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YMCA of Metropolitan Fort Worth

Aquatics Leadership Pathway

The YMCA Aquatics Leadership Pathway is a specialized track that allows teens to continue aquatic development upon graduating from our swim lesson continuum.  The leadership pathway builds confidence, encourages students to stay active as part of a healthy lifestyle, and allows them continue to cultivate passion in aquatic programming beyond swim lessons.

YMCA Aquatics Leadership Pathway Programs:

  • Junior Swim Coach
  • Junior Lifeguard
  • Lifeguard Academy
  • Certified Lifeguard

Junior Swim Coach & Junior Lifeguard

Through our Junior Swim Coach and Junior Lifeguard programs, the YMCA encourages development in the areas of aquatics instruction and safety, with the goal of preparing and motivating participants to become swim instructors or lifeguards through separate certification courses.  This program is designed for teens ages 14 and 15, with the goal of offering employment when the participant turns 16.

Additional Information for Junior Lifeguards:

  • Junior Lifeguard training dates are the second Saturday of every month from 10a-12p, beginning May 8. Location(s) to be determined.
  • 2021 Training Dates: May 8, June 12, July 10, August 8
  • Volunteer opportunities are available throughout the summer, beginning May 29.  Each Junior Lifeguard is required to volunteer a minimum of 10 hours per month (schedules are very flexible).
  • Junior Lifeguard Volunteer Locations: Hood County, Joshua, McDonald, Northpark, Ryan
  • Junior Coach Volunteer Locations: Benbrook, Northwest, Hood County

Lifeguard Academy

Our Lifeguard Academy is available for teens interested in aquatic development, who did not grow up through the YMCA swim lesson continuum.  This program teaches teenaged non-swimmers not only how to swim, but certifies them as lifeguards, and offers employment upon completion of the program.

Work With Us

Employment as a certified Lifeguard is our final Aquatics Leadership Pathway opportunity.  The Lifeguard Certification Course is designed to provide participants the knowledge and skills necessary to be a lifeguard and professional rescuer. In addition to YMCA Lifeguarding, participants will be certified in American Safety and Health Institute’s (ASHI) courses: Basic Life Support, Rescuer, Basic First Aid for the Community, and Emergency Oxygen Administration. The 30-hour course held over several days covers safety skills, accident prevention, scanning, guarding techniques, emergency systems, rescue skills, first aid in aquatic environments, spinal injury management, open water dangers, legal responsibilities, pool maintenance basics, and information on how to get a job as a lifeguard.

Once employed as a lifeguard, the YMCA has additional aquatics employment opportunities such as Swim Instructor, Swim Coach, Head Lifeguard and Lifeguard Instructor.  All necessary trainings are free for YMCA Employees.

To become a certified Lifeguard for the YMCA:
  • Step 1: Apply for employment online
  • Step 2: Participate in a virtual interview
  • Step 3: Pass your in-person Water Skills Test (to be scheduled during your virtual interview)
  • Step 4: Complete FREE Lifeguard Training during one of the following dates:
    • May 14-16 & May 22-23, Hood County Y
    • May 25-28, YMCA Camp Carter
    • May 29-31, YMCA Camp Carter
    • June 1-4, YMCA Camp Carter
    • June 22-25, YMCA Camp Carter
    • July 6-9, YMCA Camp Carter
    • August 8-10, YMCA Camp Carter
  • Step 5: Start lifeguarding for the YMCA!
To register for Junior Lifeguard or Junior Swim Coach:

We are no longer enrolling for this program in 2021. Please check back in March of 2022 to secure your spot for next summer. 

For those who need additional training prior to enrolling in a Lifeguard Course:

We are no longer enrolling for the Aquatics Leadership Pathway in 2021. Please check back in March of 2022 to secure your spot for next summer. 


For questions, or more information on any of our Aquatics Leadership Pathways, please contact [email protected].

The YMCA offers quick and easy financial assistance in the form of our Open Doors program for every membership and Y program. Learn more today!