Become a New York State Parks Lifeguard

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:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Learn about the lifeguard qualifier, the skills required, and what to bring.
  • Register for an upcoming lifeguard qualifier:
  • NY State Parks qualifier dates
  • NY State Parks, Long Island only Qualifier dates
  • After successful completion of the qualifier, regional staff will inform candidates of the next steps.


2022 Lifeguard Qualifications (All Regions except Long Island)

(click here for Long Island qualifications)

  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.


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