Beach Lifeguard I Job at Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz County, California

Beach Lifeguard I

City of Santa Cruz , California

Job Information 



Entry Level


$15.64 - $18.11 Hourly

Application Deadline 


03/20/2021 07:30 AM PDT

Recruitment Type 

Open Competitive


The Position

Under close supervision, this uniformed position works with other lifeguard employees and reports to Beach Lifeguard II's. As part of a team, the Beach Lifeguard I provides ocean safety and emergency medical assistance to the public. Employees assigned to operations will guard an assigned area of beach, provide public safety, and detect and rescue persons or vessels in distress. Employees assigned to the Junior Lifeguard Program will work as a program instructor and report to the Junior Lifeguard Lieutenant and Beach Lifeguard II.

Applications will not be accepted online.  Applicants should report to Lifeguard Headquarters (located at #1 Municipal Wharf) at 7:30 am with wetsuit, along with completed Job Application and Release of Liability forms when reporting for one of three Physical Agility Test dates:   

  • March 6th, 2021

  • March 13th, 2021

  • March 20th, 2021

Candidates under 18 years of age must have release of liability signed by a legal guardian.

Job Application     Release of Liability

Physical Agility Test:  All applicants must attend one of the above Physical Agility Test dates at Lifeguard headquarters:

Event / Maximum time allowed:
1000 meter swim / 20 minutes
200 meter run - 400 meter swim - 200 meter run / 10 minutes.
Wetsuits, goggles, and swim caps are permitted; no swim fins.

Interview:  Successful candidates from the Physical Agility Test will be notified of the time and location for an interview, which will be scheduled for Monday immediately after the Physical Agility Test.
Successful candidates from the Interview will be required to attend all training dates as follows:

Tentative Training Dates:  

Option 1: May 1-2, May 7-9, May 14-16, May 22-23, May 28-31, June 7

Option 2: May 5-6, May 10-13, May 17-18, May 24-25, May 28-31, June 7

Note:  In order to decrease the change of spreading COVID-19, candidates will be required to wear a mask, social distance, and will be swimming in small groups.
Note: The regular ocean lifeguard physical agility test is extremely challenging. Candidates should have solid ocean swimming skills and train regularly before the scheduled tryout dates.

Questions regarding this application process should be directed to:
Lifeguard Headquarters
 #1 Municipal Wharf

Job Application     Release of Liability


Selection Procedure:

Beach Lifeguard Tryout.  A City application is required. Candidates are asked to fully describe any training, education, experience, or skills relevant to this position. (Note: the following process may be changed as deemed necessary by the Chief of the Fire Department.) Applicants must complete a physical test described below. Those candidates who perform within the allotted time will be assigned an interview time following the physical. Successful candidates will be hired as a probationary Beach Lifeguard I and will attend mandatory 80+ hour Open Water Lifeguard Training (includes Title 22 First Aid).

Required Documentation:

Candidates must bring a completed City Employment Application form (available at the Fire Department Administration building, 230 Walnut Avenue) to the physical agility test along with a photo copy of a driver's license (or US government ID card if not licensed), and physical agility test waiver (parent or guardian signature required if under 18 years old).  Applicants with a corrective lens restriction must also include a physician's note (within the last 30 days) to verify their current vision. Candidates not in possession of these items will not be allowed to participate in the physical test.


Event/Maximum Time Allowed:

  • 1000 meter swim / 20 minutes

  • 200 meter run - 400 meter swim - 200 meter run / 10 minutes. 

Wetsuits, goggles, and swimcaps are permitted.  No swim fins.

Oral Exam:

Interview schedules will be assigned following the physical test.


Typical Duties
  • Guards a designated section of beach and water from an assigned tower.
  • Protects the public and warns them of hazardous conditions.
  • Rescues persons and vessels in distress.
  • Answers questions and provides information pertaining to the beach and ocean environment.
  • Renders emergency medical aid including CPR.
  • Removes hazardous objects from sand and water.
  • Takes charge of lost/found children.
  • Interprets beach rules and regulations to the public pertaining to safety and conduct.
  • Performs other related work as required.
  • Maintains a professional and courteous relationship with the public and co-workers.
  • May be assigned to teach, educate and coach children ages 6 through 17 ocean awareness and aquatic safety as part of the Junior Lifeguard program.


Minimum Qualifications

Minimum Qualifications:

  • 16 years of age by May 1 of year of hire.

  • The physical ability to meet and maintain a 1000m ocean swim time of under 20 minutes.

  • Vision 20/30 corrected. 

  • Must be able to pass a physicians medical exam certifying fitness for the position.

  • Either a valid Drivers License or a valid US Government ID.  

  • Selected candidates will undergo fingerprint screening as part of the pre-employment process.

  • Candidates must successful complete a minimum 56 hours Lifeguard training, plus 24 hours medical certification training if not currently certified to Title 22 First Aid and CPR for the Professional Rescuer or higher.

  • Candidates who are hired as beach lifeguards must be available for full-time employment (40 hours per week) for the summer season (May through September).  This requirement may be waived for extenuating circumstances on a case by case basis.

  • Proof of negative tuberculosis test or clear chest X-ray must be presented within 14 days of hire - No exceptions. 



  • Able to swim 1,000 meters in the ocean at all times.

  • Swim or use a paddle board in adverse weather conditions for extended periods of time.

  • Adopt an effective course of action in an emergency situation.

  • Maintain constant observation of an assigned area for hazardous conditions and take appropriate action to protect the public from those hazards.

  • Interact in a professional and courteous manner with the public and other emergency service employees.  Ability to maintain a professional demeanor and accept constructive criticism and direct orders from supervisors.

  • Maintain valid certifications as required for employment.


Desirable Qualifications:

  • EMT certification.


809 Center St

Santa Cruz, CA 95060