Employment Test Information

All DCR lifeguards must demonstrate competency and professionalism in rescue, first aid and CPR knowledge and skills. 

All lifeguards must successfully complete the following pre-employment evaluation to be considered for employment:

  • Timed 500 yd swim (20 lengths in a 25 yd pool)
    * Pool / Inland Lifeguards: Must complete swim in under 11 minutes
    * Ocean Lifeguards: Must complete swim in under 9:30 minutes
  • Recover 10lb object in 9'-12' of water
    * Passive victim recovery
    * Active victim recovery
    * Submerged victim recovery
  • Lifeguarding/First Aid & CPR Written Exam
    * Applicants must score an 80% on each section

Additional "surf testing" for ocean beaches will include:

  • Run approx. 100 yds. prior to entering water
  • Swim approx. 150 yds.
  • Run approx. 100 yds. after the swim

You may use goggles only during the 500 yard timed swim. For your safety, goggles are not permitted during rescue skills.

We strongly encourage you to practice for the timed distance swim before you take the test. Experience indicates that many applicants overestimate their swimming ability in the early season. Begin swimming early to get ready for the timed swim! Remember that the only way to improve your swim time is to actually get into the water and swim!

We also strongly encourage you to review your lifeguarding, first aid and CPR textbooks in preparation for the written examination. The written test is a 50-question multiple-choice exam which is divided into two sections: Lifeguarding/First Aid and CPR/General. You must score an 80% on each section in order to be considered for employment. If you do not score an 80% on one or more sections, your application will be placed on hold and you will be allowed only one (1) retest opportunity. All retests will be given on separate date from the original exam. If you do not successfully complete the retest, you will not be eligible for hire until the following season.

What Do I Bring?

At the test site, you must have in your possession:

  • Release of Liability (Signed by parent/guardian if under 18); and
  • Proof of Age
    * Birth Certificate; or
    * Drivers License; or
    * State ID; or
    * Passport.
  • Original Certifications valid through the entire swimming season
    * Lifeguarding Certificate; and
    * First Aid Certificate (if separate from your lifeguarding certificate); and
    * CPR for the Professional Rescuer (Level "C" Healthcare Provider) - CPR for the Professional Rescuer / AED (CPR for the Health care provider)
  • Bathing Suit and Towel