Lifeguard Certification

• Lifeguard Certification Registration Waiver Form
Lifeguard Certification Pre-Swim Test Information
Lifeguard Certification 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 is an American Red Cross Blended Learning course that combines online learning with in-person sessions where you will practice skills and demonstrate competency. Most participants complete the eLearning portion of the course in approximately 7 hours. You can complete the online part prior to the first session and present your eLearning certificate at the beginning of your first class. You also have the option to complete lessons as the course progresses.

Prerequisites: To take the lifeguard certification 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 while 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 should place their hands under the armpits.

This course qualifies candidates to be pool lifeguards.

Waterfront Candidates Additional Requirements (optional) 
Course offered Saturday, May 19 in Florence, MA  11am-4pm; additional registration fee required payable to Northampton Recreation Department

  • Swim an additional 250 yards (10 lengths) for a total of 550 yards (22 lengths).
  • Swim underwater 5 yards in four to seven feet of water, submerge and retrieve 3 sunken objects set 5 yards apart, surface and swim an additional 5 yards. Goggles are not permitted.

Cost:  $285.00 (credit card, cash or money order; personal checks not accepted)
Payment is due upon registration.
Includes lifeguard certification, first aid and CPR/AED.

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 only

Swim Test:  Sunday, March 4 (4-6pm pool)

Class Dates & Times:  Attendance is mandatory at the swim test and all classes.
Sunday, March 25 (2:30-3:45pm classroom, 4-7pm pool)
Sunday, April 8 (10:30am-3:30pm classroom, 4-7pm pool)
Sunday, April 22 (2:30-3:45pm classroom, 4-7pm pool)
Sunday, April 29 (2:30-3:45pm classroom, 4-7pm pool)

Location:  Boyden pool and classroom 269

Registration is first-come, first-served and begins Monday, February 5 and ends Thursday, March 1. 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 james.miller228@gmail.com or Campus Recreation Senior Associate Jeanne Orr at jorr@umass.edu