NYC Parks is looking for New Yorkers to rise to the challenge and become part of our lifeguarding team for summer 2024!
Qualifying tests begin on Friday, December 1, and will be held at more than 15 pools around the city, including recreation centers and local schools. Register for a qualifying exam here.
NYC Parks Commissioner Sue Donoghue and DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido announced that the City has reached an agreement with the lifeguard union represented by DC 37 to raise hourly wages for seasonal lifeguards to $22.00 per hour.
Beginning summer 2024, returning seasonal lifeguards and chief lifeguards will receive a $1,000 bonus if they work through peak season.
Through our Lifeguard Training program and working as an NYC Parks Lifeguard, you’ll test yourself against the best and develop valuable skills that will last a lifetime in any profession. With the U.S. currently facing a nationwide shortage of lifeguards, it’s never been more important for courageous New Yorkers to step up and answer the call.
Becoming a lifeguard is a rewarding experience that allows you to learn CPR, first aid, and rescue techniques while improving your swimming skills and working alongside others who are committed to public safety by protecting New Yorkers at the City’s eight public beaches and 53 outdoor pools.
“We’re thrilled to open qualifying tests for lifeguards for the 2024 season, to find dedicated and driven individuals who will safeguard our pools and beaches while making summer fun happen for millions of New Yorkers,” said NYC Parks Commissioner Sue Donoghue. “Keeping the public safe is our top priority, and our lifeguards are crucial to a successful beach and pool season. It’s more than just a job — it’s an opportunity be a part of a brave team dedicated to public service and physical fitness, while working in some of the city’s most iconic summer locations. We encourage all qualified New Yorkers to accept the challenge and register for a lifeguard test today!”
All potential lifeguards must pass the Lifeguard Qualifying Test, which includes a vision and swim exam. New this year, a letter from an eye doctor will be accepted in lieu of taking a vision exam onsite.
Steps to Becoming a Lifeguard
- Try out! Pass the Qualifying Test
Taking the qualifying test is the first step toward becoming a lifeguard. These tryouts take place in our indoor pools over the winter before the upcoming summer season. All potential lifeguards must pass the Lifeguard Qualifying Test, vision test, and swim exam. For the first time ever, an eye doctor’s note will be accepted in place of an onsite vision exam.
To pass the qualifying test, you must:
- Be at least 16 years of age by the start of employment.
- Have at least 20/30 vision in one eye and 20/40 in the other — without corrective lenses.
Glasses and contact lenses may not be worn during the eye exam.
- Be able to swim 50 yards in 45 seconds or less, with proper form.
- Train at Our Lifeguard School
Once you pass the qualifying test, your training to become an NYC Lifeguard begins. You’ll develop your swimming skills, learn lifesaving techniques, and receive your certification to become an NYC Lifeguard with a 16-week program that consists of 40 hours of training, a CPR course, and final swimming tests.
- Help Safeguard Our Beaches and Pools
If you successfully complete the training program, you may be offered a full-time job for the summer working at a beach or pool. Our beaches open on Memorial Day weekend and outdoor pools open in late June. Beaches and pools close the Sunday after Labor Day. Put your skills into action and keep New Yorkers safe!
After completing the course and passing the final exam and background check, lifeguards will be paid for time spent in training once they begin working.
Lifeguards work five or six days each week at locations including historic Coney Island, the beautiful oceanfront in the Rockaways, and the only floating pool in North America.
For more information, visit the Become an NYC Parks Lifeguard page.