Gordon Head and Saanich Commonwealth Place pools are both looking for team members as lifeguards, swim instructors and Waterfit instructors. Here’s what you need to know. Saanich Recreation photo

Gordon Head and Saanich Commonwealth Place pools are both looking for team members as lifeguards, swim instructors and Waterfit instructors. Here’s what you need to know. Saanich Recreation photo

A splashy new career begins in the pool!

Saanich pools share steps to begin in-demand work as a lifeguard, swim instructor or waterfit leader

If you enjoy spending time in and around the pool and are looking for a job that offers flexibility, a welcoming work environment and life-long skills and experience, the aquatics team at Saanich Recreation wants to hear from you!

Gordon Head and Saanich Commonwealth Place pools are both looking for team members as lifeguards, swim instructors and Waterfit instructors, notes Heather Belecky, Aquatic Programmer at Gordon Head Recreation Centre.

“We have a lot of high school and university students who appreciate the flexible hours and the fitness aspects of the job, but also the camaraderie – a lot of people who work here have developed life-long friendships,” Heather says. “Others take the skills and experience from the pool and move into other areas of recreation like programming. There are lots of opportunities.”

Team members enjoy competitive wages – $23.64 hourly plus 13 per cent in lieu of benefits for auxiliary positions – plus a wealth of life skills and professional development. And because the certifications are provided through the Red Cross and the National Lifeguard program, they’re recognized at pools throughout the region.

Those who already have the required accreditations are encouraged to apply today through Saanich.ca, but Heather also welcomes those interested in working at the pool in the future to begin the process today. Courses are typically planned at times that work for students, such as Christmas, Spring and Summer breaks.

Here’s a look at the process, step by step:

To become an Aquatics Instructor

  1. First, complete Bronze Cross (preferred) or Standard First Aid training
  2. Next, take Water Safety Instructor training – Step 1. Participants must be at least 15 years old by the start of the course and undertake stroke and water safety skills screening, online at-home learning, and a minimum of eight teaching hours.
  3. Water Safety Instructor – Step 2 is the final step to become a swim instructor, offering valuable, hands-on practice to strengthen your skill set.

It’s recommended that candidates plan the order of certifications to meet minimum requirements and avoid a build-up of associated financial costs.

To become a Lifeguard

  1. First, complete the Bronze Medallion (pre-requisite: 13 years old or Bronze Star). This building block of future lifeguard training includes open-water rescue, stroke efficiency and endurance.
  2. Next, complete the Bronze Cross, which covers advanced lifesaving training and is worth two Grade 11 high school credits.
  3. The Standard First Aid (with CPR-C) program is completed next.
  4. National Lifeguard certification – Pool option is the final step for work at Gordon Head, with the Waterpark option required for SCP. Recognized as the standard measure of lifeguard performance in Canada, this prepares candidates to prevent incidents and resolve emergencies. It’s also worth two Grade 12 high school credits.

Because most area pools only hire lifeguards who also hold their Red Cross Water Safety Instructor certification, many aquatics staff take their WSI course first, apply as an Aquatics Instructor and then work toward becoming a lifeguard. However, for those who don’t wish to complete the Water Safety Instructor course, SCP doesn’t require that certification for their lifeguards.

To become a Waterfit Instructor

  1. Instructors must be at least 16 years of age
  2. Take the British Columbia Recreation and Parks Association theory course on-line or in-class
  3. Take the BCRPA waterfitness model, offered over a weekend, then complete a few shadow teaching hours at a local pool, overseen by certified waterfitness instructors with at least two years of experience
  4. Or have equivalent certifications

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Saanich lifeguards and swim instructors enjoy competitive wages plus a wealth of life skills and professional development. Saanich Recreation photo

Saanich lifeguards and swim instructors enjoy competitive wages plus a wealth of life skills and professional development. Saanich Recreation photo

Becoming a Saanich Waterfit instructor requires a mix of theory and practical instruction, then teaching hours shadowed by a certified, experienced instructor. Saanich Recreation photo

Becoming a Saanich Waterfit instructor requires a mix of theory and practical instruction, then teaching hours shadowed by a certified, experienced instructor. Saanich Recreation photo