Dive Into a New Career: Lifeguarding

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By Erin D. Pittman

If you love the outdoors and the warmth of the sun on your shoulders — or you’re looking for a great summer job for your teen – lifeguarding may be calling. Lifeguard positions are abundant in Prince William as are the training courses that prepare you. And according to BJ Fisher, director of health and safety for the American Lifeguard Association, there’s a strong need in the field.

“There is a national shortage, and we feel that lifeguarding is an excellent answer for our youth as a summer job and also our retirees, who want to return back to the life-saving profession,” Fisher said.

Lifeguards directly contribute to the safety of our community and allow Prince William residents to enjoy the water with a strong peace of mind. Lifeguarding is also an excellent way to build a resume and provide yourself with flexible, meaningful employment.

Lifeguarding Courses in Prince William

Prince William residents have options when it comes to lifeguard certification courses. You can choose a course independently, get certified and then search for employment, or you can search for employment in the aquatics field where course fees are often reimbursed or waived. Prince William County Parks and
Recreation trains lifeguards once they are hired for positions, while Prince William County Schools Aquatics offers both options.

“The latter process allows candidates to start work sooner than they would by waiting until after the course to apply and interview,” said Allen Dunn, aquatics manager for PWCS Aquatics Center.

Through the center, participants complete the American Red Cross’s certification course. PWCS offers about 10 classes per year.

“All of the lifeguarding courses we offer are blended, meaning students complete some of the academic portion online at home. This reduces the overall time spent on site and allows us to offer the course in one weekend versus two,” Dunn said.

Prince William residents can also achieve certification, or recertification, directly through the American Red Cross, the American Lifeguard Association, Freedom Aquatic and Fitness Center and the YMCA. Complete a course and get ready to dive into a sunny new career this summer in the field of lifeguarding.

Erin Pittman has been a writer for 10 years, but a lover of words her entire life. Her work is published in local magazines and on local and national blogs. Contact Erin at epittman@princewilliamliving.com.

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