Lifeguard Candidate Testing Begins

Attention potential lifeguards! NYC Parks wants you! The city is welcoming candidates to take the qualifying test sometime soon, for a chance to protect our city’s pools and beaches.

Qualifying tests begin on Friday, December 2, and will be held at 10 pools around the city, returning to pre-pandemic levels (compared to 6 locations last year) including recreation centers and local high schools. Register for an upcoming qualifying exam on the NYC Parks Lifeguard information page (

There are currently no testing sites on the Rockaway peninsula, but there are several options in Brooklyn, Queens and the other boroughs.

New this year: past NYC Parks Lifeguards get a reward for referring a friend! This year, we’re encouraging everyone who worked as a lifeguard with NYC Parks last summer to tell their friends to join the team! Lifeguards who refer a friend to join the corps can receive a gift for a successful referral.

To pass the qualifying test, candidates must be at least 16 years old 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; and must be able to swim 50 yards in 35 seconds or less, with proper form.

Once candidates pass the qualifying exam, they’ll undergo training at the lifeguard school with a 16-week program that consists of 40 hours of training, a CPR course, and final swimming tests. Candidates who successfully pass the final tests will be able to work full time at one of the city’s eight beaches or 53 pools. Once hired, lifeguard will be paid for the training.


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