American Red Cross Courses

covid update

All aquatics courses have been temporarily suspended. 


In conjunction with the American Red Cross, USF Recreation & Wellness offers several certification courses throughout the year. All of our courses are available to the public and are held at the main Campus Recreation Center indoor pool. Please see below for available courses and dates. All visitors must obtain a parking pass.

CPR/AED for Professional Rescuers & Bloodborne Pathogens

We are excited to offer you American Red Cross CPR/AED for Professional Rescuers Blended Learning. The primary purpose of the American Red Cross CPR/AED for Professional Rescuers course is to teach those with a duty to act (professional rescuers) the knowledge and skills needed to respond appropriately to breathing and cardiac emergencies. This includes the use of an automated external defibrillator (AED) to care for a victim experiencing cardiac arrest.


The purpose of the American Red Cross Lifeguard course is to teach you the skills needed to help prevent and respond to aquatic emergencies. This includes land and water rescue skills, as well as first aid and CPR. As a professional rescuer with a legal responsibility to act in an emergency, you must be self-disciplined and confident in your knowledge and skills. You need to have solid public relations, customer service and conflict resolution skills. In addition, you must be willing to be a leader and a good team member. Being a lifeguard requires maturity, professionalism and competence in specialized rescue techniques.

Lifeguard Prerequisites

  • Minimum age of 15 years
  • Swim 300 yards continuously using either front-crawl and/or breaststroke
  • Tread water for two minutes using only legs
  • Complete the following timed event within 1 minute, 40 seconds:
    • Starting in the water, swim 20 yards
    • Surface dive to a depth of 7 to 12 feet to retrieve a 10-pound object
    • Return to the surface and swim 20 yards on the back to return to the starting point
    • Exit the water without using a ladder or steps

Cost: $140

Lifeguard Instructor

The Red Cross Lifeguard Instructor Course prepares instructor candidates to use course and presentation materials, conduct training sessions and evaluate the progress of candidates in a professional-level course. Once authorized, Lifeguard Instructors may teach Basic-level Lifeguarding, Waterfront Lifeguarding, Waterpark Lifeguarding, Shallow Water Attendant, Lifeguard Management, CPR/AED for Lifeguards, First Aid, Administering Emergency Oxygen, Bloodborne Pathogens, Basic Water Rescue, GuardStart, and Water Safety presentations.

You must be a currently certified lifeguard and at least 17 years old.

The 23 hour Red Cross Lifeguard Instructor Class is a Blended Learning Class. The first 2.5 hours is taken online, followed by a 21 hour live class.

Lifeguard Instructor Course Registration Fee (in addition to the Red Cross $37 Fee) is:

  • $300 general public
  • $250 USF Faculty/Staff
  • $225 USF Students

Water Safety Instructor

This course trains instructor candidates to teach all of the courses presented in the Swimming and Water Safety program to all age groups; all of the courses listed above, plus Learn-to-Swim Levels 4-6 and Adult Swim. This certification is the gold standard and provides the most comprehensive training for swim instructor.