lifeguard courses near me

How to become a qualified lifeguard

Friday 3 February, 2023

Learning to become a qualified lifeguard helps to give you skills that you can trust and rely on for your whole life. But being a lifeguard is so much more and Hertfordshire Sports Village, based at our fully equipped sports centre in Hatfield, is here to help you achieve that goal. 

What are the benefits of being a lifeguard?

Learning to be a lifeguard in your teenage years helps to develop extra skill sets that will serve you well in your future. These include:

  • Leadership and responsibility
  • People and communication skills
  • Greater self-confidence and self-belief
  • Becoming a team player
  • Focus and being alert

Being able to show these attributes to potential employers and further education institutions will help a teenager or young adult stand out from the crowd. 

So how do you qualify to be a lifeguard?

Firstly, you must be over the age of 16. The National Pool Lifeguard Qualification (NPLQ) course is an incredibly important course to attend if you are planning a career in the leisure industry. There are, of course, some basic fitness and swimming skills required in order to attend the National Pool Lifeguard course.

You must be able to:

  • Jump or dive into deep water
  • Swim 50 metres in under 60 seconds
  • Swim 100 metres, without rest, on both your front and back
  • Tread water for a minimum of 30 seconds in deep water
  • Dive from the surface of the pool and swim to the floor
  • Climb out of the pool without help and not using the ladders

If you pass this initial criteria you will be able to apply for the NPLQ course. Courses are held over the period of 6 days and are between the hours of 8am and 5pm. The last day is the assessment day and has a slightly later start time of 10.30am.

How much is the Lifeguard Course?

Our intensive 6-day NPLQ course costs from £325 and is held at our Hertfordshire Sports Village giving easy access from St Albans, Welwyn Garden City and Hatfield. 

What is on an NPLQ course?

The content of our 6-day NPLQ course is typically split in to 3 main sections. In each of those sections there are a further 3 elements. It is important to understand before undertaking the NPLQ course that it is very physically demanding and, as you would expect, contains a great deal of swimming. 

Here is how the course breaks down in to the sections:

  • Section 1 – The Law and Swimming Pool Supervision
    • The Lifeguard and the Law
    • Hazards and Control Measures
    • Swimming Pool Supervision
  • Section 2 – Intervention, Rescue and Emergency Action Plans
    • Intervention and Rescue
    • Rescue of a casualty with suspected spinal injury
    • Emergency Action Pan
  • Section 3 – Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation, AED and First Aid
    • Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)
    • First Aid
    • Automated External Defibrillation (AED)

Also, you must pass all sections to be able to qualify. The qualification remains valid for 2 years and we highly recommend students undertake a refresher course.

How much is a lifeguard paid?

Once you have your NPLQ qualification and you are ready for your lifeguard job, the amount a lifeguard can earn is, on average, around £10 per hour. This is much higher than the standard minimum wage often paid by other jobs. For example, the current minimum wage structure is:

  • 16 – 17 year olds get £4.81 per hour
  • 18 – 20 year olds get £6.83 per hour

So, as you can see, being a qualified lifeguard is a much better financial prospect on top of learning all the new skills. 

Swimming pools in your area

There are a number of public and private swimming pools in St Albans, Hatfield and Welwyn Garden City that you would be able to apply to for a lifeguard job after you have qualified. 

Below we have listed a few for you to consider:

Swimming pools in St Albans and Harpenden

  • Westminster Lodge Leisure Centre
  • Affinity Leisure at The Noke Hotel
  • Harpenden Swimming Pool
  • Nuffield Health

Swimming pools in Hatfield

  • Hertfordshire Sports Village Swimming Pool
  • Hatfield Swim Centre

Swimming pools in Welwyn Garden City

  • Gosling Sports Park
  • The Swim Academy

We think it’s fair to say that gaining your NPLQ Lifeguard Qualification will not only benefit you by gaining valuable new skills, but you can also be financially better off as well.

Please feel free to give us a call if you would like to chat through more details, or if you have any questions. We look forward to hearing from you.

Book your NPLQ Lifeguard Qualification Course here.

There are limited spaces available on our next course this Summer Holiday from Monday 1 - Saturday 6 August.

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Complete the form above and we'll be in touch or call 01707 284466 to speak to one of our team.