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Become a lifeguard with the Canadian Red Cross

At the Red Cross, we have been teaching swimming and water safety in Canada since 1946. We give people the knowledge and confidence they need to stay safe when they are on, in, or near the water. We also provide the training and skills for a fun and rewarding job – lifeguarding!

Become a Canadian Red Cross volunteerThere are a number of lifeguarding courses delivered in Canada through the Red Cross and they all offer a clear path forward for a career in water safety. You could learn how to work  at an aquatic centre, a waterpark, an open waterfront, or even become a lifeguard instructor.

So, what makes Red Cross Lifeguard courses different?

  • We are international leaders in water safety. Built on Canadian and international expertise, the Red Cross Lifeguard program is the most up-to-date of its kind in Canada. We constantly review the findings of up-to-date, evidence-based research, and then – if needed – update the content in our courses to ensure it’s current best practice.

  • We use rescue tubes! Red Cross Lifeguards train with rescue tubes, which make rescues easier and safer to perform in all circumstances.

  • You can start training with us at 15. Red Cross Lifeguards can begin their training at the age of 15, so they can take up a lifeguarding job as soon as they turn 16.   

The qualifications gained through Red Cross Lifeguard courses are recognized by lifeguard employers across the country, including in British Columbia, Yukon, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Newfoundland & Labrador, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and – as of July 01, 2018 - Ontario.

Here’s what some of our Training Partners who recently began offering Red Cross Lifeguard in Ontario had to say about lifeguard training with the Red Cross:

Mike Hazelton, Director of Operations at Wet’n’Wild Toronto, said: “Once I had the opportunity to watch some practical sessions in person and see first-hand what was in the Red Cross program, I knew that they were the right partner for us. Our goal, with support from the Red Cross, is to give our employees – many of who start working for us at 16 – access to a modern training program that will enable their lifeguarding careers to flourish without even needing to leave the waterpark.”

Amanda Nadeau, Aquatic Supervisor for the City of Timmins, said: “It’s early days, but our first trainees have responded really well to the Red Cross Lifeguarding program. The courses available offer a clear path for their career development and the dynamic teaching content, particularly the introduction of rescue tubes, has really boosted people’s confidence.”

Canada needs more lifeguards, and it could be the right job for you. To learn more about becoming a lifeguard through the Red Cross, please visit

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