Are you looking for a way to make a difference in your community? Do you want to help keep people safe at the pool or beach? If so, lifeguard training may be the perfect opportunity for you.

lifeguard training

The State of Illinois requires lifeguards at many of its public swimming pools. There are over 309,000 public swimming pools throughout the United States, and the American Lifeguard Association (ALA) is one of the most reputed and recognized lifeguard training providers nationwide.

The American Lifeguard Association has been listed over the years on the CDC Healthy Swimming website. In addition, the U.S. Department of Labor and the U.S. General Service Administration (GSA) has determined that the American Lifeguard Association offers lifeguard certification programs similar to those provided by the American Red Cross. Also, since the early 1990s, we have helped ensure that all our training programs meet Occupational Safety and Health Administration requirements for employees.

ALA has a variety of different lifeguard training courses and certification programs to choose from as per your skills and ability to swim. Our lifeguard classes teach you all the necessary skills that a lifeguard needs to be equipped with to serve at the beaches, water parks, and swimming pools.

Before talking about the different skills that ALA teaches in lifeguard training in Illinois, let’s dive into some general characteristics of a lifeguard:

What is a lifeguard?

To put it simply, a lifeguard is someone who has been trained to save the lives of others. A lifeguard’s job is to watch over swimmers and ensure their safety. Lifeguards must be knowledgeable about:

  • Swimming skills
  • CPR
  • First aid
  • Water safety.

A lifeguard must be a strong swimmer. In most cases, this means they should be able to swim at least 300 yards continuously without rest. This means that a lifeguard should not only be able to swim but should also be able to stay afloat for extended periods of time.

Lifeguard Training in Illinois (IL) is a Career Opportunity.

There are many great jobs available for lifeguards. It is an excellent job that provides many benefits to you as a lifeguard, but also many benefits to the community. Lifeguard training in IL can lead you to build a solid and rewarding career that gives you the satisfaction of being a guardian in water for the swimmers at beaches, water parks, lakes, and swimming pools.

It would be best if you considered where you want to work, depending on your swimming level:

  • On the beach as a lifeguard. Only excellent swimmers and sea enthusiasts should be considered for this location. But be careful; aptitude tests and intensive training are required to be admitted to this position to determine your aptitude to deal with hazardous situations, especially with rough seas, strong waves, and currents.
  • In swimming pools, aquatic centers, and lakes. The lifeguard posts in these areas are designed to supervise swimming in the authorized area, provide prevention, give first aid in case of injuries, and ensure the place’s tranquility.

Your lifeguard certification is proof of completing specific training. The ALA program’s skills reflect ECC science and findings from the United States Lifeguard Training Standards Coalition Report. ALA programs also require that employers meet the new Model Aquatic Health Code (MAHC) requirement to conduct pre-service evaluations and in-service training with all staff members. In addition, the documentation verifying the pre-service requirements by the employer is to be maintained at the facility and be available for inspection. The American Lifeguard Association is available to work with employers who request assistance in helping with the program’s evaluation to meet these new standards.

Lifeguarding is a challenging job.

While being a lifeguard is a great way to earn a living, it is also dangerous. Not only can the job be physically demanding, but it can also be mentally challenging. The first step in becoming a lifeguard is to get trained. Several outstanding national associations provide lifeguard training for people who want to work as a lifeguard in the summertime and for those who want to make a career out of it. The American Lifeguard Association is one of these organizations that has been quoted for water safety on national T.V. and local media.

ALA has some prerequisites for the candidates for lifeguard training in Illinois. Here are the criteria for being selected as a candidate for a lifeguard class:

To enroll in the Lifeguarding course, you may be any age, but U.S. Labor Laws require that you must be 15 years or older to work at a swimming pool, waterpark, or lake and 16 years or older to work at beaches.

To successfully pass the entire Lifeguarding course, you must be able to demonstrate the following skills:

Swim 300 yards continuously, using these strokes in the following order:

  • 100 yards of front crawl using rhythmic breathing and a stabilizing, propellant kick. Rhythmic breathing can be performed either by breathing to the side or the front.
  • 100 yards of breaststroke using a pull, breath, kick and glide sequence.
  • 100 yards of either the front crawl or breaststroke.

The 100 yards may be a combination of front crawl and breaststroke. Starting in the water, swim 20 yards using front crawl or breaststroke, surface dive 7- 10 feet, retrieve a 10-pound object, return to the surface, swim 20 yards back to the starting point with the object, and exit the water without using a ladder or steps, within 1 minute, 40 seconds.

Upon successfully completing the lifeguard course, each participant will receive an American Lifeguard Certificate indicating Lifeguard, CPR/AED for the Professional Rescuer, and First Aid, which are valid for two years.

The Purpose of getting lifeguard training

Lifeguards are trained to save lives. They enforce safety rules and rescue people from the water. Lifeguards have to learn the proper techniques for rescuing someone from the water.

The Purpose of the American Lifeguarding course is to teach candidates the knowledge and skills needed to prevent and respond to aquatic emergencies. The course content and activities prepare candidates to recognize and respond quickly and effectively to emergencies and prevent drowning and injuries.

Listed below, you will find a list of skills that will be covered in this course.

Lifeguarding skills 

Lifeguarding Course Participants at the American Lifeguard Association will learn:


  • Slide-In Entry
  • Stride and Compact Jumps
  • Rescue Approach-Front Crawl or Breaststroke
  • Simple Assist
  • Extension Assist from the Deck
  • Reaching Assist with Equipment and Throwing Assist
  • Swimming Extension Rescue
  • Active and Passive Drowning Victim Rear Rescue
  • Two-Person Removal from the Water Using a Backboard
  • Passive Submerged Victim-Shallow Water
  • Multiple-Victim Rescue
  • Feet-First Surface Dive
  • Submerged Victim-Deep Water
  • Front and Rear Head-Hold Escape


  • Manual In-Line Stabilization for a Head, Neck, or Back Injury on Land- Lying Down, Sitting, or Standing
  • Using a Backboard for a Standing Victim on Land
  • Head Splint Technique-Face-Up Victim, Shallow Water at or Near Surface
  • Head Splint Technique-Face-Dow Victim, Shallow Water at or Near Surface
  • Head and Chin Support-Face-Up Victim, Shallow Water at or Near Surface
  • Head and Chin Support-Face-Down Victim, Shallow Water at or Near Surface
  • Head Splint Technique-Face-Up Victim, Deep Water at or Near Surface
  • Head Splint Technique-Face-Down Victim, Deep Water at or Near Surface
  • Head and Chin Support-Face-Up Victim, Deep Water at or Near Surface
  • In-Line Stabilization for a Submerged Victim-Face-Up, Face-Down, or on One Side in Deep Water
  • Using a Backboard in Shallow and Deep Water


  • Removing Gloves
  • Initial Assessment
  • Rescue Breathing-Adult, Child, and Infant
  • Using a Bag-Valve-Mask Resuscitator-Two Rescuers
  • Conscious Choking-Adult, Child, and Infant
  • Unconscious Choking-Adult, Child, and Infant
  • CPR-Adult, Child, and Infant
  • Two-Rescuer CPR-Adult, Child, and Infant
  • Using an AED-Adult and Child


  • Secondary Assessment
  • Controlling External Bleeding
  • Applying a Sling and Binder
  • Applying an Anatomic Splint
  • Applying a Soft Splint


  • Final Skill Scenario 1-Active Drowning Victim
  • Final Skill Scenario 2-Submerged Passive Drowning Victim
  • Final Skill Scenario 3-Head, Neck, or Back Injury.


Saving a life is the most important in lifeguarding, and when you do this with all the right things you learned and practiced in your lifeguard training, it feels rewarding and satisfactory. Being alert, being a professional, and being on top of your skills at all times can help save lives! Practice makes perfect.

For more information and questions about the registration process or problems completing the program, please contact us via email at We quickly respond to emails 24/7 and normally respond to inquiries within just a few minutes. You may read more by visiting our home page at

If you are searching for the words “lifeguard training near me,” the American Lifeguard Association is just the right place for lifeguard training in Illinois.