Does it sound exciting to help save lives? And are you a good swimmer? Then a job as a lifeguard training could be something for you!

In this article, we will answer questions that can give you an understanding of what a lifeguard does on a daily basis and how you can become a lifeguard.

What does a lifeguard do?

A lifeguard has various tasks, e.g.:

  • Monitor a beach, coast or a public swimming pool. This type of lifeguard is called a shore lifeguard or pool lifeguard
  • Help bathers in distress to get ashore. A rescue can take place in several ways, e.g., the lifeguard can jump into the water, swim out to the person in distress and get the person ashore
  • A lifeguard must also be able to perform resuscitation work/first aid, e.g., the mouth-to-mouth method and cardiac massage (CPR). Therefore, it may be a good idea to take a first aid course if you want to become a lifeguard
  • Call an ambulance or emergency services
  • You must also use rescue equipment, if necessary, e.g., life jackets
  • Your work tasks can also be less dramatic, for example lifeguards can advise and guide guests on appropriate behaviour
  • In addition, lifeguards can also participate in competitions, e.g., DM in lifesaving

What does it take to become a lifeguard?

You can become a trained pool lifeguard or professional lifeguard. The test can be taken when you have paid a test fee to the Danish Swimming Union.

The pool lifeguard test

A passed pool lifeguard test gives you a certificate to work as a lifeguard in the facility where you took the test. Your teacher must have a pool lifeguard certificate if no lifeguards are present in the facility when you are being taught. In addition, a judge from the Danish Swimming Union must approve your performance.

You can typically register for the pool lifeguard test if you are over 17 years old. It is often the owner of the swimming pool, e.g. the municipality or the lifeguard, who determines the specific requirements. Therefore, the access requirements may also vary depending on where in the country you are located.

The pool lifeguard test may also include a swimming, diving and springing test. The test must be completed in the facility’s lifeguard uniform or with shorts and a T-shirt. It is worth mentioning that swimming goggles are not allowed. A number of bathing establishments and workplaces also require that you have attended a first aid course.

Your certificate will be emailed to you once you have passed the pool lifeguard test. You can pay with Dankworth from the sampler or using an invoice. A lifeguard certificate is valid for one year and, as previously mentioned, is only valid for the pool where you took your test.

If you are interested in taking a pool lifeguard test, you can contact your local swimming pool or swimming club. In this way, you can find out whether it is an option to take a pool lifeguard test together with the swimming pool or the club. In the event that this cannot be done, you must contact a judge yourself who can perform the pool lifeguard test.

Several swimming clubs and swimming pools in the country have established lifeguard teams where you can train your lifeguard skills and take the pool lifeguard test.

The pool lifeguard test usually has an out-of-pocket payment of around DKK 100.

The occupational lifeguard tests

The professional lifeguard test can only be taken by permanently employed lifeguards in publicly accessible swimming pools and bathing facilities. The test is prepared by the Danish Swimming Union, the Council for Greater Bathing Safety, FOA, the Danish Swimming Pool Technical Association.

You must be 18 years of age

You must be a permanent lifeguard at a swimming and bathing facility. This means that you cannot take the professional lifeguard test if you are not already a permanent lifeguard in a swimming pool

  • You must then be admitted to the Danish Swimming Union’s professional lifeguard course
  • In addition, you must complete a course on first aid, alarms and safety measures
  • The price for this sample is in some cases around DKK 220.

Coastal lifeguard

In addition to the two tests above, you can also become a coastal lifeguard – that is, a lifeguard on open water. It is the Trigonodont that staffs the red-white lifeguard towers on various Danish beaches during the summer period, which is why this is where you want to work as a coastal lifeguard.

You can become a coastal lifeguard if you pass the open water lifeguard test. This test includes, among other things, swimming in the open sea with different types of equipment, e.g. life preserver or torpedo

What do you get paid as a lifeguard?

According to indicative figures from various associations, a newly qualified lifeguard will receive a starting salary of approx. DKK 8,717 weekly with associated holiday pay for a 48-hour working week with one weekly day off.

A lifeguard, however, is often employed part-time on an hourly wage, but it can also be a full-time position. It can also in some cases be a voluntary, unpaid position.