Lifeguard Certification

The Chatham County Aquatic Center provides American Red Cross Lifeguard certification classes.

Classes provide entry-level participants the knowledge and skills to prevent, recognize, and respond to aquatic emergencies. Students will also learn to provide care for breathing and cardiac emergencies, injuries and sudden illnesses until EMS personnel take over.

Once students are enrolled, they'll receive the latest science-based training from experienced instructors, and develop skills they'll use for a lifetime. Courses are available in person, or via our blended Simulation Learning experience, which combines online coursework with in-person skills sessions. In addition to full courses, abbreviated recertification courses are also available for those who hold current lifeguarding certifications.

Class Prerequisites

American Red Cross lifeguarding and water safety students must be at least 15 years old by the last day of class, and pass a pre-course swimming skills test prior to taking our courses.

  • Swim 300 yards continuously
  • Tread water for 2 minutes using only the legs
  • Complete a timed event within 1 minute, 40 seconds by starting in the water, swimming 20 yards, surface dive to a depth of 7 to 10 feet to retrieve a 10-pound object, return to the surface and swim 20 yards on your back to return to the starting point, exit the water without using steps or a ladder.

Cost & Other Details

$200 for 2 year Red Cross Lifeguard certification (CPR/AED and First Aid included)

All classes take place at the Chatham County Aquatic Center. Classes are split between classroom and in-water sessions with breaks for meals and rest.

Blended Learning courses include 7 hours of pre-course online work and 19 hours of in-person training. Online work must be completed prior to the first day of in person training.

The pre-course swim skills test will be performed on the first day of class and must be passed to continue the course.

Participants who successfully complete the Lifeguarding course receive an American Red Cross certificate for Lifeguarding/First Aid/CPR/AED, valid for 2 years.