Earn while you learn! You’re one click away from starting your journey to become a lifeguard!


The YMCA’s nationally-recognized Lifeguard Certification program prepares you for one of the most highly demanded jobs in the country.

  • Course is free
  • 2023 Participants earn a stipend while taking the lifeguard training course 

  • Get a new hire bonus when you become certified through our course and join our team  

Want to sign up for our next certification course? Your first step is to register for a pre-test below!

Register for the Pre-Test

We regularly schedule pre-tests to confirm your swim ability meets the standard for the Lifeguard Certification Course. Register for your pre-test below.




YMCA Branches Time
Bed-Stuy Fri. 2-3pm
Coney Island  
North Brooklyn Tue. 2-4pm
Wed. 1-3pm
Prospect Park  
Cross Island Sat. 1-2pm
Flushing Tue. 2-4pm
Thu. 2-4pm
Jamaica Sat. 12-12:30pm
Rockaway Mon. 10-12pm
Mon. 3-4:30pm
McBurney Tue. 12-2pm
Vanderbilt Mon. 10-12pm
West Side** Tue. 3-4pm
Wed. 3-4pm
Thu. 3-4pm
Fri. 3-4pm
Staten Island  
Broadway Tue. 3:30-4:30pm
South Shore Tue. 3-3:30pm
Thurs. 3-3:30pm
Sun. 4-5pm
The Bronx  
Castle Hill Mon. 3-5pm
Tue. 3-5pm
La Central Mon. 4-6pm
Thu. 4-6pm

**Excludes 4/6 - 4/11

Note: To qualify for the Spring Break Week Course (April 10th - 14th), you must pass your pre-test by March 25th.

Note: To qualify for the Spring II Course (May 1st - June 25th), you must pass your pre-test by April 15th.

Note: To qualify for the June Break Week Course (June 26th - 30th), you must pass your pre-test by June 10th.

Note: To qualify for the Summer Course (July 3rd - July 31st), you must pass your pre-test by June 17th.

You will need to bring a swimsuit, a swim cap, and a towel to the pretest. Goggles are optional.


What does the Pre-Test Involve?

Pre-Test Requirements

1. Tread water for 2 minutes - use legs only.

2. Swim 100 yards of front crawl.

3. Swim 50 yards of each:

  • Sidestroke
  • Breaststroke
  • Elementary backstroke

4. Complete feet-first surface dive and 15 feet underwater swim.

5. Perform 60-foot sprint, then surface dive to retrieve object at the bottom of pool and hold at surface treading for 1 minute.

6. Pick up an object from the bottom of pool, surface and tread water for 1 minute with legs only, then replace the object on the bottom of the pool where it was found.

7. Swim the remaining length to end of pool, and hoist yourself out of water.

8. Perform compressions on an adult manikin and follow directions of the instructor.

Course Dates

After you successfully pass the pre-test, you may participate in our free Lifeguard Certification Course. Below are upcoming courses in New York City. Note: You do not need to take your pre-test in the same location you plan to take the certification course.


Spring Break Session

In-Person Class: April 10th - April 14th, 2023
The course is a 5 Day Intensive Course: All eLearning must be completed prior to 4/8 to attend

Branch Borough Dates/Times
La Central Bronx Mon. 4/10 - Fri. 4/14 9-5pm
Rockaway Queens Mon. 4/10 - Fri. 4/14 8-4pm



Spring II Session

In-Person Class Location Dates Times
West Side (Mon) May 1, 8, 15, 22, Jun 5, 12, 19 2:45pm-8:30 pm
Jamaica (Mon & Thurs) May 1, 4, 8, 11, 15, 18, 22, 25, Jun 1, 5, 8, 12, 15, 19, 22, 26, 29 9:00-12:00 pm
La Central (Wed & Fri) May 3, 5, 10, 12, 17, 19, 24, 26, 31, Jun 2, 7, 9, 14,16, 21, 23 4:30-7:30pm
Staten Island    
Broadway (Sat) May 6, 13, 20, 27, Jun 3, 10, 17, 24 9:00-2:00pm
Prospect Park (Wed) May 3, 10, 17, 24, 31, Jun 7, 14, 21 3:00-8:00pm



June Break Session

In-Person Class: June 26th to June 30th, 2023
The course is a 5 Day Intensive Course: All eLearning must be completed prior to 6/26 to attend

Branch Borough Dates/Times
La Central Bronx Mon. 6/26 - Fri. 6/30 9am-5pm
Coney Island Brooklyn Mon. 6/26 - Fri. 6/30 8am-4pm



Summer Session

In-Person Class Location Dates Times
Jamaica (Tue & Thurs) July 6, 11, 13, 18, 20, 25, 27 12:00-6:15 pm
Staten Island    
Broadway (Tue & Thurs) July 6, 11, 13, 18, 20, 25, 27 8:30-2:45pm


Lifeguard Certification Course Description

Course Components
  • Basic Life Support
  • Basic First Aid
  • Oxygen administration
  • Y Lifeguard Classroom
  • Pool/Water Skills Time
  • eLearning Time
  • Course Hours

Introductory e-Learning: 9 hours
Classroom Learning: 13 hours
Water/Pool Skills: 15 hours
Total Time: 37 hours

  • Must attend all sessions. Any lateness exceeding 15 minutes is counted as not attending. Each component has a physical skill and written exam. Completion of the physical skills is mandatory to take the written exam. Passing grade is 80% for written exams.

Open Lifeguard Positions

Are you a certified lifeguard? Apply today to join our team and serve your community!

View Open Jobs



Interested in learning more about our lifeguard certification courses?

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