City beaches are open from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day. Outdoor pools are open from late June through Labor Day. 

Qualifying tests for the summer 2020 season start on December 7, 2019.

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. 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 June)
  • Have at least 20/30 vision in one eye and 20/40 in the other, without corrective lenses (glasses and contact lenses cannot be worn during the eye exam)
  • Be able to swim 50 yards in 35 seconds or less with proper form
  • Bring a bathing suit, a towel, and a lock for a locker (goggles are optional)

Learn more about becoming a New York City Lifeguard.