Lifeguard Training

Lifeguard Training is currently unavailable for the season. Please use the information below as a reference for future offerings. Check back early Spring 2022 for class dates, registration, and hiring information.

Free and paid Lifeguard, First Aid / CPR / AED training available. To qualify you must be able to pass a swim test and stay on staff with Manatee County Aquatics through Summer 2021.

To apply click here. Once your application is received our staff will be able to contact you to set up a meeting for a swim test and interview. Further instructions will follow upon completion.

For swim test details, see "Prerequisites" tab below.  

Obtain your Lifeguard Certification now and be ready to start working as a Lifeguard!

Learn to work as a team and master aquatic safety skills. If you love the water, lifeguarding is a great way to share your passion with others. Lifeguarding jobs offer competitive pay and experience can help you move forward in many career paths. There is can also be a lot of room to grow in the aquatics field by becoming a swim instructor, trainer, or coach, or more.

Manatee County Aquatics offers American Red Cross Lifeguard Training courses at the G.T. Bray Aquatics Facility. By taking one of our courses, participants ages 15 and older have the opportunity to be certified in Lifeguarding, First Aid, and CPR/AED for the Professional Rescuer. 


  • Participants must be at least 15 years old before the last scheduled class session.
  • Participants must swim 300 yards continuously, demonstrating breath control and rhythmic breathing.  Participants 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.
  • Participants must tread water for 2-minutes using only the legs.  Hands should be placed under armpits.
  • At the end of the course participants must complete a timed event within 1-minute, 40-seconds.  Starting in the water, swim 20-yards. Participant's 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 back to return to the starting point with both hands holding the object while keeping face at or near the surface to get a breath. Participant should not swim the distance under water. Exit the water without using a ladder or steps. 


We do not currently have classes available to the public. Check back for updates.

Fees & Registration


  • Lifeguard Certification (up to 32-hour course, includes materials): $180
  • Lifeguard Re-certification (18-hour  review course): $75 Currently Unavailable


  • To register, you must sign up in person at the G.T. Bray Recreation Center or John H. Marble Aquatic Office.
  • Class size is limited so please register early 
  • Scholarship opportunities may be available for students that pass the course and are hired by Manatee County Aquatics. For more information please email
  • If a participant does not pass the course, a refund will not be given, in accordance with Manatee 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.

Frequently Asked Questions

What will I learn in the class?

This 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.