Swimming Jobs Tips

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How do I become a certified swim instructor? What do instructors have to do?

Water Safety Instructors

Whether you want to splash around with kids and teach them to swim, help children or adults refine their strokes, or teach diving safety techniques, you can do it as an American Red Cross Water Safety Instructor. Qualified instructors can also help prepare swim coaches to prevent and respond to emergency situations.

Contact your local Red Cross chapter to find out more. The American Red Cross Water Safety Instructor Course provides instructor candidates the training needed to teach courses in the American Red Cross Swimming and Water Safety Program by developing their understanding of how to use the course materials, how to conduct training sessions, and how to evaluate participants' progress.

Is it worth being a private swim instructor?

Private Pays

Private swimming instructors make between twelve and twenty four dollars per hour, but they work for it. If you have the patience and desire to teach one or two swimmers for an half an hour a day, try this occupation.

Get your name out there on your local pool town bulletin boards and you won't believe the response you'll get, not to mention the money some parents are willing to pay you to ensure their kids can learn to swim!

What do swim instructors do?

Teach and be Cool

Not sure you want to sit and watch kids swimming all day and would rather be in there with them? Be a swimming instructor. Become WSI (water safety instructor) certified by the American Red Cross (see their website for class locations and times) and jump in there and start swimming.

Teach any level from pre-school to competitive. Limit your class size to eight for levels 1-3, ten for levels 4-7, and give extra time and attention to individual pre-schoolers.

You'll have more flexibility as a swimming instructor than a swim coach and you'll get to help swimmers gain confidence in the water and move from the back float to the backstroke in weeks.

Where is a better place to swim and to train, a lake or a pool?

The Where-to-Swim Debate

The long argued debate: to swim and/or coach at a pool or at a lake on open water in the summer.

Aquatics jobs at a pool are easier because you don't have to deal with the weather if the pool is indoor, you can see the whole pool at one time, and swimmers can see the lane lines, flags, walls, and bottom of the pool from any point in the pool.

Jobs and swimming at a lake can be more challenging, but usually more fun and more satisfying. Many lakes have H-docks while lane lines are put in and turn boards put up at each end. For an endurance swim, you could take some more experienced swimmers for a trek across the lake. The biggest plus to working at a lake as opposed to having a swimming pool job: no chlorine!

Would you be a good swim coach?

Want to be a Swim Coach?

Have you ever tried a swim coach job? Do you want to try it? Not only is being a swim coach a job with a lot of responsibility, it is a job that allows you and the swimmers you coach to have a great deal of fun while practicing to improve and excel.

The key to being a successful swim coach is to be an active swimmer. You cannot teach what you don't know. At least, you cannot teach it well unless you knew how to do it yourself at one time. Coaching swimmers will force you to learn your discipline through and through, making you a better and more well rounded swimmer yourself. It's like teaching anything; if you can explain to someone else how to do it, you'll learn it better yourself.

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Lynne Christen