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How to Become a Lifeguard in Florida
Lifeguards protect the well-being of swimmers having a good time at the pool or in the ocean. Florida lifeguards must pass a test that involves swimming and essential lifesaving skills before the state of Florida will issue a lifeguard certification. Practice wading in the water for long periods of time and swimming multiple laps to build up your endurance before lifeguard certification. If you are not a strong swimmer, wait before applying as a certified lifeguard.
Check the age requirements for lifeguard training. Usually the minimum age for lifeguard training in Florida is 15 years old. Lifeguard instructors must be at least 17 years old.
Practice swimming at your nearest body of water or pool. Before you can take the necessary lifeguard training classes and examinations, you must show swimming proficiency. Incoming lifeguard applicants in the state of Florida must be able to swim 300 yards continuously using a front-crawl for 100 yards, a breaststroke for 100 yards and either the front-crawl or breaststroke for the last 100 yards. Additionally, applicants must swim out 20 yards and retrieve a 10-pound weight from the bottom of the pool. The task must be completed in 100 seconds or less. Your breathing must be controlled the entire time you swim in a "rhythmic" manner.
Pay the fee for a lifeguard certification class and attend the instructional meetings. Lifeguard training classes teach how to identify people who are in trouble in the water, rescue methods, first aid and how to deal and communicate with the swimming public. Certification fees vary from $75 to $175. Once you pass the lifeguard certification test -- consisting of questions testing you on the knowledge mentioned previously -- hold on to your certificate.
Apply to pools or beaches in the Florida area looking for lifeguards. Most lifeguarding positions are available immediately before the summer season or during the season. Interview for the lifeguarding position and bring your certification from your class. Wear skin protection and prepare to spend up to eight hours under the sun watching swimmers.
Ask your lifeguard instructor if she has any leads toward finding a lifeguard position in Florida. Pools and beaches may look toward instructors for certified lifeguards looking for a job.
Aaron Marquis is a University of Texas graduate with experience writing commercials and press releases for national advertising agencies as well as comedy television treatments/stories for FOX Studios and HBO. Marquis has been writing for over six years.