How to Become a California State Lifeguard


About California State Lifeguards:

The California State Lifeguard Agency is one the largest and most extensive lifeguard agencies in the world. The California State Lifeguard Agency training program also produces the highest trained lifeguards in the world.

The California State Lifeguards are directed under the California Department of Parks and Recreation. Because the span of the California Department of Parks and Recreation is so immense, the California State Lifeguard Agency is divided into districts that operate under the supervision of the California Department of Parks and Recreation. Over a dozen districts make up this lifeguard organization; the most prominent districts include Los Angeles District, Channel Coast District, Santa Cruz District, San Diego District, and Orange Coast District.

Furthermore, many districts are comprised of smaller subsections known as sectors. For example, Orange Coast District is comprised of South Sector, North Sector, and Crystal Cove Sector.

The starting pay for a State Lifeguard is $14.91 per hour.

To Be Eligible For Employment You Must Have:

Possession of a valid California Driver License with a good driving record at time of appointment Lifeguard requirements

Physical and Mental Strength

Willingness to work weekends and holidays

Visual and hearing acuity necessary to detect and rescue a struggling victim in the water

To Qualify:

1.) You must pass a COMPETITIVE swimming test at a listed location consisting of the following: 1,000 yard open water swim. Time limit of 20 minutes.
A continuous 200 yard run, 400 yard swim, 200 yard run. Time limit of 10 minutes.

*Note: you must tryout at the location that you wish to work. For example, if you want to work at the North Sector in Orange District you MUST tryout at the Huntington Beach Location.

2.) Qualification appraisal interview.

Following the physical tests, each district/sector will hold interviews for potential lifeguard candidates. Those who rank in a competitive position in the physical tests and interviews will be offered an opportunity to attend the Lifeguard Training.

3.) Successful completion of the Lifeguard Training.

This lifeguard training consists of an 8 day/80+ hour training program that will test both your physical and mental limitations.

The California State Park lifeguard training program will instruct lifeguard candidates in:

• Advanced First Aid, CPR, AED
• Open Water Lifesaving Techniques
• Aquatic Search and Rescue Procedures

Upon completion of lifeguard training, you will be a certified California State Lifeguard. Newly trained lifeguards will return to their respective district/sector to begin their specific Field Training Program and to start working as a California State Lifeguard.

4.) Successful completion of Field Training Program.

Each district/sector has specific training program following the completion of the California State Lifeguard Training program. Because each beach is different, this Field Training Program serves to familiarize and further train lifeguards for the specifics of their respective district/sector. It is during this Field Training Program that you utilize the skills learned in lifeguard training and apply it to your district/sector.

California Lifeguard Statistics 2011:

Rescues: 7,370

Preventatives: 716,004

Medical Aids: 13,699

Drowning Deaths in Unguarded Water: 10

Drowning Deaths in Guarded Water: 0

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