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The NYC Lifeguard Qualifying Test

Qualifying tests for the Summer 2020 season take place in December 2019 and January 2020. Please check back in late November for test dates and test locations.

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.

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