Lifeguard Waterfront Certification Course


Course Purpose

Course Prerequisties

The purpose of the Lifeguard Waterfront course is to teach lifeguards the skills and knowledge needed to prevent and respond to emergencies in non-surf, open-water areas found at beaches, public parks, resorts, summer camps and at campgrounds.

Candidates must have a current American Red Cross Lifeguard Certificate in addition to a CPR, AED and First Aid Certificate. 

Skill Prerequisites

Candidates must: 

  1. Be 15 years old on or before the final scheduled session of the course

  2. Swim 550 yards, continuously demonstrating breath control and rhythmic breathing. Candidates may swim using the front crawl, breaststroke or a combination of both, but swimming on the back or side is not allowed. Swim goggles may be used

  3. Swim 5 yards, submerge and retrieve three dive rings placed 5 yards apart in 4 to 7 feet of water, resurface and continue to swim another 5 yards to complete the skill sequence

  4. Tread water for 2 minutes, using only the legs. Candidates should place their hands under the armpits

  5. Complete a timed event within 1 minute and 40 seconds

  •        Starting in the water, swim 20 yards. The face may be in or out of the water. Swim goggles are not allowed

  •        Surface dive, feet-first or headfirst, to a depth of 7 to 10 feet to retrieve a 10-pound object

  •        Return to the surface and swim 20 yards on the back to return to the starting point with both hands holding the object and keeping the face at or near the surface so they are able to get a breath 

Who Needs the Lifeguard Waterfront Certification Course?

Individuals who are already a qualified lifeguard and want to the skills to work as a Waterfront Lifeguard.

Waterfront Lifeguard Learning Objectives 

Candidates must: 

  • Demonstrate proficiency in all of the prerequisite skills

  • Describe the unique aspects of waterfront lifeguarding

  • Demonstrate how to perform  the waterfront rescue skills safely and effectively

Our Instructors

Instructors for this course are current Waterfront Lifeguard instructors certified as Lifeguarding instructors or instructor trainers who have a Waterfront Skills certificate, are oriented to the Waterfront Skills portion of the Lifeguarding Instructor's Manual and have received authorization as a Waterfront Skills instructor from the American Red Cross.

Waterfront Lifeguard Certification Requirements

​Candidates must:

  • Attend the entire course and participate in all class sessions

  • Actively participate in all course activities, including assuming various roles during scenarios

  • Demonstrate competency in all required skills

  • Pass the final skills scenarios

  • Successfully pass final written exams with a minimum grade of 80%. If a participant fails to reach the minimum 80% on the final written exam, a retest is allowed using another version of the exam, provided that the participant has passed the practical assessment

Certificate Validity Period

  • The American Red Cross certificate for Waterfront Skills is valid for 2 years 

NOTE: The Waterfront Skills certificate is only valid when accompanied with current American Red Cross Lifeguarding and CPR, AED and First Aid certificates.

Required Class Materials

The American Red Cross Lifeguarding Manual (purchased directly from the Red Cross website)

Cost: $34.99

Waterfront Lifeguard Course Cost and Length

  • In-person training: 3 hours and 45 minutes​​

  • Cost*: $75 (when added to lifeguarding course) 


  • You will be contacted to set up the in-person session once registration has been completed.

  • Cost of class may vary depending on venue location.

  • View important Policy information




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