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Could teaching swimming be the perfect student job?
By the ASA
Teaching Swimming is an active and rewarding role with great chances of employment. We spoke to former Swimming Teacher and recent graduate Fiona about her experiences of working while studying.
How did you first get in to Teaching Swimming?
I got my first experience teaching swimming when my local pool were looking for a volunteer to help with a children’s swimming lesson. At first I was nervous as I’d never worked with children before but seeing their confidence grow and how much they enjoyed swimming spurred me on get my ASA Level 1 qualification.
Once I was a Level 1 Swimming Assistant, I started getting paid and was funded to get my ASA Level 2 qualification. I worked three times a week in the evenings and I got lots of extra hours during school holiday crash courses.
How did you fit work in with student life and studying?
It was easy fitting in swimming teaching with my studies as lectures finished early afternoon and I taught from 4pm and had the opportunity to work on a Saturday morning if I needed extra money.
The hourly rate was great, around double that of my friends who mostly worked minimum wage part time jobs is shops, bars and restaurants. I also earned more than my older brother who was a lifeguard. This meant I could reduce my hours and still have enough money to go out with my friends and treat myself to a well-earned holiday after exams.
One of the best things about teaching swimming at university was I had a good work/study/life balance and could afford the little extras that I wanted. I also got the benefits of free swimming and sauna at some of the places I worked! One of my friends I made through swimming was lucky enough to spend the summer breaks working abroad, teaching swimming for kid’s holiday camps.
What other benefits did you get from teaching swimming?
Teaching swimming helped me in lots of unexpected ways. It developed my confidence in speaking in front of a groups of people; when you’re working with children you have to capture their attention and be able to control the situation. When it came to my final year of Uni and the daunting task of applying for graduate roles I was able to use a lot of my experience through the application process and felt confident during the assessment days.
Sound good? If you’re interested in becoming a Swimming Teacher here are some tips:
There are two qualifications you will need to get; the ASA Level 1 Swimming Assistant course is the first step and allows you to support a fully qualified swimming teacher. You can either take a four day face to face course or a 2 day blended learning course which combines around 6 hrs of online material with 2 days of face to face workshops. For more course information go to www.swimming.org/ios
Once you’ve completed this course its best to gain at least 3 months experience before moving on to the ASA Level 2 Swimming Teacher course.
Typically, initial qualifications cost around £395, but don’t let lack of funds stand in the way. Demand for swimming teachers is high so some employers will part fund you through the qualification.
If you want to get some experience before you book your course. I would contact your local swim school or pool and volunteer your time to see if you enjoy it first.
You can find your local pool on Pool Finder: www.swimming.org/poolfinder/
What does an assistant swimming teacher do?
When you first start you will probably work in a learn to swim scheme in a swim school or leisure centre as an assistant swimming teacher – also known as a learn to swim support coach.
You will be under the supervision of an ASA Level 2 qualified teacher 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 of basic skills. Other tasks might include laying out the equipment ready for lessons and making sure buoyancy aids are safely fitted.
It won’t be till you complete your ASA Level 2 qualification that you’ll start to run the swimming lessons.
How much can you earn?
Average pay is higher than a lot of other student jobs. ASA Level 1 Assistant Swimming Teachers typically earn around £9.74/hr and ASA Level 2 Swimming teachers earn an average of £14.89/hr compared to the £6/hr average for lifeguards. For more information go to www.swimming.org/careers/salary-checker-for-teachers-and-coaches/
For further information please go to www.swimming.org/ios