Become an NYC Parks Lifeguard

Qualifying tests start this winter for summer 2023

Lifeguard looks over pool with river and buildings in the background

Earn your Whistle.

There are no lifeguard qualifying test dates available for registration at this time. Qualifying tests for the following beach and pool season start this winter. Please use our Lifeguard Recruitment Contact Form to sign up to be notified when future test dates become available.

Put your swimming skill to the ultimate test. Become an NYC Lifeguard – help keep New York’s beaches and pools safe and develop skills that will last a lifetime.

What You'll Earn

Lifeguarding is a rewarding and challenging job that requires split-second decision making and develops valuable skills that can last a lifetime. Here’s what you can expect when you join the elite group of NYC Parks Lifeguards.

  • Develop Job Skills
    Learn valuable leadership and communication skills that will last a lifetime in any profession.
  • Become Part of a Team
    Make friends for a lifetime who are also committed to serving the public.
  • Get Your Certification
    Earn your NYC Parks lifeguard certification, and learn CPR, first-aid, and rescue techniques.
  • Practice Your Swimming
    Get access to all of our City’s indoor pools to strengthen your swimming skills.

Lifeguards work five to six days each week and first-year lifeguards earn a minimum of $16 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.

How to Join

All lifeguards are tested to meet the highest standards to ensure that they can keep New Yorkers safe.

Pass the Qualifying Test

All potential lifeguards must pass the Lifeguard Qualifying Test, a series of vision and swim exams. 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.

Individuals must be vaccinated to take the qualifying test. All candidates are tested by Parks’ Lifeguard School to ensure that they meet the highest standards.

Join the Lifeguard Training Program 

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. 

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