Article

What does a Swim Instructor do?

Learn all about Swim Instructor duties, skills and much more. Get expert advice on how to become a Swim Instructor.

Photo of Brenna Goyette
Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 3 min read

A swim instructor is a person who teaches swimming to students of all ages. They typically work in a pool setting, but may also work in lakes, rivers, or the ocean. Swim instructors typically have a background in competitive swimming, and many have experience as lifeguards.

Swim Instructor job duties include:

  • Plan and conduct swim instruction in a safe and positive environment that promotes the physical, social, and emotional development of every student
  • Adapt teaching methods and instructional materials to meet students' varying needs and interests
  • Observe students during class and provide feedback on their performance
  • Evaluate each student's progress and prepare progress reports
  • Select and requisition appropriate instructional materials
  • Maintain accurate and complete records of students' progress
  • Enforce safety rules and regulations to prevent accidents
  • Attend professional development workshops to keep abreast of new developments in the field of aquatics
  • Perform administrative duties such as maintaining attendance records and scheduling classes

Swim Instructor Job Requirements

Swim instructors typically need at least a high school diploma, although some jobs may require postsecondary education, and must complete a certification process. Many organizations that certify swim instructors also require them to have CPR and first aid certification. Some employers may prefer or require candidates to have previous experience working with children or teaching swimming lessons.

Swim Instructor Skills

  • Patience
  • Creativity
  • Good Communication
  • Public Speaking
  • Leadership
  • Organization
  • Planning
  • Problem Solving
  • Flexibility
  • Motivation

Related: Top Swim Instructor Skills: Definition and Examples

How to become a Swim Instructor

There are many ways to become a swim instructor. One can take a course offered by the American Red Cross, or they can become certified through the National Swimming Pool Foundation, or they can take a course offered by the YMCA. There are also many private organizations that offer certification, such as the National Aquatic Safety Company.

The first step in becoming a swim instructor is to have a passion for swimming and working with children. It is also important to be patient, as teaching swimming can be frustrating at times. In addition, one must be able to handle small children in a safe and nurturing environment.

Once you have decided to become a swim instructor, you will need to take a training course. This will teach you how to properly give swimming lessons and how to keep your students safe. You will also learn about different strokes and how to teach them effectively. After completing your training, you will need to pass an exam in order to become certified.

Once you are certified, you can start teaching swimming lessons at a variety of locations, such as schools, community centers, YMCAs, and private homes. You can also choose to work with special needs children or adults.

Related: Swim Instructor Resume Example

Related: Swim Instructor Interview Questions (With Example Answers)