously on front and back in deep water, tread water for 30 seconds, surface dive to the floor of the pool and climb out unaided without ladder / steps and where the pool design permits.
Candidates must be:
- 16-years-old or over at the time of the assessment
- Have a good level of fitness
- Able to dive to a depth of up to 2 metres without a danger to their hearing
- Tread water for two minutes
- Climb out of deep water unaided and without steps
- Be competent at swimming in the sea
- Be able to swim 400m in less than 7 and a half minutes using a continuous front stroke and showing urgency
Once I’ve qualified?
Once you’ve completed your National Pool Lifeguard Qualification (NPLQ), you’re fully qualified and ready to find a job as a pool lifeguard! Take a look at some current lifeguard jobs available in summer 2018(link will go here).
Lifeguarding is an extremely dynamic opportunity. It really is what you make it… you can use it as a part-time job or use it to kickstart a career in the very broad leisure industry.