Lifeguard Certification

• Lifeguard Certification Registration Waiver 
• Lifeguard Certification Syllabus
• Lifeguard Certification Informational Flyer

Do you want to be part of a team that helps to save lives? Are you looking for a fun, challenging job? Earn money, meet great people, develop leadership skills, and gain valuable work experience. Become an American Red Cross lifeguard.

This course qualifies candidates to be pool lifeguards. The course does not have a waterfront component.

Prerequisites: To take the course, you must be able to pass all parts of the swimming test:

  • Swim 300 yards continuously demonstrating breath control and rhythmic breathing. Candidates may swim the front crawl or breaststroke or a combination, but swimming on the back or side is not permitted. Goggles and swim cap are strongly recommended. 300 yards = 12 lengths/6 laps

  • Complete a timed event within 1 minute, 40 seconds. Starting in the water, swim 20 yards. The face may be in or out of the water. Swim goggles are not permitted. Surface dive, feet-first or head-first, to a depth of 7-10 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 to be able to take a breath. Candidates are not permitted to swim the distance under water. Place the object on wall & exit the water without using a ladder or steps.

  • Tread water for 2 minutes using only the legs. Candidates may place their hands under the armpits.

Full Certification -- TBA (credit card, cash or money order; personal checks not accepted)
Includes lifeguard certification, first aid and CPR/AED.

Re-certification -- TBA (credit card, cash or money order; personal checks not accepted)
Must have current lifeguard certification or be within 30 days of expiration. Copy of current certification required with registration form.

Fee is non-refundable, unless the registrant does not pass the swim test or withdraws from the course prior to the swim test or first class.

Eligibility: Open to current UMass students, faculty and staff

Swim Test: TBA (spring semester)

Class Dates & Times: TBA (spring semester March-April)

Location: Boyden pool and classroom 269

Attendance is mandatory at the swim test and all classes.
*Recertifying guards do not need to attend the first classroom session, but must attend the first pool session TBD.

See syllabus for specific course content and additional information.

Registration: Registration is first-come, first-served and begins TBA (spring semester). To register, see office manager David Litterer (Recreation Center room 112) Monday-Friday 10am-6pm.

About the Instructor
James Miller is the former athletic director at Northampton High School. He also had 30+ years in education as a high school science teacher. He has been an American Red Cross instructor in lifeguarding, CPR and first aid for over 30 years. He is also an outdoor emergency care instructor for the National Ski Patrol.

For more information, contact Red Cross instructor James Miller at or Campus Recreation Senior Associate Jeanne Orr at