California State Park Lifeguard

State Park Lifeguards are open-water lifesaving professionals and trained peace officers with statewide authority.  They help operate and manage state park units including coastal beaches, inland lakes, reservoirs and rivers.  As a lifeguard, you can work seasonally or permanently.
For more information:


Lifeguard 1 (Seasonal)
The duties, under supervision, of this entry-level lifeguard assignment consist of detecting and rescuing persons and vessels in distress.  They take command of emergencies, using radios to notify headquarters of accidents and rescues.  They initiate first aid and resuscitation procedures and work closely with other emergency responders.  Seasonal lifeguards will prepare reports, remove hazards, assist the public and advise visitors of park rules and regulations.  The Lifeguard 1 will also learn to operate and maintain rescue vehicles and equipment.

Lifeguard 2 (Seasonal)
A level 2 seasonal lifeguard plays the lead role performing the same duties as a level 1 lifeguard.  A lifeguard 2 will also assist in training, plan work schedules and assignments and take command of a group of responding lifeguards engaged in lifesaving activities.  This lead role requires the ability to follow directions, remain alert, analyze situations accurately and quickly then act accordingly.


  • Seasonal Lifeguard applications are accepted annually beginning in March

Complete a Standard State Application (form678)

  • Mail the application to:
    California State Parks Exams Unit
    P.O. Box 942896, Room 1018
    Sacramento, Ca. 94296-0001

  • Must successfully complete the following prior to appointment:
    Competitive swim test-

    1,000 yard open water swim in 20 minutes or less.
    Continuous 200 yard run, 400 yard swim and 200 yard run in 10 minutes or less.
    Qualification appraisal interview

    California State Park Lifeguard Training Program; 8 days/80+ hours
    CPR/Automated External Defibrillator (AED)
    Advanced First Aid
    Open water search and rescue

    Other aquatic lifesaving techniques


Lifeguard 1 Seasonal

  • Valid California Driver’s License, Class C (must be in good standing)
  • Ability to read and write English
  • Possess visual and hearing acuity, physical strength and endurance necessary to detect and rescue a struggling victim in water.
  • Visit:

Permanent Lifeguard- Must meet all requirements

  • 2 years of college
  • Completion of 2 years (60 semester units) study from an accredited college or university including a minimum of 21 semester units satisfying the General Education Curriculum standards.
  • Valid California Driver’s License
  • Physically sound
  • 18 years of age
  • Have minimum of 6 months lifeguard experience at facilities other than swimming pools
  • Complete the State Park Lifeguard Training Program prior to appointment as a lifeguard
  • Pass a comprehensive background investigation
  • U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident Alien
  • 20/20 Corrected vision and 20/40 Uncorrected vision
  • No felony convictions


California Surf Lifesaving Association: