Lifeguard &
Swim Instructor Courses

Become a Lifeguard and Swim Instructor

Getting certified is the first step towards working as an aquatics leader. After finishing our courses—at some of the lowest rates in the GTA!—you’ll be qualified to work at the YMCA and many other organizations that recognize our well-established Lifesaving Society credentials.

Course Schedule Pricing Register Now

a lifeguard staff teaching a student to swim

Getting certified

The Y is your one-stop shop for the credentials you need to be a lifeguard and swim instructor. Our courses give you the knowledge you need to lifeguard or teach effectively, as well as opportunities to hone your leadership, teamwork, and problem-solving skills — crucial competencies for building your career.

To become a lifeguard, you need to complete:

  1. Bronze Star
  2. Bronze Medallion
  3. Emergency First Aid
  4. Bronze Cross
  5. Standard First Aid
  6. National Lifeguard

To become a swim instructor, you need to complete all of the above, as well as the 7. Swim Instructor certification.

Lifeguard And Swim Instructor Courses

1. Bronze Star

  • This course provides you with the strong foundation you need to succeed in Bronze Medallion.
  • You'll work on to solve problems and make decisions efficiently and effectively, while learning CPR and lifesaving skills.
  • A timed 400 metre swim is included.

  • Prerequisites: There are no prerequisites to take this course.
  • Price:$100
See Course Schedule

2. Bronze Medallion

  • This course is the prerequisite for Bronze Cross.
  • You'll learn tows and carries, and defense methods and releases in preparation for challenging rescues involving conscious and unconscious victims.
  • A timed 500 metre swim is included.

  • Prerequisites: You must be at least 13 years old to participate. Bronze Star is recommended, but not required, so long as participants are 13 years of age or older.
  • Price:$120
  • Bonus! Bundle your Bronze Medallion with your Emergency First Aid certification to save $40. Check out our pricing guide for details.
See Course Schedule

3. Emergency First Aid/CPR-B

  • Emergency First Aid is for people who want a general knowledge of first aid principles and the emergency treatment of injuries.
    Skills include:
    • Victim assessment
    • CPR
    • How to respond to choking and external bleeding
    • Heart attack and stroke response
  • Includes CPR-B certification.

  • Prerequisites: There are no prerequisites to take this course.
  • Price: $75
Learn more about First Aid Courses

Bonus! Bundle your Emergency First Aid certification with Bronze Medallion to save. See our pricing guide for details.

See Course Schedule

4. Bronze Cross

  • This course is the prerequisite for National Lifeguard.
  • You'll enjoy more advanced training, including an introduction to safe supervision in aquatic facilities.
  • A timed 600 metre swim is included.

  • Prerequisites: You must have Bronze Medallion and valid Standard or Emergency First Aid certification.
  • Price:$120

Don’t forget to bundle your Bronze Cross with your Standard First Aid certification to save $20! See our pricing guide for details.


See Course Schedule

5. Standard First Aid/CPR-C

  • Standard First Aid provides comprehensive training covering all aspects of first aid and CPR.
    Standard First Aid incorporates all of Emergency First Aid and is designed for those who require a more in-depth understanding of first aid including:
    • Medical/legal aspects of first aid treatment
    • Spinal injuries, heat or cold injuries, bone and joint injuries, abdominal and chest injuries, burns and medical emergencies.
  • Includes CPR-C certification.

  • Prerequisites: There are no prerequisites to take this course.
  • Price: $99
Learn more about First Aid Courses

Make sure you bundle your Standard First Aid course with Bronze Cross to get a discount! Head to our pricing guide to learn more.


See Course Schedule

6. National Lifeguard (NL)

  • This is the industry standard for lifeguards in Canada.
  • National Lifeguards are water rescue professionals trained in emergency care.
  • Prerequisites: You must be at least 16 years old and have your Bronze Cross Certification and a valid Standard First Aid with CPR-C certifications to participate. Standard First Aid certification can be one of the following: Accredited Lifesaving Society, St.John Ambulance, Canadian Red Cross, or Canadian Ski Patrol. 
  • Price:$200

To become a swim instructor, you must complete steps 1-5 as well as the YMCA Swim Instructor Course.

See Course Schedule

7. Swim Instructor

  • The credential you need to work as a swim instructor.
  • You'll learn effective lesson planning, teaching techniques, and how to work in a team environment.

  • Prerequisites: You must be at least 16 years old and have your Bronze Cross and valid Standard First Aid certifications to participate.
  • Price:$150
See Course Schedule

8. Re-certifications

Lifeguards and swim instructors play a key role in ensuring a safe environment for swimmers. An important part of that role is making to stay up to date with first-aid and lifeguarding skills. We offer the following re-certification courses:

  • National Lifeguard: $75
  • Standard First Aid: $75
Did you take some courses to become a lifeguard a while ago, but didn’t complete them all? We also offer Bronze Medallion and Bronze Cross re-certs for $50 (each) to get you back on track. Visit our pricing guide to see what you’ll save by re-certifying with us.

See Course Schedule

Certification Pricing

Certification

Price*

Bronze Star $100
Bronze Medallion $120
Bronze Medallion & Emergency First Aid $135 (save $40!)
Bronze Medallion: Recertification $50
Bronze Cross $120
Bronze Cross & Standard First Aid $200 (save $20!)
National Lifeguard $200
National Lifeguard: Recertification $75
Lifesaving & Swim Instructor $250
Lifesaving Instructor $150
Swim Instructor $150
Emergency First Aid $75
Standard First Aid $99
Standard First Aid: Re-certification $75
*Taxes not included

 

3 lifeguards by the pool
3 lifeguards by the pool

Join the YMCA Team

We're always looking for qualified, enthusiastic staff and volunteers to join the Y as lifeguards and swim instructors. Think you have what it takes? Send us your resume today!

A volunteer helps a child swim in the pool

Volunteer opportunities at the Y

Jump start your career by building leadership, communication, and teamwork skills, all while gaining hands-on experience and learning the ropes from experts in your field.

Staff Perks

 Working at the Y means making lifelong friends, building new skills, getting ongoing learning opportunities — and helping a charity thrive. It also means you get to enjoy plenty of staff perks:

  • FREE YMCA gym membership
  • Morning, daytime, and evening shifts available
  • Competitive wages
  • Health and dental benefits after one year of service*
  • Discounts on courses you need to obtain or renew your certifications
  • Discounted personal training

* Min. average of 15 hours/week to qualify