Lifeguarding Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the difference between Live and Blended learning?
A: Both live Classroom and Blended Learning offerings cover exactly the same information and take the same amount of time to complete.  With blended learning, the lecture material that would be covered in a classroom session are presented in an online classroom before the skills sessions.  Students can complete the online classroom at their own pace and takes approximately 7 hours to complete.

Q: When will I receive the link and login instructions for the online classroom?
A: Once you submit payment, you will be directed to a page with login Instructions for the online classroom.  An email will be sent to the address listed on your registration 9 days prior to your skill sessions repeating the instructions and with class specific information. 

Q: Do I need to buy a book?
A:  No.  You can download afree pdf from the American Red cross.  Some students learn better with a physical copy, so North  Star dose carry copies for purchase.  A physical copy of the manual  will be leant to you during the course.  We also have a free PDF copy of the manualavailable. 

Q: What do I need to bring to class?
A: You will need to be prepared for a wide variety of activities.  Every class  has classroom and pool time.  Bring a good fitting swim suit (one piece) and lots of towels.  We frequently move back and froth from pool to classroom and you will need to dry off to avoid tracking water into the classroom.  Bring a change of cloths for the classroom you can move around in.  Classroom activities include CPR training which involves kneeling and laying down, so dress warmly.

Q: Once I finish the class, will I be able to get a job as a Lifeguard?
A: The American Red Cross Lifeguarding certification is recognized across the country.  Many facilities accept the ARC certification.  There are however some facilities that use a private Lifeguard Certification Company and therefore will not accept the ARC certification.  If you know where you want to work, you should check with them as to what certifications they require their employees to have.  Once you pass the class, employers may ask you to demonstrate your skills before hiring you.

Q: Whathappens if I don't pass the Pre-Course?
A:  The pre-course is designed to verify that participants have the swimming skills and endurance to participate safely in the lifeguarding activities.  Lifeguarding is a physically demanding activity.  If you do not pass the pre-course, you will be given the option to re-enroll in one of our upcoming classes at a discounted rate. See our Transfer / Cancelation Policy for more information.

Q: What is the best way to prepare for the Pre-Course?
A: The only real way to prepare for the pre-course is to swim.  The requirements for the pre-course are listed on every class's information sheet.  We encourage you to find pool time and practice your swimming and treading prior to class. 

Q: Why do I have to pay the Red Cross to log into the online classroom for my Instructor Class?
A:  The Red Cross charges $36 for every instructor certification. The advertised cost of the Instructor level classes includes this fee.  We charged cost was $36 less to allow you to pay the red cross directly. Please review your login instructions for further information.  Refunds for Red Cross Fees will not be given.

Q:  What is the Waterfront Module?
A:  The Waterfront Module is a course that allows currently certified lifeguards to add to their skills by learning how to guard live water environments such as lake and riverfronts.  The course covers handling currents, dealing with wild-life and poor visibility.   This class is typically a requirement for guards wanting to work at summer camps but not needed for those working at traditional pools.

Q: What is your Cancelation / Transfer Policy?
A:  Our cancelation policy can be seen here.  Cancelation / Transfer Policies

Q: I passed my class weeks ago, how do I get a copy of my certification?
A: Once the Red Cross approves your class' roster, you were sent an email with the link to your certification. If you need to reprint your certificate, go to  You will need the class end date and the facility's zip code.