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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 (the end of June).
  • 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 within 35 second 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.

You may take the qualifying test for the summer 2017 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. This test is free and there is no registration. 

Bronx

Location Qualifying Test Date and Time
DeWitt Clinton High School
100 West Mosholu Parkway South
December 15: 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
December 22: 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
St. Mary’s Recreation Center
450 St. Ann’s Avenue (at 145th Street) 
December 9: 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
December 16: 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
Bushwick High School
400 Irving Avenue
December 1: 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
December 15: 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Fort Hamilton High School
8301 Shore Road
December 18: 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
January 8: 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
James Madison High School
3787 Bedford Avenue
December 10: 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.
December 17: 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.
Metropolitan Recreation Center 
261 Bedford Avenue
December 5: 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. 
December 12: 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
New Utrecht High School
1601 80th Street
December 8: 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
December 22: 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.

Manhattan

Location Qualifying Test Date and Time
Chelsea Recreation Center 
430 West 25th Street

December 5 through January 6, 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 13: 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
December 20: 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
January 3: 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Flushing Meadows Aquatics Center 
131-04 Meridian Road
December 2: 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
December 19: 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m..
Grover Cleveland High School
21-27 Himrod Street
December 7: 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
December 14: 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m..
Richmond Hill High School
89-30 114th Street, Richmond Hill
December 6: 7:15 p.m. to 9:15 p.m.
December 13: 7:15 p.m. to 9:15 p.m.

*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 
December 10: 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
December 17: 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.


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