New York City Lifeguard Testing for new jobs

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Our permit at Curtis HS was approved.  Please send any qualified lifeguard candidates our way either on 12/16/2023 or 01/20/2024 during the hours of 11 am to 2 pm.  Please refer to the attachments for additional information regarding the testing and training requirements. Many thanks for your outreach to support safety and enjoyment at our pools and beaches. 

Wishing you a festive and joyful season!

 Karen Larsen 
Project Development Coordinator
Administration
T 718-390-8021
E karen.larsen@parks.nyc.gov

NYC Parks
Stonehenge
1150 Clove Road
Staten Island, NY 10301

Lifeguard Facts


Here is what you need to know if you want to be a lifeguard in New York City:
♦ To become a lifeguard, you must successfully complete the Municipal Lifeguard Training Program – other certifications (such as Red Cross) will not be accepted. The program is free and consists of 40 hours of swimming and rescue techniques, first-aid, and CPR.

♦ Candidates no longer have to be vaccinated if offered city employment.

♦ To enter the Municipal Lifeguard Training Program, you must pass the qualifying test. To qualify, you must:

• Be at least 16 years of age by the start of employment (the end of July).

• 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 45 seconds or less, with proper form.

♦ You may take the qualifying test at any of the locations listed on our website (nyc.gov/parks/lifeguards). Register online to make an appointment. Bring a bathing suit, a towel, and a lock for a locker. Goggles are optional.

♦ If you pass the qualifying test, you must submit written proof of a medical examination by a doctor stating that you are “in good health and able to participate in strenuous lifeguarding activities.” The Lifeguard School will then provide you with a training schedule. Training classes generally meet once a week for 16 weeks (4 months). For this reason, it is important that you take the test as early as
possible to be ready for the season.

♦ At the end of the training program, you must pass a final swimming test and a written test to be certified to work as a New York City Lifeguard. To qualify for a beach assignment, you must complete a 440-yard swim in 6 minutes and 40 seconds or less, and a 300-yard ocean swim. Pool lifeguards must complete the 440-yard swim in 7 minutes and 40 seconds or less.

♦ NYC Lifeguards work 5 to 6 days a week. There are no part-time positions.

♦ Once you begin working as a lifeguard, you will be paid for the time you spent in training.

Lifeguard Recruitment – Frequently Asked Questions

Q: I want to become a lifeguard, but I don’t know how to swim. Will your instructors teach me?

A: No. You must already be able to swim 50 yards in 45 seconds or less with proper form to qualify for lifeguard training. Free learn-to-swim classes are available at many Parks indoor pools. Please visit our website (nyc.gov/parks/lifeguards) for more information.

Q: It says I have to be able to swim 50 yards in 45 seconds. How many laps is that?

A: Every pool is different, so it depends on where you take the qualifying test. The instructor at the pool will tell you how many laps before you begin the test.

Q: Are you required to be vaccinated for COVID-19 to become a NYC lifeguard?

A: Candidates do not have to be vaccinated.

Q: When is the qualifying tests season?

A: The qualifying tests for summer 2024 begin in December and will conclude in late February.

Q: If I fail the qualifying test, can I come back and try again?

A: Candidates can take the test multiple times, however after the 3rd attempt it might be advantageous to have additional conditioning or skills assessment for those candidates.

Q: How can I receive more information?

A: You can sign up to receive more information at nyc.gov/parks/lifeguards.

Q: I am already a Red Cross certified lifeguard. Do I still need to complete the training program?

A: Yes. We do not accept Red Cross, or any other lifeguard certifications. To work at New York City’s public beaches and pools you must successfully complete the Municipal Lifeguard Training Program. Once you do, you will be certified as a lifeguard by NYC Parks.

Q: Your vision requirement says, “at least 20/30 vision in one eye and 20/40 in the other – without corrective lenses.” Does this mean I can’t wear my contacts?

A: Correct. To enter our lifeguard training program your vision must meet the requirements without the use of glasses or contacts. New this year: Applicants can bring an eye doctors note that specifies the vision requirements in lieu of taking the vision exam with the lifeguard staff.

Q: How much does the training program cost?

A: The training program is free. In fact, once you complete the course and begin working as a lifeguard you will be paid for the time you spent in training.

Q: If I become a lifeguard, will I be assigned to a beach, or a pool?

A: It depends on how fast you perform your final swim test at the end of the training program. To work at a pool, you must swim 440 yards in 7 minutes and 40 seconds or less. To work at a beach, you must swim 440 yards in 6 minutes and 40 seconds or less. Beach lifeguards must also perform a 300-yard ocean swim prior to receiving their
assignment.

Q: Can I choose which beach / pool I will work at?

A: You can request to work at a specific location, but there are no guarantees. Assignments are based on seniority, so lifeguards returning from previous summers get first choice. We will do our best to assign you to a location that is convenient for you to get to.

Q: If I become a lifeguard, when would I start/finish work?

A: It depends on whether you are assigned to a pool or a beach. Beaches open the Saturday before Memorial Day through September 10, 2023. Pools are open the day after schools closed through September 10, 2023.

Q: If I become a lifeguard this summer, can I come back again next summer? Will I have to go through the training again?

A: If you work as a lifeguard this summer you will be invited to return to work for us each summer. You will not need to go through training again; only a recertification process that takes approximately 2 days. You will be required to pass swim tests and renew your CPR certification every year.

Q: How many hours/days a week will I work? What are the hours?

A: All NYC Lifeguards work 5 or 6 days a week, including weekends and holidays. There are no part-time positions. Beach lifeguards work from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Pool lifeguards work from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Salary:

Salary is not confirmed for 2024 and subject to change. The agreement reached last year has expired. The salary last year was about $21, it is not guaranteed to be the same yet.


Check in Procedure for Lifeguard Qualifying Test Dates

2 Staff members will be assigned to check-in registrants by appointment.

Please arrive 30 minutes earlier than the test start time.

Materials:

  • Rosters will be emailed to staff the day of qualifying test to print before. Process for Applicants taking Qualifying Test:

Check-In

Applicants Fill out Lifeguard School Application

  • If parents are available to sign application for registrant that is under 18 they can, but it can also be filled out at home and brought back during orientation.

Applicants Take Vision Test

  • NEW THIS YEAR: Applicants can submit an eye doctors note to lifeguard staff in lieu of taking the vision exam

4. Take Swim Test

Procedure: 

  • Registrants will check-in at your table, please check their name and contact information on the roster provided and check off who attended.
  • Registrants are required to show you their photo ID (license, school id, IDNYC, etc.) Picture on phone of photo ID is acceptable. Please make sure to check their date of birth. Applicants must be at least 16 years of age by the start of employment (end of July, 07/31/2008)
  • Direct registrants where to go after checking in (varies by location).
  • Kindly respond to any questions from applicants (please see FAQs document).
  • Collect swim results from lifeguard staff after testing is completed and send picture copy to FDC staff; Taylor Crocilla and Andrea Diaz
  • Referral Cards: some qualifying test candidates may hand to you a filled-out referral postcard, please hold on to it and include picture copy in email to FDC staff. Please designate who at the end of the shift should take home. At your next day of work, please interoffice mail the hard copies to the FDC Office, Room 308 in the Arsenal.
  • If you are working a Saturday or Sunday shift: rosters will be emailed to you on Friday afternoon in order for you to print at your work location. If you’d like to print at home with updates you can, but information can also be hand-written in.

Overtime Code:

  • Each unit should use their own overtime code and note lifeguard qualifying test

Emergency Contact Information:

  • Weekdays and office hours: FDC Office (212) 360-1307
  • Weekends and off-duty hours: Taylor Crocilla (929) 505-4215

Troubleshooting Scenarios:

If applicant does not have an appointment:

  • Please collect the contact information of the candidate, write the details into the roster and check their photo ID. Then let the lifeguard staff know that this applicant was added late to the roster.

If applicant shows up for the incorrect date or time slot:

  • Please check the roster for their contact information and check photo ID. Inform the lifeguard staff that this applicant showed up for the wrong time slot and ask what time slot works best for the lifeguard to place the applicant in. Applicant might have to wait for the next time slot available.

If applicant does not have photo ID:

  • If applicant cannot get the photo ID brought to them in time, please ask them to sign up for another qualifying test and make sure to come back with their Photo ID.

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