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If you plan to work at a lake or ocean, you will need to take a waterfront life guarding class, which is much shorter and valid for life, in addition to the regular lifeguard certification class.
In the waterfront class you will learn to use a rescue board, rescue kayak, and practice entering the water from the shores edge, a chair, and a deep dock. Your regular lifeguard certification will have to be renewed every three years; CPR needs to be renewed every year.