How to become a Swimming Teacher

Your guide to getting qualified as a Swimming Teacher

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Find out how to have a successful career as a Swimming Teacher including the qualifications you’ll need, hours, salary and how to get started.

Becoming a Swimming Teacher can be an incredibly rewarding career, teaching an essential life skill to others. With a shortage of swimming teachers, there are currently many employment opportunities available for qualified swimming teachers, often offering flexible hours to fit around your lifestyle.

When you choose to become a Swimming Teacher with the Institute of Swimming, you will be supported by the leading provider of aquatic workforce development and training in the UK. The Institute of Swimming have been enabling and building rewarding careers in swimming for nearly 40 years and are committed to providing high-quality courses led by outstanding tutors. Our programmes cover teaching swimming, coaching, aquatic health and fitness, and pool plant. 

We exist for the good of the sport working in conjunction with the national governing body for swimming, Swim England, so all proceeds are invested back into developing our swimming talent and improving the health of the nation.

What do you need to become a Swimming Teacher?

To become a fully qualified Swimming Teacher you will need an SEQ Level 2 Swimming Teacher qualification.

If you have no previous experience and are over 16 you can start your swimming career with the SEQ Level 1 Swimming Assistant (Teaching) course before completing the SEQ Level 2 Swimming Teacher qualification. 

If you have previous work experience or wish to fast track your career you can opt for the Combined SEQ Level 1 Swimming Assistant and Level 2 Teaching Swimming Course. 

Steps to becoming a Swimming Teacher?

Step 1 Research the profession

You can become a swimming teacher with little or no experience of teaching or swimming, your SEQ Level 1 and 2 Swimming Teacher qualifications can provide you with all the knowledge, skills and experience you need. Others may choose to become a Swimming Teacher from other leisure roles such as fitness instructors, lifeguards or other industries altogether.

Once qualified a variety of career routes are open to you such as teaching preschool swimming, school swimming, coaching, swim coordinator or manager, owning your own swim school or specialist swimming teacher roles. The profession is ideal for a variety of people including parents looking for part time work or students looking to fit in work around their studies.

Step 2 Find an SEQ Level 1 Swimming Assistant Course

The SEQ Level 1 Swimming Assistant (Teaching) course is the first step to becoming a swimming teacher and allows you to support a Level 2 Swimming Teacher. This course is endorsed by CIMSPA as meeting the requirements of the assistant swimming teacher professional standard and can be completed through a mixture of e-learning/ online learning and practical pool sessions. Once qualified you can also gain a 12 months free CIMSPA affiliate membership giving you access to further benefits.
Step 3 Complete your SEQ Level 2 Swimming Teacher Course
This course builds on the SEQ Level 1 Swimming Assistant (Teaching) qualification and gives you the skills to independently plan and deliver swimming lessons. In order to start your SEQ Level 2 Swimming Teacher Course, you will need to be at least 16 years of age and hold the SEQ Level 1 Swimming Assistant (Teaching) qualification or equivalent Swim England/ASA qualification certificated after 1994. This course is endorsed by CIMSPA as meeting the requirements of the Swimming Teacher professional standards.
Step 4 Get Insured
By getting insured you protect yourself against claims. Institute of Swimming Membership offers you support and help to develop your teaching capabilities. Our industry-leading insurance offers up to £20 million of cover with free access to legal and employment advice, online learning and further support, and by becoming a member of the Institute of Swimming you will qualify for letters after your name in recognition of your dedication to aquatics.
Step 5 I’m a qualified Swimming Teacher… what’s next?
  • Find employment

Take a look at current Swimming Teacher job opportunities at Careers in Aquatics

Create a CV and approach companies for work opportunities – read about tips for writing your CV

  • Develop your skills

You can develop your swimming teacher career by completing CPDs, accessing e-learning and free resources or completing a specialist course such as SEQ Level 2 Teaching Swimming to Babies and Toddlers or SEQ Level 3 Swim Coordinator

Get supported

Teaching Swimming should be accessible to all and in the same way each swimmer is an individual, every teacher will have their own learning needs and aspirations. We want our courses to be open to everyone and accessible to all. Explore which option is best for you:

1. Join a Swimming Teacher Recruitment Academy

Become a swimming teacher for £79 and be matched with an employer to mentor and support you through your training.

Find out about our Recruitment Academy

2. Apprenticeships

Institute of Swimming,  in partnerships with Creative Sport & Leisure, Future Fit Training and RLSS offer Leisure Team Member Apprenticeship and Leisure Duty Manager Apprenticeships.

These apprenticeships allow you access to high-quality training whilst being employed in the leisure industry, kick-starting your career.

Find out about Apprenticeships

 

3. CIMSPA ReTrain to Retain

Those who currently work, or want to work, in the sport and physical activity sector may be eligible for funding through CIMSPA ReTrain to Retain. Check your eligibility and apply.

 

Benefits of becoming a swimming teacher

What are my career options?

You have many options once you are qualified and Swim England Qualifications are recognised internationally. A few of the more popular routes may be:

  • Become your own boss

You could set up your own business as a Swim Teacher offering one to one sessions or develop your own swim school business employing other staff.

After you have gained experience in teaching you could apply to become a Swimming Tutor.

You could work at a Leisure centre or swim school and be part of a team.

Frequently asked questions

What qualifications do you need to be a Swimming Teacher?

You will need an SEQ Level 2 Teaching Swimming qualification.

How much will I earn as a Swimming Teacher?

Swimming teacher salaries can vary depending on location and type of employment. As a guide you can view the salary checker for more information.
How long do I have to complete my Level 2 Swimming Teacher Course?
You will have 12 months to complete your course.
Which areas do you offer courses?
Our programmes run across England and cover teaching swimming, coaching, aquatic health and fitness, and pool plant.
Are the Institute of Swimming Courses recognised by professional standards?
Yes the SEQ Level 1 and SEQ Level 2 Swimming Teacher Qualifications are endorsed by CIMSPAs professional standards.

 

Find out why others teach swimming