5 Steps to Become a Lifeguard in Canada

Find Out How Rewarding Lifeguard Jobs is in Canada, and The Process of Becoming One!

People who are looking for how to become a lifeguard in Canada are surely aiming for a good career. There are many water parks, natural lakes and swimming areas throughout Canada, which creates high demand of lifeguard services to protect swimmers.

Saving lives of people who are drowning requires vast skills so that you don’t lose yours while trying to save someone else’s life. This is also the reason why certification is made compulsory to everyone who wants to work as a lifeguard in any part of Canada.

Lifeguards only work during the day since people don’t swim at night due to the dangers involved. Because of these dangers, they have to close swimming areas every evening.

As a lifeguard in Canada, you have to spend most of your working hours watching people around the pool or swimming area.

On this page, you’ll learn how to become a lifeguard in Canada in few steps that are very easy to undertake. This article also covers information on their prospects, estimated salary, and other things you need to know relating to Canada.

Who is a lifeguard?

A lifeguard is a person employed in swimming areas for the interest of swimmers who are having trouble in a pool, beach, water park, etc.

They withdraw swimmers who are drowning in swimming areas, and then provide first aid, Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR), or any other emergency care.

The NOC code that covers lifeguards under Canada’s National Occupational Classification (NOC) is 5254.

As a matter of fact, lifeguard is a skilled trade under NOC Skill Level B. This means that you can apply for lifeguard jobs with a college program.

What do you need to become a lifeguard in Canada?

If you’re finding answers to the question, “can anyone be a lifeguard in Canada”, the answer is “NO”.

It is without doubt that you need to meet a number of requirements before you can choose lifeguard as your career in Canada.

These include:-

  • Successful completion of college diploma education
  • Must have either of two certifications, which include Standard First Aid & CPR level C or Emergency First Aid with CPR-B certification
  • Bronze Cross
  • Bronze Medallion – Your present age must not be less than 13. In lieu, you can go for Bronze Star
  • National Lifeguard course – Your minimum age must be 15 before you can take this course

What are the job duties of lifeguards?

The following are the job duties of lifeguards to swimmers, as well as to their employer.

  • Watching and directing all activities around a swimming area
  • Keeping records of swimmers, and reporting to superiors
  • Helping people to learn how to swim
  • Take action when there are emergencies in swimming area. These include saving people who are drowning.
  • Performing first aid measures such as mouth-to-mouth resuscitation
  • Keeping an eye on designated areas in order to identify potential dangers
  • Giving details to swimmers regarding the swimming area’s set of laws, regulations, and policy
  • Informing swimmers of possible dangers before entering the pool, as well as when swimming
  • Cleaning swimming area, and maintain orderliness

Why is working as a lifeguard a good career in Canada?

There are many reasons to justify that being a lifeguard is a reward career in Canada. Below are some of them.

  • The services provided by lifeguards are sought-after in Canada. This makes it very easy to become a lifeguard in Canada due to the availability of many job opportunities.
  • Lifeguards earn an average salary of $41,567 Canadian Dollars on a yearly basis. This amount will cover for most of your necessities.
  • There are significant prospects for lifeguards in Canada. One reason for this is that Canada has myriads of swimming areas throughout its provinces and territories.
  • As a lifeguard in Canada, you can make use of Express Entry’s Federal Skilled Trades Program to facilitate your immigration to Canada.
  • Finally, Canada does not require lifeguards to be highly educated before they start their career. Thus, college graduates are eligible for the job.

Steps to become a lifeguard in Canada

Check out our easy five (5) steps on how to work as a lifeguard in Canada.

  1. Take Bronze Medallion course
  2. Enroll in Bronze Cross course
  3. Get Standard First Aid (SFA) certificate
  4. Take the National Lifeguard course
  5. Look for lifeguard job openings in Canada

Step 1: Take Bronze Medallion course

The first step to take to work as a lifeguard in Canada is to enroll in Bronze Medallion course. Examples of post-secondary institutions offering this course in Canada includes the University of British Columbia, and University of Saskatchewan.

By enrolling in this course, you’ll able to learn about water rescue, timed swimming, CPR B level training, among other water-related trainings. Bear in mind that you must not miss any of the trainings.

Eligibility criteria for taking Bronze Medallion course

  • Must be at least 13 years old as at the course’s completion day
  • LS Bronze Star (optional)
  • CL Manual

Step 2: Enroll in Bronze Cross course

This course is more difficult and advanced to Bronze Medallion course. It offers training to prospective lifeguards in handling emergencies, using specialized equipment, timed swimming, CPR C training, teamwork rescues, and more.

Eligibility criteria to take and complete Bronze Cross course

  • Must have completed Bronze Medallion course
  • CL Manual
  • Must not miss any attendance, and should take part in all trainings

Step 3: Get Standard First Aid (SFA) certificate

You also need SFA certificate to work as a lifeguard in Canada. This certificate requires recertification every two (2) years.

Without doubt, Standard First Aid certificate is obtainable through the Canadian Red Cross or the Lifesaving Society. It covers several training and lessons, which include CPR C, seizures, head and spine injuries, etc.

You must be at least 12 years old before you can apply to get Standard First Aid (SFA) certification in Canada.

Step 4: Take the National Lifeguard course

By taking this course, you’ll be able to develop everything you learnt on Bronze Medallion or Bronze Cross courses.

Another advantage to take the National Lifeguard course is that it’ll enable you to have an insight on lifeguard principles.

Eligibility criteria in taking National Lifeguard course

  • As at when completing the course, your age must not be less than 16
  • Must have completed Bronze Cross course
  • Standard First Aid & CPR C or any course related to it

Step 5: Look for safeguard job openings in Canada

The last step involved to work as a lifeguard in Canada is to begin your job search online and/or offline. Online ways to get lifeguard jobs includes logging on to job sites like LinkedIn, Indeed,  Talent Canada, Glassdoor, CareerBuilder, Eluta, Job Bank, and Jobboom.

Additionally, an offline means of getting lifeguard jobs in Canada is to contact an employment agency in your area for assistance.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Explore answers to some of the common questions asked regarding how lifeguards can start a career in Canada.

How much do lifeguards make a year in Canada?

As reported by Talent Canada, lifeguards make an average salary of CAD $41,567 on a yearly basis.

What education do you need to be a lifeguard?

To become a lifeguard in Canada, your present level of education must entail that you’ve completed a college diploma.

Who can lifeguards work with in Canada?

  • David Lloyd Leisure, York, Ontario
  • YMCA of Northern BC, Vanderhoof, British Columbia
  • Superior Pool, Spa & Leisure Ltd., Toronto, Ontario
  • Piscines PLPS, Saint-Laurent, Quebec
  • Oakdale Golf and Country Club, North York, Ontario
  • Club Med, Montreal, Quebec
  • H2O, Gatineau, Quebec
  • Alberta Health Services, Ponoka, Alberta
  • Upper Thames River Conservation Authority, Woodstock, Ontario
  • Frontier Trails Camp, Eganville, Ontario

Can lifeguards apply to immigrate to Canada?

Of course, lifeguards can apply through Express Entry Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP) in order to immigrate to any province or territory of the country.

What is the NOC code of lifeguards in Canada?

The National Occupational Classification code for lifeguards in Canada is “5254”.

Do lifeguards require licensing by a province in Canada?

No, lifeguards do not need to get any form of license in order to commence their career throughout the provinces and territories of Canada.

Can you be a lifeguard without certification in Canada?

No, you’re required to obtain four (4) certifications before you start a career in Canada as a lifeguard. These certifications are namely Bronze Medallion course, Bronze Cross course, Standard First Aid (SFA) certificate, as well as the National Lifeguard course.

How old do you have to be to become a lifeguard in Canada?

Before you can start working as a lifeguard in Canada, you need to meet the minimum age requirement of 15 years old.

Where can I get certified to become a lifeguard in Canada?


If you wish to take lifeguard as your career, this article has a wide range of information that will help you reach your dream. Working as a lifeguard is indeed a superb career, as it gives you a unique experience while saving people’s lives. You can also let your friends know about this career by sharing this article to them on WhatsApp or tweeting it on Twitter.

Thanks for reading!