Lifeguard Certifications & Water Safety Courses

Interested in a great summer job or career in aquatics? UNC Asheville Campus Recreation hosts a number of Lifeguard Certification courses throughout the year open to anyone who meets the prerequisites. Through videos, group discussion and hands-on practice, you’ll learn teamwork, rescue and surveillance skills. Additionally, you will be trained in First Aid, Lifeguarding and CPR/AED along with other skills you need to work as a professional lifeguard.

Stay tuned for the fall 2018 course schedule for lifeguard certifications, lifeguard instructor certifications, and water safety instructors. For questions, please contact

American Red Cross Lifeguard Certification Courses

Course Certificates:

  • 2-year American Red Cross First Aid and CPR/AED certifications
  • 2-year American Red Cross Lifeguarding certification

Course Prerequisites:

  • Be at least 15 years old at the beginning of the course.
  • Swim 300 yards continuously using each of the following strokes for at least 100 yards each:  crawl, breaststroke.
  • Swim 20 yards using front crawl or breast stroke; surface dive to a depth of 7-10 feet; bring a 10-pound diving brick to the surface; and swim back with the brick holding it with both hands while keeping one’s face above water (timed 1:40)
  • Tread water for 2 minutes using only the legs.


OneCard holders and current UNC Asheville students pay $200. Community members pay $215. Course length is 36 hours including online work. For questions, please contact


Lifeguard Re-Certification Courses

The Lifeguarding Review course is designed for individuals with a current Lifeguarding/First Aid/CPR/AED or Shallow Water Lifeguarding/First Aid/CPR/AED certificate to re-certify every two years. The purpose of a review course is to give individuals the opportunity to review the course content within a formal course setting. The review course format optimizes a participant’s ability to successfully complete the knowledge and skills evaluations. The course is 12-14 hours. Participants must bring proof of their current certification to the first day of class. The American Red Cross does not have a crossover course for basic-level lifeguards certified/licensed in lifeguard training by another training agency. If you are certified by another agency and wish to become certified by the American Red Cross, you will need to take the full lifeguard training course.

Lifeguard Instructor Certification

UNC Asheville Campus Recreation hosts an American Red Cross Lifeguard Instructor course once a year open to anyone who meets the prerequisites.  The training prepares instructor candidates by developing their understanding of how to use the course materials and methods, how to conduct training sessions and how to evaluate participants’ progress.

Course Certifies Participants to Instruct:

  • Lifeguard Training
  • Shallow Water Attendant Training
  • CPR/AED for the Professional Rescuer
  • Lifeguard Management
  • Bloodeborne Pathogens – Preventing Disease Transmission
  • Community Water Safety
  • Basic Water Rescue

Course Prerequisites:

  • Be at least 17 years of age by the last scheduled session of the instructor course.
  • Pass each section of the pre-course written exam with a score of 80 percent.
  • Demonstrate competency in the skills evaluation.
  • Complete all required online pre-course work and bring certificate to first day of class.
  • Bring a copy of current ARC Lifeguard certification

Water Safety Instructor Courses

If you are at least 16 years old and a proficient swimmer, you can become an American Red Cross Water Safety Instructor. This approximately 30-hour course will help you teach skills that may save a life, gain terrific work experience as an aquatics professional, earn money or join a volunteer team while you help people learn valuable skills. In addition you will learn organizational and presentation skills that will help you in any career and make a difference in people’s lives. Whether you want to splash around with kids and teach them to swim, help children and adults refine their strokes or teach diving safety techniques, you can do it as an American Red Cross Water Safety Instructor.

Course Certificates:

  • 2 year American Red Cross Water Safety Instructor certification

Course Requirements:

  • Minimum age of 16 by the last day of class. Proof of your age will be required ( such as a valid driver’s license).
  • An online training and orientation to the American Red Cross prior to the first class meeting.

The following swimming skills must be demonstrated before the first day of class and be consistent with the Level 4 Stroke Performance Charts:

  • Front Crawl – 25 yards
  • Back Crawl – 25 yards
  • Breaststroke – 25 yards
  • Elementary backstroke – 25 yards
  • Sidestroke – 25 yards
  • Butterfly – 15 yards
  • Maintain position on back for 1 minute in deep water (floating or sculling)
  • Tread water for 1 minute (using breaststroke, rotary, or scissor kick – no flutter kick allowed)

This course is a blended learning class and will require participants to do online activities before each class meeting.

Cost: $200 for UNC Asheville OneCard holders; $215 for Community members.


Recreation members are required to follow all parking regulations set forth by the UNC Asheville Department of Public Safety. This includes, but is not limited to, parking in the correct lots and spaces. The Campus Recreation Department is not responsible for tickets incurred by members.