Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation


Skip Navigation LinksHome / Employment / Lifeguards

We're Hiring! Become a New York State Parks Lifeguard

Our lifeguards are a vital asset to the New York State Parks system, each year protecting more than 25 million swimmers statewide. If you are a strong swimmer, love the outdoors, and have a desire to help your community all while working in some of the most scenic locations in the state, we strongly encourage you to apply.

Lifeguard positions are available statewide and all candidates must qualify annually, including returning guards.

  • Confirm you have the minimum qualifications to be a lifeguard candidate. Please note Long Island lifeguards have different qualifications and procedures.
  • Fill out an employment application and email it to:
  • Learn about the lifeguard qualifier, the skills required, and what to bring.
  • Register for an upcoming lifeguard qualifier:
  • After successful completion of the qualifier, regional staff will inform candidates of the next steps.


2024 Lifeguard Qualifications (All Regions except Long Island)

  1. Minimum Age: 15 (preference is given to individuals 18 years of age and older)
  2. Prior to employment, you must have acceptable and current certifications in the following American Red Cross courses (or equivalent):
  • Lifeguarding/First Aid/CPR/AED with Waterfront Skills Module - for all regions except NYC and Long Island.
  • Lifeguarding/First Aid/CPR/AED - in the New York City Region
  • CPR/AED for the Professional Rescuer
  • First aid if not included in Lifeguard Training course material - in all regions except Long Island
  • Lifeguarding/First Aid/CPR/AED with Waterpark Skills Module certification for any lifeguard working at a park with water slides. An Agency training may be substituted for the Waterpark Module
  • All Lifeguard candidates are subject to a criminal background check as a condition of employment

Consult with the Agency Water Safety Office for equivalent courses.

  • American Red Cross Lifeguard/First Aid/CPR/AED certifications are valid for 2 years. A separate CPR certificate is not required in the first year of certification.
  • CPR certificates must be dated within the last year;
  • A lifeguard will be terminated from lifeguard employment if any required certificate lapses during the operating season (recertification is acceptable);
  1. Candidates must successfully complete the qualifying procedure and any other training programs sanctioned by the Agency. Please Note: Candidates may participate in the qualifying process without possessing certification; however, candidates that do possess current certifications will likely have an advantage in the process over those who do not due to familiarity with the subject matter.

All candidates will be required to present valid identification to participate in the qualifying exam. Please check with your regional representative regarding acceptable identification.

  1. New candidates must undergo an interview by regional staff; the purpose of which is to evaluate an individual's maturity and ability to communicate.
  2. After receiving a "conditional" offer of employment, each NEW candidate will be required to submit a current "NYS Parks Medical Standards and Examination Findings" form, containing a Physician's certification concerning the candidate.
  • As per Agency standard lifeguard candidates must meet vision requirements
  • Candidates must be able to hear normal sounds in each ear.
  • Returning lifeguards who qualify may submit the Returning Medical Form stating they are physically capable of performing lifeguard duties, with no medical changes. A returning lifeguard may be required to secure a standard medical examination if there is any question concerning their physical status.
  • All medical records will be held in confidence.

Long Island Region Qualifying Procedure - Jones Beach Lifeguard Corps


All applicants must preregister: Long Island Region Lifeguard QualifierLeaving New York State Parks

Lifeguard Qualifying Procedure.

  1. 100 yard timed swim - Applicant must finish swim in 75 seconds or less to continue
  2. 50 yard Cross Chest Carry - 25 yard swim; 25 yard applicant carries manikin in cross-chest position in 55 seconds or less to continue.
  3. ¾ mile (1,320 yards) Timed Endurance Run - Applicant must complete the ¾ mile (1,320 yards) run in six minutes or less to continue. (Sneakers recommended).
  4. Timed Ocean Swim – Applicant must complete the approximately 350-400 yard swim on prescribed open water, run-swim-run course to continue. Stopping will result in disqualification.

Note: All elements must be successfully completed to be considered qualified for hiring. (Not necessarily performed in this order.)

Minimum Qualifications

Candidates must be at least 17 years of age by the date of the test – no exceptions. All candidates participating in the qualifying procedure must present photo proof of age and identity prior to swim. Please have government photo identification.

Candidates must be able to successfully complete both the Lifeguard Qualifying Procedure and the Lifeguard Training Program. All candidates must attend MANDATORY 40 hours of required training scheduled before they can be considered for placement as New Hire Lifeguards. Candidates will be in pay status during this mandatory training. New Hire candidates must be certified in CPR/AED for the Professional Rescuer prior to Lifeguard Training Program.

Basic First Aid and Administering Emergency Oxygen certification will be provided during training. No prior swimming certifications are necessary.

Candidates must have at least 20/70 uncorrected vision in each eye. Contact lenses or glasses are not permitted.

Immediately after successfully completing the procedure, Park assignments will be made in the West Bathhouse Pool meeting room.

After notification of successful completion, candidate must present the following documentation prior to employment (Please note that candidates will have approximately one week to submit all required documentation, and will need to make an appointment with their physician):

  1. A NYS Parks medical standards form completed by a qualified physician stating that the candidate meets the criteria listed to perform full lifeguard duties and meets acceptable standardized requirements. (Due only after candidate has received a conditional offer of employment.)
  2. An original birth certificate indicating that the candidate is at least 17 years of age (current U.S. Passport may be presented in lieu of birth certificate at the time of hiring).
  3. An original Social Security Card.
  4. Candidates who are 17 years of age must present valid working papers.
  5. All New Hire candidates must present acceptable proof of employment eligibility.
  6. All New Hire candidates must successfully complete 40 hours of lifeguard rookie training in pay status and achieve certification in Basic First Aid, CPR/AED (Professional Level) and Administering Emergency Oxygen prior to reporting to their assigned work stations.

Please note that candidates will have approximately one week to submit all required documentation and may need to make an appointment with their physician.