How to become a swimming teacher

How to become a swimming teacher

Teaching swimming is by far the most rewarding job role I have had in the leisure industry. As a swimming teacher you have the important role of teaching a swimmer a life skill. The journey of taking a swimmer from beginner to advanced and seeing their reaction when they achieve something new is priceless. Admittedly, teaching swimming is not always a plain sailing job and there are challenges along the way. Nevertheless, the challenging can be the most rewarding!

What does it take to become a swimming teacher?

Before you decide to invest in training, firstly decide why you would like to become a swimming teacher. To be a swimming teacher the following characteristics are important

  • Patience
  • Understanding
  • Ability to be flexible and adapt quickly
  • Prepared to always learn – your courses are the foundations, use experience and the course knowledge to find the best ways of teaching – you cannot teach every swimmer the same way as everyone is different
  • Work well in teams – your colleagues can be a fanatic’s support mechanism, especially when you have a challenge and need to ‘pick their brains!’
  • Smile!
  • Enjoy what you do and incorporate fun, not necessarily through games but through your language. Speak to the swimmer in the language for their age. Include stories, television programmes – a Peppa Pig adventure (helping Peppa and George scoop ice creams for their friends (teaching front crawl arms) always goes down well!
  • Time – similar to patience, allow swimmers to progress in their time and learn when to push and when to offer more encouragement.
  • Praise – you are shaping their character, if a swimmer believes you then they will believe in themselves – give them the confidence

I could add so much to this list!

How do I start to become qualified?

The following qualifications/documents are required for becoming a swimming teacher – marked with mandatory and desired. Please note that there are two providers who train swimming teachers; Swim England and STA. Swim England. Amateur Swimming Associations (changed to Swim England in April 2017), courses provided through the Institute of Swimming (IoS) or the STA.


Supporting courses are:

  • Adult and child (parent and baby)
  • Rookie Lifeguard
  • Discipline specific – water polo, synchronised swimming….
  • Pool Plant Operator
  • Trainer Assessor


During and after your courses, I strongly recommend that you seek experience with a variety of swimming lesson providers. Always continue your personal development and learn the various scenarios you can face! Knowledge and experience are key to becoming a successful swimming teacher!

If you would like further guidance, interested in becoming a swimming teacher, contact Nicole today.