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Lifeguard CPR Certification Requirements

As a lifeguard, your job is to be on the lookout for people in need of life-saving intervention, to recognize when CPR is needed, and to perform CPR correctly. However, lifeguard CPR certification requirements vary from state to state.

Learn more about lifeguard requirements for CPR, AED & First Aid – then get started with your certification online!

Do Lifeguards Need to Be CPR Certified?


Lifeguards must be certified in CPR, First Aid, and AED in order to handle life-threatening situations.

Lifeguarding requires specialized training and certifications to be able to respond to life-threatening emergencies. Lifeguards must watch for violations of safety rules and risk-taking behavior at swimming pools, and ocean hazards such as strong currents and waves at the beach. To be a proficient rescuer in any situation, lifeguards must earn their CPR, First Aid, and AED certifications.

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Dive Deeper:

Being a lifeguard may look like a fun, laid-back job. After all, you get to sit by the water, enjoy some sunshine, and watch people enjoying themselves and having a great time. However, if something goes wrong, lifeguards must spring into action, immediately assess the situation, and perform life-saving actions. Because of this, lifeguards must go through specific training to be able to recognize and handle life-threatening situations.

Lifeguards at swimming pools have a unique set of hazards to watch out for, including violation of safety rules, running on wet floors, misusing pool equipment, and risk-taking behavior such as roughhousing or diving into water that is too shallow.

At the beach, lifeguards are responsible for watching larger areas and other hazards such as strong ocean currents, disorienting waves, collisions with surfboards and other ocean equipment, and more.

With all of these hazards, lifeguards are expected to be vigilant observers and confident rescuers. To be a proficient rescuer in any situation – whether it be cases of drowning, heat stroke, head injury, or something else entirely – lifeguards are required to earn their CPR, First Aid, and AED certifications.

Which Path to CPR Certification for Lifeguards Is Right?

CPR certification for Lifeguards are determined based on three criteria: 

Course Content

Generally, lifeguards are considered to be emergency responders because they are usually the first person on scene. Because of this, lifeguards often require healthcare-level training in Basic Life Support and First Aid. This is your course content requirement. Be sure to select a CPR training for lifeguards that specifically includes BLS and First Aid skills training.

Course Delivery Modality

Most likely, your lifeguard CPR requirements will state that you need to complete a CPR certification program that involves a hands-on training program. This is your course delivery modality requirement. Look for a program listed as a “blended” course, which means there is a hands-on training portion, manikin, and live video skills assessment with an instructor in order to meet CPR requirements for lifeguards.

Course Brand

Finally, your state may have specific course brand requirements. Some states require that your lifeguard CPR training program come from the American Heart Association or American Red Cross; others don’t have such requirements and allow you to complete your training with flexible online providers like ProTrainings.

Be sure to check your state’s unique requirements in order to select a CPR certification for Lifeguards that’s right for you.
State Lookup

What Are the Requirements for CPR Certification for Lifeguards in Your State?

There may be specific CPR certification requirements and special considerations for Lifeguards performing CPR according to your state. To learn more about which requirements impact you, select your state on the map below.

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