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

The NYC Lifeguard Qualifying Test

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 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.

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. The program is free, and consists of 40 hours of swimming and rescue techniques, first-aid and CPR.

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.

Qualifying Test Location and Dates

You may take the qualifying test for the summer 2018 season at one of the locations below. Please make sure to bring a bathing suit, a towel and a lock (for your locker). Goggles are optional.

Bronx

Location Qualifying Test Date and Time
DeWitt Clinton High School
100 West Mosholu Parkway South
December 7, 2017: 4:30 p.m. to 6:30
December 21, 2017: 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
St. Mary’s Recreation Center
450 St. Ann’s Avenue (at 145th Street)
December 14, 2017: 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
December 28, 2017: 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

*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
December 8, 2017: 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
December 15, 2017: 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Metropolitan Recreation Center
261 Bedford Avenue
December 5, 2017: 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
December 12, 2017: 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

*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 4, 2017 through January 15, 2018
Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays: 4:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.

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

Queens

Location Qualifying Test Date and Time
Far Rockaway High School
8-21 Bay 25th Street
December 11, 2017: 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
December 18, 2017: 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Flushing Meadows Aquatics Center
131-04 Meridian Road, Flushing Meadows Corona Park
December 1, 2017: 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
December 19, 2017: 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m..
John Adams High School
108-01 Rockaway Boulevard
December 3, 2017: 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.
December 10, 2017: 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.

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

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