Let’s follow Melina on her journey to becoming a lifeguard and swim instructor.

Recently, Melina, now 15 years old, heard from her mom that she should become a lifeguard. She was already considering getting a job and wants to learn more.

In her research, Melina learns many benefits of working in the aquatic industry.

  • Lifeguards develop Healthy
  • Habits and critical thinking skills.
  • Lifeguards and Swim Instructors are highly paid.
  • There is a large job market.
  • It can become a lifelong career.
  • Many teens and young adults already work in the aquatic industry.
  • Becoming a lifeguard opens a world of possibilities.
  • Many lifeguards specialize in becoming swim instructors, swim team coaches, artistic swimming coaches, and diving instructors.
  • Lifeguards feel pride in keeping their community safe.


Becoming a lifeguard is one of the best jobs for teens and young adults, but sometimes the process can seem confusing.

Let’s follow Melina on her journey to becoming a lifeguard and swim instructor. First, Melina took swimming lessons as a child, but now she needs to know if she has the right skills.

Melina should have the following requirements before applying:

Requirements to become a Lifeguard:

Note: While it’s common to have learned to swim through one of the above programs, these are not a requirement but more of a guideline. 


13 years + (Can complete Bronze Medallion, Bronze Cross and Standard First Aid.)

15 years + (Can complete National Lifeguard, and become a Swim Instructor)

Swim Program Level Completed:
  • MISway Advanced or higher or;
  • Red Cross Junior 10 or higher or;
  • YMCA Star 6 or higher or;
  • Olympic Way Gold or higher or;
  • Bronze Star

Swimmers should be able to:

  • Swim on their own.
  • Know the four strokes (Front Crawl, Back Crawl, Breast Stroke, and Butterfly).
  • Be able to swim at least 200 meters non-stop (8 lengths of an aquatic centre-sized pool.)

Melina is happy to find out that she meets the requirements! So, what’s her first step?

To become a fully-fledged lifeguard, Melina must complete Bronze Medallion, Bronze Cross, Standard First Aid, and National Lifeguard. Does that seem like a lot? While it might seem overwhelming initially, Melina shouldn’t worry; below, we’ll share some tips and tricks to speed up the process.

The Life Saving Society of Canada provides lifeguard certifications and courses; each province has a dedicated team and website.

Required Courses and Certifications:

  • Bronze Medallion (13 years +)
  • Bronze Cross (13 years +)
  • Standard First Aid
  • National Lifeguard (15 years +)
Okay, now Melina knows the courses and certifications she will need to work as a lifeguard and is excited to start her classes, how should she register?
Find a Course:

There are several places to look for these courses. MIS now offers Bronze courses several times per year.

Additionally, the Lifesaving Society of Quebec’s website also provides information for all courses offered in the province.
Here are some helpful links:
Working with MIS:

MIS offers even more for young lifeguards like Melina. After completing her courses, she applies to become a lifeguard and swim instructor with MIS.

What she can expect:

  • MIS offers Melina a free and complete swim instructor training certification when hired. (MIS-SI).
  • A high starting salary, with many opportunities to grow.
  • Guaranteed working hours, with the flexibility to work around her school schedule.
  • She’ll work with an organization that understands the needs of teens and young adults.
  • End-of-term bonuses.
  • And so much more!

Ready to Sign Up?

Are you inspired to start your journey to becoming a lifeguard? We’re here to help. Ask our team any questions about the available courses, job opportunities or what it’s like to work in the aquatic industry.