Lifeguard Certification

Lifeguard Training

ImageKeep swimmers safe while working as a lifeguard! The American Red Cross Lifeguard Training course provides entry-level lifeguards with the knowledge and skills to prevent, recognize and respond to aquatic emergencies. Participants will also learn to provide care for injuries, sudden illness, breathing problems and cardiac emergencies until EMS personnel arrive.

Participants must be at least 16 years old for these classes.

Full Certification Classes

Cost of the class is $250 per person. Classes will start at the Joplin Family Y during the following hours: Friday 5 pm, Saturday 8 am, and Sunday 9 am.

  • Register:  June 19th - July 5th
    • Session:  July 14th - July 16th
  • Register:  July 17th - Aug. 4th
    • Session:  Aug. 18th - Aug. 20th
  • Register:  Aug. 21st - Sept. 20th
    • Session Sept. 29th - Oct. 1st


Recertification Information

Recertification Fees are $150.  

To schedule a date and time, contact the Aquatics Director at 417 781 YMCA.

Register at the Joplin Family YMCA located at 3404 W. McIntosh Circle Drive.


Additional Information About Lifeguard Certification Courses


You must be able to swim 300 meters using the front crawl and breaststroke (swim goggles may be used) and tread water for 2 minutes using your legs only. You must also complete the following timed event within 1 minute and 40 seconds: Starting in the water, swim 20 yards (face may be in or out of water; swim goggles not allowed) and surface dive (feet first or head first) to a depth of 6 feet. Retrieve a 10-pound brick, 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 out of the water. Exit the pool.

Start of Class

Your class will begin sharply at the time listed on the front of this sheet. If you are late to class, you will be unable to make up the time you missed. Please make sure that you can be here in time for the class to begin so that you can get the full time allocated. You must attend 100% of all classes the weekend of your certification. No exceptions will be made.

What to Bring

Be prepared to get in the water the first day. All students must bring a swimsuit, towel and change of clothes. Women must wear a one-piece swimsuit. Participants should also bring ID, a pen and paper to classes.

Checking In

Please check in at the front desk as you enter the building every time you come to class.

Weather Policy

Common practices for all outdoor pools:  If at any time we hear thunder or see lightening, we will immediately clear the pool and pool deck. The pool will be closed for 30 minutes from the last time thunder and lightning was seen or heard. In the event of thunder or lightning we will move to a classroom, so we will still have class.   Please Note:  The Joplin Family Y Pool is an indoor pool and storms will not close it down unless we have a power outage.  


If the class is cancelled by the YMCA for any reason, we will give you a refund or credit for the next class. If you miss a class due to illness, injury or vacation, we will not be able to make up the missed time, and you will not be certified.

Failed Courses

Being a lifeguard is not for everyone. It is a challenging skill that we take very seriously. It is the instructor’s job to only certify individuals who have successfully completed the entire course by demonstrating all required skills. Everyone will be tested the first day of class on their prerequisite swims. If you do not pass your prerequisite swim you will receive a refund. If you pass your prerequisite swim but do NOT pass the course you will NOT be issued a refund.