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How Much Do Swimming Lessons Cost?

Last Updated on March 11, 2024
Written by CPA Alec Pow | Content Reviewed by Certified CFA CFA Alexander Popinker

Learning to swim is an essential life skill that can save lives. With the costs of swimming lessons varying widely, it’s important to understand the factors that impact the price so you can find high-quality instruction at an affordable rate.

This guide examines the average costs of swimming lessons, the expenses that influence pricing, and tips to get the most value for your money.

How Much Do Swimming Lessons Cost?

Swimming lessons range drastically in price, but on average, most cost between $100 to $350 per month depending on the type of instruction.

Private lessons with a dedicated instructor generally start at $20 to $50 per 30-minute session. Group lessons at community pools or swim schools can be more affordable, averaging $5 to $20 per class.

Proper swim instruction is critical for swimmers of all ages and abilities. For younger kids, lessons focus on water safety and developing foundational techniques.

According to Swimmercentral.com, prices for independent swim instructors can range from $10 to $30 per lesson depending on location and whether it is a private or a group lesson.

Lessons.com writes that the average cost of swimming lessons is $100 to $160 per month for weekly group classes for kids.

Private swimming lessons can cost anywhere from $30 to $100 per hour depending on the instructor, location, and length of the lesson.

Cheapsurfgear.com says that private swim lessons can cost anywhere from $30 to $100 per hour.

Group lessons are typically held at a community pool or YMCA with 2-6 students per class, and the average price range for group lessons is $8-$20 per lesson.

Fossswimschool.com says that prices are $50 per lesson for semi-private and $99 per lesson for private lessons.

As they progress, more advanced skills like stroke refinement, endurance training, and competitive swimming are introduced. Adults benefit from lessons too – beginners gain confidence in the water while more experienced swimmers refine their technique or train for triathlons.

Factors Affecting the Cost of Swimming Lessons

Several factors account for the wide range in swimming lesson costs. The primary elements are:

  • Type of instructor – Lessons from credentialed coaches and instructors are more expensive than those taught by lifeguards and volunteers. Nationally certified instructors charge higher rates.
  • Private vs group – One-on-one instruction costs significantly more than group lessons. Private lessons offer personalized attention but are less cost-efficient.
  • Location – Swim schools in major metro areas or affluent suburbs charge higher prices. Community pools in smaller towns or rural locations offer more affordable group classes.
  • Facility – Instruction at recreational community pools is cheaper than lessons at upscale athletic clubs or boutique swim schools. Hotel and resort pools fall somewhere in between.
  • Class length – 30-minute lessons are frequently more expensive per hour than 45-minute or 60-minute classes. Multi-week sessions and bulk lesson packages can offer discounts.
  • Add-ons – Some facilities bundle in extras like pool memberships, swim gear, or supplementary classes, increasing the overall cost.

Swimming Lesson Options

With an understanding of the pricing factors, you can evaluate the costs and benefits of various swim lesson providers in your area.

Private Swim Instructors

  • Cost – $30 to $60 per lesson
  • Pool Access – Public pools, athlete/coach pairs use gyms
  • Credentials – Vary greatly, often no formal training
  • Pros – 1-on-1 attention, flexible scheduling
  • Cons – No continuity between instructors, minimal oversight

Community Recreation Centers

  • Cost – $5 to $15 per group class
  • Pool Access – public pools
  • Credentials – Lifeguards, WSI certified instructors
  • Pros: Affordable, family discounts available
  • Cons: Large classes, limited class times

Swim Schools

  • Cost – $120 to $200 monthly
  • Pool Access – Private pools at facility
  • Credentials – Certified professional swim instructors
  • Pros – Structured curriculum, indoor/year-round
  • Cons – Contracts and commitments required

Country Clubs/Athletic Facilities

You might also like our articles about the cost of scuba gear rental, endless pools, or swimming with the sharks.

  • Cost – $200 to $400 monthly
  • Pool Access – Private club pools
  • Credentials – Certified coaches, often ex-college swimmers
  • Pros – High-end amenities and coaching
  • Cons – Much more expensive, often require memberships

Additional Expenses to Factor In

The cost of lessons is not the only swimming-related expense families should budget for. Other fees like membership dues, gear, and certifications can add up quickly.

  • Pool memberships – For ongoing swim lessons, most facilities require memberships ranging from $50 to over $100 monthly. Even public pools often charge pass fees.
  • Swim gear – Quality goggles, swim caps, fins, kickboards, and suits range from $15 to $50+ each. Expect to spend at least $100 per swimmer.
  • Registration fees – Many programs charge annual or seasonal sign-up fees from $25 to $100+.
  • Competition fees – For kids in swim teams, meet registration fees typically run $5 to $15 per event, plus travel costs.
  • Certifications – Lifeguard, CPR, WSI, and swim coach certifications all require paid courses and exams, ranging from $100 to over $300 each.

Tips for Choosing the Right Swim Lessons

Swimming Lessons For AdultsWith swimming lessons available from many sources at vastly different price points, you’ll want to shop around and ask questions to find the ideal match based on your budget, goals, and needs.

  • Identify your top priorities – safety skills, stroke techniques, endurance, competition prep, convenience, cost savings, etc. This will guide your search.
  • Ask about instructor qualifications and safety protocols. Lessons should be taught by certified teachers with CPR/First Aid training in facilities adhering to health standards.
  • Compare lesson formats – private, semi-private, and group classes each have pros and cons to weigh.
  • Ask about progression through skill levels and prerequisites for advancing. Look for milestone markers and completion certificates.
  • Consider the schedule and location – factor in drive time, pool hours, and class flexibility.
  • Look for lesson packages, member deals, and bundled pricing that offer savings compared to drop-in rates.
  • For group lessons, ask about student-to-teacher ratios – smaller sizes allow for more individual attention.
  • Request trial or “assessment” lessons to experience the instructors and lesson quality firsthand at little cost.

Save on Swimming Lesson Costs

While lessons from premier coaches and facilities often generate the best results, there are also ways to obtain high-quality instruction on a budget:

  • Municipal parks and recreation programs offer group lessons for the lowest prices. Maximize savings by purchasing multi-visit passes.
  • Off-peak times like early morning, midday and evenings on weekdays tend to have lower rates.
  • Ask about financial assistance programs – many facilities offer discounted or free lessons for lower-income families.
  • Semi-private lessons (2 students per instructor) cost slightly more than group but much less than private lessons.
  • Online swim lessons can be up to 50% less than in-person training. Virtual classes have become popular during COVID-19 facility shutdowns.
  • Register early – popular swim schools offer the best seasonal sign-up rates and time slot options to those who register one or two sessions in advance.
  • Purchase lesson packages in bulk for price breaks. Plans with 12 or more sessions often offer 10-30% discounts compared to single-session rates.

Final Words

While costs vary widely based on the type of facility, credentials of the instructor, class size and other factors, most swimmers can expect to spend an average of $100 to $350 monthly for quality lessons.

With an understanding of the pricing factors and smart shopping, you can pinpoint affordable options that deliver a high return on investment through potentially lifesaving skills and technique development.

Investing in proper instruction from a young age instills comfort and competency in the water, paving the way for a lifetime of aquatic enjoyment.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many lessons does it take to swim?

The number of lessons needed to learn to swim depends on multiple factors including the student’s age, prior experience, skill level, learning abilities, and class format.

On average, most swimmers require 15 to 25 lessons to become proficient if starting as a complete beginner. However, preschool-aged students may take 30 lessons or more spanning multiple sessions over 2-3 years to master foundational safety and swimming skills.

Adults and teens tend to pick up beginner skills somewhat faster, often gaining proficiency after 10 to 15 private or small group lessons. Students with special needs or those overcoming fear of the water may require more time.

Regardless of age, consistent practice outside of lessons accelerates progress. Private lessons allow for more concentrated skill development compared to larger group classes.

Following a comprehensive, progressive curriculum with benchmark checklists ensures students achieve mastery as they advance through skill levels.

Can I learn swimming at 35?

Absolutely! While it’s ideal to learn proper swimming technique starting at a young age, adults can successfully pick up swimming skills at age 35 or beyond.

Unlike sports that rely heavily on quickness and reaction time, swimming relies more on technique and endurance, making it a highly learnable skill later in life.

With a baseline level of fitness and dedication to consistent practice, adults in their mid-30s to 50s can go from water-cautious to confident swimmers.

It’s recommended to start with professional instruction via private or small group lessons to learn basics like breath control, floating, and efficient stroke mechanics in a safe, supervised environment.

Adults may require 15 to 25 lessons tailored to their needs before transitioning to regular self-directed pool sessions focused on building endurance.

With proper guidance and perseverance, adults of any age can move beyond just surviving in the water to gaining proficiency across a range of essential swimming skills.

Can I learn swimming on my own?

For beginning swimmers, attempting to learn on your own is extremely challenging and not recommended. Proper technique is impossible to self-teach, since you cannot see yourself swim.

Other major risks include ineffective stroke habits that are hard to correct later and an increased drowning risk without oversight. For those beyond the beginner level, a blended approach can work.

Take some professional lessons first to build a foundation, then supplement with regular pool time to hone your skills. Watch technique videos, use tools like kickboards and fins, and focus on drills that strengthen your weakest strokes.

Join a masters swim team for structured workouts. While coaches and lessons accelerate progress, with consistency and patience you can improve on your own if you avoid reinforcing poor habits. Regardless of skill level, always swim with a partner and focus on safety.

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