Popular Myths About Earning Your Lifeguard Certificate Debunked


For many seeking an active job with the opportunity to help others, becoming a lifeguard seems like an ideal career choice. However, rumors and misinformation about the certification process sometimes discourage potential candidates from pursuing this worthwhile role. As a trusted source for lifeguard training through American Lifeguard Events, I want to set the record straight on some popular myths told about earning your lifeguard certificate.

MYTH #1: It’s too difficult to pass the exams

In reality, the written and skill tests required by certification agencies like the American Lifeguard Events are designed to be completed by most trainees with proper study and practice during their course. While the skills and knowledge assessed are certainly important for lifeguard certificate responsibilities, passing rates are typically high. With the right preparation and instructor guidance provided by ALE courses, it is very achievable.

MYTH #2: Recertification is overly rigorous

Periodic recertification, often required annually, does involve refreshing skills and knowledge. However, it is usually a shorter, less intensive course than initial certification and primarily focuses on new procedures or updates to ensure ready compliance with safety standards. Recertification is not meant to be a difficult re-test but rather a convenient way to keep skills sharp – which ALE makes straightforward through affordable local classes.

MYTH #3: Certification only lasts a summer

While seasonal lifeguard jobs may only run during peak summer months at some facilities, the certification itself is normally valid for 2 full years from the date course completion. This provides flexibility to seek year-round opportunities at indoor pools, waterparks and other venues with a calendar of aquatic activities. A certificate from ALE provides possibilities beyond brief seasonal work.

MYTH #4: You need swimming experience to enroll in a course

Certification programs accept students at all ability and experience levels as long as medical requirements are met. Classes focus first on building essential water safety skills before advancing to more complex rescue techniques, ensuring everyone has a fair chance at certification. Talented instructors from ALE expertly guide even newcomers to swimming through the curriculum.

MYTH #5: It’s only for high school/college aged applicants

Lifeguarding welcomes candidates aged 15 and up through most certifying agencies like American Lifeguard Events. ALE trains many working professionals seeking additional responsibilities or a career change, as well as recent graduates starting their path. No upper age limit exists either, allowing life experience to complement lifesaving skills at any stage of life.

MYTH #6: It’s too expensive to get certified

While initial certification and recertification costs can seem daunting, organizations like American Lifeguard Events offer training at affordable prices. Our courses are competitively priced to accommodate a range of budgets. In addition, some facilities reimburse or provide discounts on certification for their lifeguards. Financing options may also be available, so don’t let cost be a deterrent – talk to an ALE representative about what works for your situation.

MYTH #7: There are no job prospects after certification

Demand for lifeguards remains high at aquatics facilities, waterparks, summer camps, residential communities, and more. According to the American Lifeguard Association, over 300,000 certified lifeguards are employed nationally each year. By partnering with hundreds of employers across the country, ALE expertly positions our graduates for rewarding job opportunities. Many certified by our program have found plentiful work in both seasonal and year-round roles. So rather than lacking prospects, newly certified individuals discover a ready workforce awaiting their skills.

MYTH #8: You need to be an expert swimmer

While strong swimming ability is important for lifeguarding, the certification process is structured to teach all skill levels. Courses focus first on learning water safety knowledge and building comfort/competency in the water. Additionally, some roles such as shallow water lifeguarding have less stringent swimming requirements. The goal is providing tools to keep patrons safe, not weeding candidates out. ALE’s progressive curriculum empowers all backgrounds.

MYTH #9: It’s too physically demanding

Certain lifeguard duties like rescuing distressed swimmers challenge physical fitness. However, the JOB itself has periods of active surveillance punctuated by more passive monitoring as well. As for CERTIFICATION, ALE courses take a “train at your own pace” approach. Skills are broken into manageable steps, with instructors available to assist fatigue or injuries. Through our programs, candidates of varied abilities complete requirements safely following individual limitations. Fitness is certainly beneficial but not an insurmountable barrier by any means.

MYTH #10: Once certified, you can work anywhere

While your certification allows basic lifeguard qualifications to transfer between facilities, each location may require additional orientation or in-service training. Employers ensure lifeguards understand unique design elements, protocols, patrons served and rescue equipment available on their watches. ALE prepares students exceptionally well, but we advise researching specific job requirements prior to applying.

MYTH #11: You only need CPR/First Aid, not a full lifeguard course

These essentials make up part of lifeguarding competency, yes, but on their own don’t substitute as a complete certificate. Courses like those ALE provides go beyond fundamentals into key aquatic lifeguarding skills, roles/responsibilities, surveillance techniques, prevention strategies, policy awareness and more. Improper training could put lives at risk. Our in-depth program satisfies national certifying bodies’ standards for true qualification.

MYTH #12: You can only work summers in high school/college

While seasonal roles may be common then, lifeguarding offers flexibility for all stages of life. With certification, options expand to year-round positions on weekends/evenings or as a primary career. ALE helps matches all interests and availability.

MYTH #13: Alcohol use is allowed off-duty

While social life is important, lifeguard certification requires upholding strict wellness standards always as a role model. Even off hours, substance use could delay response or judgment in an emergency. ALE’s comprehensive curriculum emphasizes responsibility well beyond in-service time.

MYTH #14: It only involves watching swimmers

While active supervision is core, modern lifeguarding entails so much more – from risk prevention talks and equipment checks, to emergency response, lesson assistance, crowd control, paperwork and teamwork. ALE prepares candidates to excel at all facets.

MYTH #15: Safety roles are limited at smaller pools

In truth, many community centers and apartment complexes still demand full-time, professional lifeguards alongside swim instructors year-round. Our networking connects candidates to opportunities wherever needed.

Final Words

Does this help dispel some common myths holding people back from pursuing lifeguard certification? Let an ALE expert know if any other questions arise during your journey to this prestigious role. Earning your certificate sets you on the path to helping communities and gaining skills for long-term success. Read more information click here

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