Becoming a swimming teacher in the UK

Careers Advice

Becoming a swimming teacher in the UK means you can look forward to an active and challenging role with great chances of employment. Many local pools are always on the look out for new staff.

It is also great for mums, dads and guardians as the hours are very flexible. Flexible hours was one of the things that inspired former City IT trainer Georgie Boddie to become a swimming teacher. Listen to what she has to say below.

Becoming a swimming teacher: first steps

Here are a few ways you can start to learn more about becoming a swimming teaching.

  1. Contact your regional ASA office for an informal chat. Most areas have Aquatic Officers who are happy to help.
  2. Go to a pool and have a chat with current teachers. Most will be happy to tell you about their jobs. Find your nearest pool with the ASA’s Pool Finder here.

Becoming a swimming teacher: qualifications

You start with a level 1 ASA qualification but there are three levels you need to achieve to progress across any of the four disciplines: swimming, water polo, diving and synchronised swimming.

Sample courses you need to take when becoming a swimming teacher are:

  • Teaching Aquatics
  • Aqua Fitness and Disabilities
  • Coaching Diving
  • Coaching Swimming
  • Coaching Synchronised Swimming
  • Coaching Water Polo

Here are some places you can search for training courses:

  1. ASA Awarding Body is an awarding organisation. On their website they have a list of all training providers, or Approved Centres as they call them, offering ASA qualifications for teaching swimming. You can also access all ASA courses across the country on the ASA Calendar here.
  2. The IoS Online website – the training arm of the ASA

Minimum qualifications

The first qualification you will need is the ASA Level 1 Certificate. This focuses on how to teach or coach and what to teach or coach.

Once you have received your certificate you will be qualified to support a more senior qualified or licensed teacher/coach at any level in a pre-prepared session.

  • You must be 16+ years of age when the course finishes to take it.

To be able to work on your own (aside from lifeguarding cover) you must be the holder of an ASA Level 2 Certificate.

  • You must be 17 + years of age before the course begins.

Becoming a swimming teacher: costs

Typically, initial qualifications cost around £390, but don’t let lack of funds stand in the way.

There are bursaries and grants available. They vary according to location but some even pay 100% of the course costs.

  • Click here to go to the ASA website and see if you qualify!

Becoming a swimming teacher: jobs

When you first start you will probably work in a learn to swim scheme in a swimming club or leisure centre as an assistant swimming teacher – also known as a learn to swim support coach.

You will be under the supervision of a Level 2 qualified teacher or coach to deliver swimming lessons to children and adults. You will help to teach wannabe swimmers how to move and be safe in the water.

Your job will be to assist in teaching/coaching some of these basic skills. Other tasks might include laying out the equipment ready for lessons and making sure buoyancy aids are safely fitted.

Becoming a swimming teacher: pay

Pay starts at £6 – £10 per hour. But for a full breakdown of average hourly rate check out our Salary Checker here.

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