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How to become a Swimming Teacher

What is a swimming teacher?

Swimming teachers can expect a challenging, active role, helping children learn a valuable life skill. Teaching swimming is a great opportunity to have fun and create an environment in which everyone can enjoy learning and developing themselves. Most of the teaching will take place in groups and initially newly qualified teachers can only assist the running of sessions, before taking more control as they accumulate more experience.

What qualifications do I need to become a swimming teacher?

The Amateur Swimming Association (ASA) Level 1 qualification is the first step into teaching swimming and the holder is then able to assist with sessions poolside. Level 2 allows you to be the session leader and to teach alone, while Level 3 and beyond are for anyone who wants to become a professional coach. There are also further qualifications for anyone who wants to work with babies or people with disabilities and regular development courses throughout the year. Any teacher will not be lacking in support and guidance.

If you plan on working with children then you’ll need to get a DBS check before you begin work.

What are the best things about being a swimming teacher?

Swimming teaching or becoming a teaching assistant are popular roles for parents looking for some part-time work, as hours can be flexible and arranged around other engagements. For more ambitious candidates, professional coaching can be immensely rewarding and might involve working with very talented athletes. It also offers freedom for well-qualified coaches to be more independent and to take their career in whatever direction they choose.

What skills/experience will an employer look for?

Prior experience of teaching or coaching is not essential but would help a candidate stand out from the crowd, as positions can be very competitive. Any potential teacher needs to be able to plan sessions and carry them out to make sure they’re as fun and informative as possible, so being able to show experience of working within set timeframes and strong organisational skills would be an advantage. A teacher will also need to be outgoing, confident and able to offer motivation and guidance to people of all ages.

Who might employ a swimming teacher?

-Health clubs

-Leisure centres

-Holiday resorts


-Cruise Ships

What salary can I expect?

There is huge variation in the salary a swim teacher can receive. Some assistants may work voluntarily, while most at a part-time level are paid between £10 and £30 an hour depending on qualifications and experience. Fully qualified professionals can earn around £30,000 per year.

What is my career progression?

There is huge potential for progression within the industry simply for anyone who wants to gain experience in teaching swimming and continue taking further qualifications. There’s a clear line from being a poolside assistant to the advanced qualifications that allow someone to coach competitively. Those with enough experience and know-how can set up their own independent swim schools.

Are there any drawbacks?

There can be a lot of evening or weekend work whatever the level of coaching and the hours can be quite long for someone working full-time. Initially teaching swimming might require you to sacrifice a lot of your time for relatively little reward, although there is a lot of scope for earning and development in the long term. Coaching competitively will probably require at least some travelling to events and may mean spending time away from home.

Why not view our latest swimming teacher jobs.

More Information:

For more information, advice and guidance about careers in PE, Sport, Training and Fitness and Activity Holiday Jobs, visit our careers advice centre; including job hunting tips,  CV guide and much more.

Useful Links:

For more information on how to become a swimming teacher, visit the Amateur Swimming Association’s website.

Have you seen our information about to get into lifeguarding? Many swimming teachers started off as lifeguards and often keep their qualification alive, as it is an invaluable skill to have when teaching in and around a pool. Visit the Royal Life Saving Society.