City beaches are typically open from Memorial Day weekend through the week after Labor Day. Outdoor pools are open from late June through the week after Labor Day.
Qualifying tests for the summer 2021 season start on April 5, 2021. In order to maintain safety protocols, the lifeguard testing process has changed for 2021. At this time, you must reserve a qualifying test time in advance.
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 your locker), and wear a face covering in the building. Goggles are optional
Learn more about becoming a New York City Lifeguard.