Lifeguard Training

Due to COVID-19 we are currently not offering any classes, at this time.

Obtain your lifeguard certification now and be ready to start working as a Lifeguard! Lifeguarding is a rewarding job. Work as a team, learn and master aquatic safety skills, and there is a lot of room to grow by becoming a swim instructor, a trainer, a coach or more. If you love the water, Lifeguarding is a great way to share your passion with others. Competitive pay and Lifeguarding jobs can help you move forward in your career.

Manatee County Aquatics is offering American Red Cross Lifeguard Training courses at the G.T. Bray Aquatics Facility. This program certifies participants ages 15 and older in Lifeguarding, first aid, and CPR/AED for the Professional Rescuer.

Class size is limited so please register early at the G.T. Bray Recreation Center with the front desk staff. Class participants must be on time and attend all sessions. Class length is about 30 hours. Participants may wear goggles during all training sessions, but not on the final water evaluation. Extra time has been built into the class schedule to allow for breaks, and possible weather issues. 

For those participants who do not pass the swim evaluation on the first day, a refund will not be given, in accordance with county policy. For a participant to pass this course, they must pass both a written test and a water skills evaluation on the last day, each with an 80% or better grade.


  • You must be at least 15 years old before the last scheduled class session.
  • You must swim 300 yards continuously, demonstrating breath control and rhythmic breathing.  You may swim using the front crawl, breaststroke or a combination of both, but swimming on the back or side is not allowed.  Swim goggles may be used.
  • You must tread water for 2 minutes using only the legs.  You should place your hands under your armpits.
  • You must complete a timed event within 1 minute, 40 seconds.  Starting in the water, swim 20 yards. Your face may be in or out of the water. Swim goggles are not allowed.  Surface dive, feet-first or head-first, to a depth of 7 to 10 feet to retrieve a 10-pound object. Return to the surface and swim 20 yards on your back to return to the starting point with both hands holding the object while keeping your face at or near the surface, so you can get a breath. You should not swim the distance under water. Exit the water without using a ladder or steps. 


  • Lifeguard Certification (32 hour course, includes materials): $180
  • Lifeguard Re-certification (18 hour - review course): $75 (Contact G.T. Bray Aquatic Center to schedule)


TUESDAY MARCH 17         8:30am-3:00pm
WEDNESDAY MARCH 18  8:30am-3:00pm
THURSDAY MARCH 19     8:30am-3:00pm
FRIDAY MARCH 20            8:30am-3:00pm
SATURDAY MARCH 21     8:30am-12:00noon

For information, contact the G.T. Bray Aquatic Center staff at (941) 742-5923 ext. 6021 or email


How do I register for the class?

The best way to get into the class is to call the Aquatic Center at (941) 742-5932 and find out the exact dates that the class will be offered. 

Once the swimming prerequisite is completed, the $180 class fee is due.

What will I learn in the class?

The class covers the necessary skills of a lifeguard.  Topics include rescue skills, surveillance, CPR/AED, first aid, back boarding, and much more.  The content of the class will be taught through videos, visuals, lecture, and hands on activities in and out of the water.

How do I pass the class?

There will be two written multiple choice tests and a final skills scenario test.  Participants must pass all written tests with at least an 80% and receive a passing grade on the final in-water skill scenario as well as demonstrate a competency of all skills taught.  In addition, attendance and participation in all classes is MANDATORY and can affect your passing the class. There are no refunds if you do not pass the class.


Will I be hired by the Aquatic Center if I take the class?

The Aquatic Center hires certified lifeguards to work during the months of April-October.  Taking our Lifeguarding class does not guarantee a job with Manatee County; however many of our lifeguards come from the classes we teach. Taking our class is much like a two-week job interview.  It gives us a strong indication of your water skills, punctuality, and level of responsibility.