About Lifeguard

SLS Lifeguards are employed around Australia by the Australian Lifeguard Service.

Lifeguards operate in different contexts to lifesavers so generally need to have more comprehensive qualifications and a higher standard of fitness. Lifeguards need to be able to perform a range of rescues, treat all first aid incidents, provide advanced resuscitation and recognise spinal injuries. Because Lifeguards work in smaller teams, and potentially for much longer than a 4 hour patrol, fitness requirements are more demanding.

What qualifications and/or prerequisites do I need?

To undertake this role you need to hold or obtain the following qualifications and prerequisites:


The Gold Medallion provides participants with a benchmark of fitness and endurance that meets the minimum requirements for work in the professional lifeguard industry.  

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The Bronze Medallion course provides participants with the skills and knowledge of patrolling and surf awareness in order to be able to participate in lifesaving operations.

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The Pain Management Certificate provides participants with the skills and knowledge required by current members or employees of SLSA or its affiliated bodies to be permitted to carry and administer methoxyflurane as a basic pain management technique.

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The Advanced Resuscitation Techniques Certificate (ARTC) teaches the principles of airway management and oxygen aided resuscitation.

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The Silver Medallion Beach Management provides participants with the skills, knowledge and experience required to manage a lifesaving or lifeguarding team in emergency and non-emergency situations.

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The First Aid course provides participants with the skills and knowledge to manage emergency first aid situations until professional medical support is available.

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Other Requirements

Lifeguards require the fitness to

  • Swim 800m in 14 minutes
  • Perform a 'mission test' of 400m run, 800m swim, 400m board paddle, 400m swim in under 16 minutes

How do I make it happen?

Lifeguard recruitment is managed by your State Centre. Contact the Lifeguard Manager at your State Centre for further details. https://sls.com.au/state-centres/

Other Opportunities Related to Lifeguard

Where can I grow from here?

Where to next?

You could progress to these participation opportunities from here:

The role of the duty officer is to support patrol captains in ensuring the beach going public is exposed to minimal risk at our beaches. Duty officers may also be called on to assist in search and rescue incidents. 

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Overall management of Water Safety, First Aid and Emergency Services equipment, personnel and activities, in relation to specific surf lifesaving competitions.

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What other options might suit me?

If you can do this role but would like to use your skills in another area in our organisation here are some other options for you to consider:

The Patrol Captain is the principle leader of their patrol’s lifesaving functions on the beach.  At the operational level, the major function of the Patrol Captain is to ensure effective beach management and rescue capabilities are established and maintained during their rostered watch.

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Supervises water safety personnel involved in SLS activities. 

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Age managers are responsible for running activities for their group of nippers on the day, and encouraging children to learn and progress in their surf lifesaving activities.

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Coaches work with surf sport athletes across all of the disciplines of Surf Life Saving competition.

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How are we doing?

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