Guide DCR Lifeguarding

Lifeguards are professional rescuers, trained to help prevent injuries and to respond in an emergency to help save a life. As part of a team, lifeguards must work together to calmly and efficiently manage crisis situations. With a commitment to water safety, the Department is in need of certified lifeguards and head lifeguards to work at our many pools as well as at our inland and ocean beaches. If you think you've got what it takes to work as part of our lifeguard team, check out the information in this guide and apply today!

Application Process

Step 1: Eligibility - We begin the application process by examining your application materials to verify that you meet our age, certification and citizenship requirements.

Note: All applicants must be at least 16 years old to be considered for employment.

Step 2: Sign up for DCR test - For test dates and locations, select a region underneath the 'Test Dates' heading in the navigation menu on the right side of your screen. You may call the number provided to schedule your test time.

Step 3: Qualification - All lifeguard candidates, including returning lifeguards, must successfully complete the Department's written, swimming and practical lifeguarding examinations. For more information, visit the Employment Test Information page.

Step 4: Interviews - Once you have successfully completed the lifeguard test, your application materials will be sent to the appropriate regional office. Department staff may then contact you to arrange an interview, or to discuss placement options. There is a chance that you may not be interviewed for a position at the location which you requested. This may happen if there are no vacant lifeguard positions at that location, or if you are unable to work the full swimming season.

Step 5: Hiring Decisions - Once interviews have been completed, aquatic supervisors will select lifeguards for the summer season. All applicants will be notified of hiring decisions for lifeguard positions. If selected, you will be offered employment under the condition that you successfully complete the Department's in-service training program. Additionally, if selected, you will be required to purchase a red bathing suit which conforms to the Department's uniform requirements.

Step 6: In-Service Training - All new and returning lifeguards must participate in a program of in-service training during their first week of employment. This training will cover all Department policies and procedures for lifeguard services, as well as physical tests, conditioning, and skills training. As a DCR Lifeguard you will also be required to participate in daily, weekly and monthly in-service training programs to maintain a high level of proficiency in rescue procedures. If you do not successfully complete all in-service training requirements, you may be dismissed from service.

Key Actions

DCR Lifeguard Testing and CPR Recertification Dates

Review all testing requirements and necessary documentation before arrival at testing location

Boston Region

Date Location LG & CPR Recertifications
Friday, December 29, 9am Connell Pool Yes
Saturday January 6, 9am Connell Pool Yes
Saturday February 17, 9am Connell Pool Yes
Saturday March 10, 9am Connell Pool Yes
Saturday April 21, 9am Connell Pool Yes
Saturday May 12, 9am Connell Pool Yes
Saturday May 19, 9am Connell Pool Yes

The Connell Pool is located at 220 Broad Street Weymouth, MA 781-335-2090

North Region

Date Location LG & CPR Recertifications
April 6, 4pm Lynn YMCA  
April 20, 4pm Lynn YMCA  
May 4, 4pm Lynn YMCA  

Lynn YMCA is located at 20 Neptune Blvd. Lynn, MA

Central Region

Date Location

LG & CPR Recertification

December 28, 9am Holy Cross Yes
March 31, 9am Holy Cross Yes
May 12, 9am Holy Cross Yes
May 14, 6:30pm Worcester YWCA Yes
May 19, 9am Holy Cross Yes
May 21, 6:30pm Worcester YWCA Yes
June 11, 6:30pm Worcester YWCA Yes

Holy Cross Pool is located in the Hart Center Pool, 1 College Street Worcester, MA

Worcester YWCA is locates 1 Salem Square Worcester, MA 01608

DCR Lifeguard Training Courses

Dates Location
December  26 – 30, 9am – 5pm YWCA, 1 Salem Sq., Worcester, MA
February 19 – 23, 9am – 5pm YWCA, 1 Salem Sq., Worcester, MA
March 12 – May 14, (10 Week Course) Monday Nights, 6:30pm – 10pm YWCA, 1 Salem Sq., Worcester, MA

West Region

Date Location
Saturday, January 6, 9am Craig Woods
Thursday, May 10, 5:30pm Craig Woods
Thursday, May 17, 5:30pm Craig Woods
Thursday, May 22, 5:30pm Craig Woods
Thursday, June 12, 5:30pm Craig Woods

Springfield Central High School 1840 Roosevelt Ave., Springfield, MA

Recertification Classes

Tuesday, May 15 - 5:30pm CPR Recertification
Thursday, May 24 - 5:30pm CPR Recertification
Thursday, May 29 - 5:30pm CPR Recertification
Thursday, June 14 - 5:30pm CPR Recertification
Thursday, June 26 - 5:30pm CPR Recertification

DCR Lifeguard Training Courses

Dates Location

February 11, 18, 25

March 4

April 8, & 15

Deerfield Academy, Sunday’s from 12 Noon – 5pm

March 3, 10, 17, 24

April 7, 14, 21, 28

May 5

Tantasqua High School, Saturday’s from 9am – 12:00 Noon

February 19, 20, 21, 22 - 4pm – 9pm

February 24 - 8am – 5pm

February 25  - 8am – 5pm (Snow Date)

Springfield Central High School

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

Lifeguard Training

Lifeguard courses are offered at several lifeguard training facilities across the Commonwealth.

Boston:  American Red Cross - Lifeguarding

Boston:  American Red Cross - Lifeguarding Review for Re-Certification

Brockton:  Old Colony YMCA

Cape Cod: YMCA Cape Cod

Lowell: Greater Lowell YMCA

Peabody/Lynn:  YMCA of the North Shore

Pittsfield: Pittsfield Family YMCA

Springfield:  YMCA of Greater Springfield

Somerville:  Somerville YMCA

Worcester:  Boys and Girls Club of Worcester

Worcester:  Worcester YWCA

Returning Lifeguards

CPR is only good for one year; and must run through Labor Day of 2018 if you plan to work with us next summer. You must possess a valid American Red Cross for the Professional Rescuer Certification, or a valid American Heart Association for the Healthcare Provider certification. If you do not possess a current and valid CPR card that runs through Labor Day of 2018, then you will need recertification.
If you have any questions please email DCR.AquaticsUnit@massmail.state.ma.us.
Please check your other certifications to see if you need to get recertifications this year. This reminder gives you plenty of notice and opportunity to get recertified before the beginning of the next season.

You will not be placed in a position until we have seen all original and valid certifications and possess a copy of them front and back, accompanying your passing written and swim test scores.
Under 18: Release of Liability signed by parent/guardian is required.

Waterfront Lifeguard Requirements

Waterfront Lifeguard Requirements

If you're looking to work at a beach, whether a lake, pond, or ocean, you must possess the appropriate waterfront skills and knowledge as evidenced by certification in the American Red Cross Waterfront Lifeguarding module or the YMCA Lifeguarding certification.

Call your local American Red Cross Chapter to learn how you can become certified in Waterfront Lifeguarding. These classes are often hard to find and are not frequently scheduled, so don't wait until the last minute; Call today!

Lifeguards at all ocean beaches will also be expected to complete a Run-Swim-Run as part of the application process. Additional information relative to this timed event can be found on our Employment Test Information page.

Click here to view the general requirements applicable to all DCR lifeguards .

Salary
Waterfront Lifeguards earn $13.26 per hr, well above the Massachusetts average. All lifeguards will be paid every two weeks.

If you don't have the necessary certifications, contact your local American Red Cross Chapter for information on courses in your area.

Lifeguarding Requirements
 

ALL DCR Lifeguards must be at least 16 years of age and must be certified in three general areas:

  • Lifeguard Training
  • First Aid
  • Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation

 

The following list highlights those training programs which meet our certification requirements.  Note: Applicants need only possess one of the listed certifications in each category.

 

General Requirements for ALL Lifeguards

  • Lifeguard Training
  • American Red Cross Lifeguard Training; or
  • YMCA Lifeguarding

First Aid

  • American Red Cross Community First Aid & Safety; or
  • American Red Cross Standard First Aid; or
  • National Safety Council "Green Cross" 8 Hour First Aid course

Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation

  • American Red Cross CPR for the Professional Rescuer / AED; or
  • American Heart Association CPR for the Health Care Provider issued within the last year.

Note: This is a partial listing of acceptable certifications. If your certificate is not listed above, please contact us to determine whether your certification meets our minimum certification requirements.

Salary
Lifeguards earn 13.26 per hour, well above the Massachusetts average. All lifeguards will be paid every two weeks.

If you don't have the necessary certifications, contact your local American Red Cross Chapter for information on courses in your area.

DCR Head Lifeguard Requirements

Head Lifeguards are considered to be part of the professional lifeguard leadership team for all DCR aquatic facilities. As such, head lifeguards must meet the minimum certification requirements applicable to all lifeguards at their facility . Additionally, head lifeguards must:

  • Be at least 18 years old; and
  • Possess at least one season (10 weeks) of full-time or equivalent part time lifeguarding experience; and
  • Possess certification in the American Red Cross Head Lifeguarding module; and
  • Preferably possess current certification as an American Red Cross Lifeguarding Instructor.

Salary
Head Lifeguards will receive $13.74 per hour. All lifeguards will be paid every two weeks.
 

If you don't have the necessary certifications, contact your local American Red Cross Chapter for information on courses in your area.

Lifeguarding Requirements
 

ALL DCR Lifeguards must be at least 16 years of age and must be certified in three general areas:

  • Lifeguard Training
  • First Aid
  • Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation

 

The following list highlights those training programs which meet our certification requirements.  Note: Applicants need only possess one of the listed certifications in each category.

 

General Requirements for ALL Lifeguards

  • Lifeguard Training
  • American Red Cross Lifeguard Training; or
  • YMCA Lifeguarding

First Aid

  • American Red Cross Community First Aid & Safety; or
  • American Red Cross Standard First Aid; or
  • National Safety Council "Green Cross" 8 Hour First Aid course

Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation

  • American Red Cross CPR for the Professional Rescuer / AED; or
  • American Heart Association CPR for the Health Care Provider issued within the last year.

Note: This is a partial listing of acceptable certifications. If your certificate is not listed above, please contact us to determine whether your certification meets our minimum certification requirements.

Salary
Lifeguards earn 13.26 per hour, well above the Massachusetts average. All lifeguards will be paid every two weeks.

If you don't have the necessary certifications, contact your local American Red Cross Chapter for information on courses in your area.

Locations

With numerous facilities across the state providing lifeguard services, we have the location that's right for you!

Choose from the below links to visit our many pools and inland beaches! If you think you've got what it takes to work as an ocean lifeguard, be sure to visit our listing of ocean beaches as well!

Freshwater Inland Beaches

Saltwater Ocean Beaches

Swimming Pools, Wading Pools and Spray Decks

Image credits:  George Headley/MassIT

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