Top ten tips for becoming a lifeguard from our Coach Ollie:
1.Gain experience in the water
Being a lifeguard on the beach is very different to inland water or swimming pools. If you want to
succeed as a lifeguard you must be strong in the sea, especially the surf and have good knowledge
of how it works. You can’t buy experience, you need to go out and get it. Lots of lifeguards come
from the coast and have grown up in the sea. It’s a competitive world out there. You’ll have to prove
yourself in the water to get the job.
2 . Get qualified
You’ll need to hold a valid qualification to apply for work. Contact Surf Life Saving GB for further
details. There are many commercial centres out there that can deliver one week intensive training
3. Join a Surf Lifesaving Club
By joining a lifesaving club you’ll have access to equipment and people with experience and
knowledge to share. Certain clubs will also train you and get you through your qualification.
4. Become competent on a rescue board.
The rescue board is a hugely important piece of equipment. In many areas, the RNLI will assess you
on your board skills as part of your interview. You may be a good swimmer but you need to be able
to get a rescue board out through surf!
5. Get fit
Lifeguarding requires a high level of fitness. Being physically prepared for any situation is crucial. You
need to get in the pool and make sure you can swim the required time. This involves training and
dedication. Swim fitness is very particular, ninety minutes on a football pitch will not prepare you for
a timed swim. It’s a world apart!
6. Pass your driving test
You don’t need to have a driving licence to become a lifeguard but many beaches have vehicles. This
increase your chances of employment you should have a licence.
Once you are qualified you can work as a lifeguard as a volunteer. In areas that are popular to work,
a season of volunteering can be a foot in the door.
8. Decide where to work
With the RNLI you have to specify where you want to work. Decide on where you want to work and
consider a second and third choice.
9. Prepare for the interview
As with any job the interview could make or break you. Do your research and prepare you answers.
10. Be open to learning
Lots of lifeguard in their first season think they know everything. Be aware that you are surrounded
by people with lots of experience and knowledge. Be humble, train hard, use your initiative and
work as a team. Good luck.