NYC Resources311Office of the Mayor

Official Website of the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation

The NYC Lifeguard Qualifying Test

Qualitying Test dates for the 2015 season have ended. Dates for the 2016 summer season will be posted by the end of December. Please visit this page for further updates.

All candidates are tested by Parks’ Lifeguard School to ensure that they meet the highest standards. Candidates interested in becoming a lifeguard must first pass a qualifying test.

To qualify, you must:

  • Be able to swim 50 yards in 35 seconds with proper form.
  • Have a minimum of 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 at least 16 years old when the position begins.

Once you’ve passed the qualifying test, you’re able to go onto the next step of becoming a New York City Lifeguard: the Municipal Lifeguard Training Program.

Upon completion of the training program, you must pass final swimming tests and a written test to become a lifeguard. You must be able to swim 440 yards in 7 minutes and 40 seconds to qualify for a pool assignment, or 6 minutes and 40 seconds to qualify for a beach assignment. Beach lifeguards must also complete a 300-yard ocean swim prior to receiving their assignment.

If you’re from another country, please visit our international lifeguard page for guidelines.

Was this information helpful?