NYC Resources311Office of the Mayor

Become an NYC Parks Lifeguard

Try out now for a chance to become a lifeguard for summer 2020!

lifeguard on a beach

Tests are offered in December and January

Help us keep millions of New Yorkers safe at NYC's eight beaches and 53 outdoor pools this summer. As one of just 1,400 NYC Parks Lifeguards, you will be part of an elite group that is committed to serving the public. 

One of the best jobs in New York City, lifeguarding gives people the opportunity to work in a rewarding and challenging environment during the busy summer months. It requires split-second decision making that could mean the difference between life and death and helps develop valuable skills—a strong work ethic, teamwork, leadership, and communication—that will last a lifetime in any profession. 

Lifeguards work up to 48 hours each week and first-year lifeguards earn a minimum of $15 an hour, for a weekly salary of about $800. Parks’ beaches open on Memorial Day weekend, and pools open in late June; both close the Sunday after Labor Day. 

Become a lifeguard and help build on the exemplary safety record our lifeguards have set over the years!

How to Join

Before joining our lifeguard training program, applicants must pass the Qualifying Test, a set of vision and swim exams. Tests are offered in December and January at indoor pools across the city. You may take the qualifying test for the summer 2020 season at one of the locations below. All candidates are tested by Parks’ Lifeguard School to ensure that they meet the highest standards. 

Once you've passed the qualifying test, you're able to join the Lifeguard Training Program. Upon completion of the training program, you must pass final swimming tests and a written test to become a lifeguard. 

Qualifying Test Location and Dates

Registration is not required, just show up! You may try out as many times as you would like until you've passed the test. Please make sure to bring a bathing suit, a towel, and a lock (for your locker). Goggles are optional.

Qualifying Test Requirements

To qualify, 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 35 seconds or less, with proper form.
lifeguards by poolside

You may take the qualifying test for the summer 2020 season at one of the locations below:

Bronx

Location Qualifying Test Date and Time  
St. Mary’s Recreation Center
450 St. Ann’s Avenue (at 145th Street)
Friday, December 20, 2019: 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Friday, December 27, 2019: 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Sign up for Reminders

*Please bring a bathing suit, a towel, and a lock for a locker. Goggles are optional.

Brooklyn

Location Qualifying Test Date and Time  
Abraham Lincoln High School
2800 Ocean Parkway
Saturday, December 21, 2019: 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
Friday, December 27, 2019: 10:00 a.m. to noon

Sign up for Reminders

Bushwick High School
400 Irving Avenue
Thursday, December 12, 2019: 6:00 p.m.to 8:00 p.m.
Thursday, December 19, 2019: 6:00 p.m.to 8:00 p.m.

Sign up for Reminders

Fort Hamilton High School
8301 Shore Road
Sunday, December 8, 2019: 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
Sunday, December 15, 2019: 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

Metropolitan Recreation Center
261 Bedford Avenue

Tuesday, December 10, 2019: 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Tuesday, December 17, 2019: 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Sign up for Reminders

St. John's Recreation Center
1251 Prospect Place
Friday, December 13, 2019: 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, December 28, 2019: 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Sign up for Reminders

*Please bring a bathing suit, a towel, and a lock for a locker. Goggles are optional.

Manhattan

Location Qualifying Test Date and Time  
Chelsea Recreation Center
430 West 25th Street
December 9, 2019 to January 10, 2020
Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays: 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
No tests on Christmas Day (December 25) and New Year's Day (January 1)

Sign up for Reminders

*Bring a bathing suit, a towel, and a lock for a locker. Goggles are optional.

Queens

 
Location Qualifying Test Date and Time  
Flushing Meadows Aquatics Center
131-04 Meridian Road, Flushing Meadows Corona Park
Monday, December 23, 2019: 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Monday, December 30, 2019: 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Sign up for Reminders

Grover Cleveland High School
2127 Himrod Street
Wednesday, December 11, 2019: 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Wednesday, December 18, 2019: 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Sign up for Reminders

John Adams High School
101-01 Rockaway Boulevard
Sunday, December 22, 2019: 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.
Sunday, December 29, 2019: 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.

Sign up for Reminders

Richmond Hill High School
89-30 114th Street
Monday, December 9, 2019: 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Monday, December 16, 2019: 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Roy Wilkins Recreation Center
177 Street and Baisley Boulevard
Thursday, December 26, 2019: 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Thursday, January 2, 2020: 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Sign up for Reminders

*Please bring a bathing suit, a towel, and a lock for a locker. Goggles are optional.

Staten Island

Location Qualifying Test Date and Time  
Curtis High School
105 Hamilton Avenue
Saturday, December 7, 2019: 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Saturday, December 14, 2019: 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

*Please bring a bathing suit, a towel, and a lock for a locker. Goggles are optional.


Know someone who wants to become a lifeguard?

Invite a friend or three to become a lifeguard as well. Download [PDF] our poster and share it. Your summer could be double—or triple—the fun with a friend!

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