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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!
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.
Review all testing requirements and necessary documentation before arrival at testing location
The Connell Pool is located at 220 Broad Street Weymouth, MA 781-335-2090
Lynn YMCA is located at 20 Neptune Blvd. Lynn, MA
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
Springfield Central High School 1840 Roosevelt Ave., Springfield, MA
February 11, 18, 25
April 8, & 15
March 3, 10, 17, 24
April 7, 14, 21, 28
February 19, 20, 21, 22 - 4pm – 9pm
February 24 - 8am – 5pm
February 25 - 8am – 5pm (Snow Date)
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:
Additional "surf testing" for ocean beaches will include:
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:
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
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
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 .
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.
ALL DCR Lifeguards must be at least 16 years of age and must be certified in three general areas:
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
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.
Lifeguards earn 13.26 per hour, well above the Massachusetts average. All lifeguards will be paid every two weeks.
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:
Head Lifeguards will receive $13.74 per hour. All lifeguards will be paid every two weeks.
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