Looking for a great summer job or career as a lifeguard? The YMCA offers lifeguarding classes and hires qualified lifeguard in all five New York City boroughs.

Lifeguarding Jobs


  • Actively scan, recognize and provide rapid response in all emergency situations
  • Prevent accidents and minimize or eliminate unsafe situations
  • Enforce pool policies and procedures
  • Administer first aid if necessary


  • Current YMCA or American Red Cross Lifeguard Training Certificate
  • Current CPR/AED/Professional Rescuer, Oxygen Administration and First Aid certifications
  • High School diploma or equivalent

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YMCA Lifeguard Class Components

The course and certification include the following components:

  • CPR/AED for professional rescuer
  • Basic first aid
  • Oxygen administration
  • Y Lifeguard Classroom
  • Pool/Water Skills Time
  • eLearning Time


Breakdown of Course Hours

Classroom Learning:

15 hours

Water/Pool Skills:

13 hours


9 hours

Total Time:

37 hours


YMCA Lifeguard Class Prerequisites

The following prerequisites are required to register for the YMCA Lifeguard Course:

  • Must be at least 16 years of age (proof required)
  • Pass the following Physical Competency Requirements conducted prior to the course proving ability to:

Part I

  • Tread water for 2 minutes (legs only)
  • Swim 100 yards of front crawl

Part II

  • Perform a feet-first surface dive in 8 to 10 feet of water (or maximum depth of training facility), then swim underwater for 15 feet
  • Swim 50 yards of each:
    ○ Front crawl with the head up
    ○ Sidestroke
    ○ Breaststroke
    ○ Breaststroke with the head up
    ○ Elementary backstroke kick with hands on the chest

Part III

  • Participants start in the water at shallow end
  • Sprint for a distance of approximately 60 feet, and then perform an arm-over-arm surface dive in 8 to 10 feet of water (or maximum depth of training facility)
  • Pick up an object (dive ring) from the bottom of pool, surface, tread water for at least 1 minute with legs only, and replace the object back to the bottom of the pool where it was found
  • Swim the remaining length to end of pool, and hoist yourself out of water
  • Immediately begin compression on an adult manikin for 1 minute or 100 compressions; stand and listen to directions from instructor
  • Quickly walk over to an elevated lifeguard stand, climb onto lifeguard stand, sit down, look near your feet for a colored shape, and find the matching colored shape while scanning the pool area
  • Scan and identify an object located somewhere in the pool area
  • Stand up and blow a whistle loud and clearly shout “the Y is great” and then exit lifeguard stand


Upcoming Classes

There are currently no lifeguarding classes in session. Please check back for updated schedules. 

Contact Us

Questions about swimming at the Y? Our branch aquatics directors are here to help you.