To become an aquatics director you must first complete a formal training program so that you are ready for certification. As the director of all activities within the acquatics program of a community or a recreation center, you will hold a great deal of responsibility. You may be in charge of hiring and training employees, supervising the program activities, coordinating schedules, ordering and scheduling maintenance to the pool and equipment, teaching classes, communicating with the community and gathering data. If you are ready to take on this level of responsibility, read on to learn what steps you must take to enter this field.
Get a Formal Degree
If you are applying for a position in a public or a private setting, you will need an education to compete with other candidates and to get attention from members on the interview panel. While a degree is not a requirement when you are applying to all positions, as an aquatics director who wants to become certified, a degree is a must. You should find an institution that offers four-year degrees in either recreation management or physical education. While earning your degree, it can be very helpful to get CPR certified through your school. This is a must-have credential when you are a part of any aquatics program at a professional capacity.
Get Professional Experience
There are a number of ways that you can get professional experience that will be relevant when you are trying to land that coveted director’s role. While you are in school, you can easily spend your summers earning money as a lifeguard to cover the bills and add to your resume. It can also be helpful to take on supervisory roles while you are in school to gain that experience that you need to show that you can be in control and handle the pressure.
Upon graduation, you should start to look for titles in the recreation industry where you can coordinate aquatics programs. This will help you get the management experience that you need to show that you will have the authority to oversee staff, train them and even make the right hiring decisions.
Having you national certification will help you become an expert in everything that has to do with aquatics programs. One of the most popular options is to earn your National Certification for Aquatics Directors through the United States Water Fitness Association. To earn the credential, you must complete a distance education program that covers 50 different chapters from policies and procedures to sales and marketing. To become certified after taking the course, you must complete an open book test and interview current professionals. Once reviewed, you will be granted certification as long as you score a 90% or higher.
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It is the responsibility of aquatics directors to increase the number of participants in a program, produce more revenue, increase customer satisfaction, improve retention, and comply with health and safety laws. Once you have your formal training and you have the professional experience that you need to demonstrate your abilities, the next step is to search for openings with public organizations or private camps. If you have a passion for water activities and the ability to be a leader, it might be time to become an aquatics director.