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Looking to score the quintessential San Diego summer job as a lifeguard? Join the club. To qualify, you need more than a beach body and a whistle. Lifeguard hopefuls need to take several classes in CPR, first aid, and lifeguarding and pass a rigorous physical test. Lifeguard Certification is almost always required to work at any local pools, YMCAs, and beaches. Depending on locale and position, qualifications and age requirements vary.

The Red cross of San Diego offers a lifeguard training course to help hopeful future lifeguards score their dream jobs. Participants must be 15 years and older. The course trains students in surveillance skills to help them recognize and prevent injuries, rescue skills in the water and on land, first aid training, CPR for the professional rescuer, and professional lifeguarding responsibilities. Their website lists the following prerequisites: “Minimum age of 15. Swim 300 yards continuously using these strokes.... Swim 20 yards using front crawl or breaststroke, surface dive to a depth of 7-10 feet, retrieve a 10-pound object, return to the surface, and swim 20 yards back to the starting point with object and exit the water without using a ladder or steps, within 1 minute 40 seconds.”

The La Jolla YMCA hosts this specific training course on various dates throughout the year. Check their website for their summer dates. They offer a prerequisite lifeguard training course for $40.00. After passing the prerequisite course, participants are able to sign up for the full lifeguard course at as cost of $165 for members and $215.00 for nonmembers.

The starting salary of a California State Park seasonal lifeguard is $14.91 per hour. Applicants must be trained in Advanced First Aid, CPR , open water lifesaving techniques, and aquatic search and rescue procedures.

All applicants must pass a competitive swimming test that requires a 1000-yard open water swim with a time limit of 20 minutes. They also must pass a continuous 200-yard run, 400-yard swim, 200 yard run with a time limit of 10 minutes.

They also need to pass a qualification appraisal interview, successfully complete a California State Park lifeguard training program, and successful completion of Field Training Program.

If you want to start off early toward a career as a lifeguard, San Diego offers two, four-week Junior Lifeguard programs for children aged 9 through 17. Youth are given the opportunity to learn from professional lifeguards. Students are taught beach safety, ocean and wave education, first aid and CPR, water rescue techniques, and the importance of keeping physically fit.

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