If you’re a keen swimmer and looking for flexible work, why not consider a career as a swimming teacher? With swimming being one of the most popular sports in England, swimming teachers jobs are plenty, teaching children and adults alike all about navigating the deep blue.
If you want to find out if becoming a swimming teacher is something that floats your boat, the best way to get a taste for your potential future is to spend some time on the job.
To do this, you could try volunteering at your local pool or competitive swimming club. Most swimming clubs also offer swim lessons and always looking for helpers for assisting their experienced swimming teachers.
Anything that gets you on poolside and helps you of see what a swimming teacher routinely does. Plus, volunteering will always look good on your CV and as it demonstrates your commitment to pursuing a career in swimming.
In addition, you could also consider shadowing another swimming teacher. Contact your local swimming pools and speak with the manager or the swimming lessons coordinator to see if they would be happy to let you shadow one of their swimming teachers for a couple of sessions.
To become a swim instructor, firstly, you need to get a qualification.
In England, as a minimum, you have to have a Swimming Teaching Level 1 qualification or Award in Swimming Teaching, which allows you to help out a fully qualified swimming teacher or a coach. There are two levels that you have to pass to become a fully qualified swimming teacher yourself. You are more likely to need to do a recognised lifesaving qualification too as many swim schools (not all) prefer their swimming teachers to have a life-saving qualification so they can teach their classes even without a lifeguard. So, including the lifesaving qualification for swimming teachers, you will need 3 qualifications.
After becoming a fully qualified teacher, you will need further qualifications to teach more special groups like under 3-year-olds (babies and toddlers) or children with special needs.
To have more teaching opportunities, consider getting qualifications that can help you to teach a variety of ages and swimming abilities.
To find out where you can get qualified to become a swimming teacher in England, you can check out Swim England Qualifications as they have a comprehensive list of all training providers, the Swim England or Institute of Swimming (IOS) website. Visit the Swimming Teachers’ Association (STA) website for more details for the STA swimming teachers qualifications.
The minimum qualification could cost you between £300 to £400 depending on if it is an STA Award in Swimming Teaching or Swimming Teacher Level 1 course with Swim England. There might be some helps and grants available from different sporting bodies, if you need financial support. Some grants can cover the whole cost of your tuition fees.
If you want to progress and get ahead as a swimming teacher, there are a few key skills and traits that you will need to have. These include:
After getting the necessary swimming teaching qualification, you need to keep attending continual professional development (CPD) courses to stay up-to-date.
Teaching methods keep evolving and you must stay on the top of your own learning.
You want to teach people to swim. Like any teacher, a good swimming teacher must be able to connect with the learners. A swim instructor firstly, must understand how his/her swimmers learn. After that, he/she should focus to on how to communicate different message and instructions effectively.
You will have a better work opportunity if you are willing to broaden your horizon. Swimming teachers can explore other related areas like:
Teaching swimming can be rewarding and enjoyable. Try to get as much experience as you can early on.
Send your CV to different places and websites and keep an eye on new teaching positions and opportunities near you.