Lifeguard training courses are not free; the cost of a training course ranges from $150 to $500. In addition, regular re-certification is required, usually every one to three years.
A typical lifeguard training course involves 30 hours of training and takes place in both the classroom and the water. Participants learn skills such as CPR, water rescues and first aid. To pass the course, each class must be attended and then every participant takes a test that has written, hands-on and swimming elements. Facilities differ on which courses they accept, but most recognize both American Red Cross and Ellis and Associates certifications. Some YMCAs solely accept Y certifications.