Become an NYC Parks Lifeguard


Summer might seem far away, but the vision and swim exams to be a lifeguard for NYC Parks are coming up! If you or your teenager are interested, the first step is to take the NYC Lifeguard Qualifying test. Once completed, then the training program begins. Below is more info on the upcoming qualifying test in December and the two Bronx locations.


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.

LocationQualifying 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.

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