The Hiring Process 

The filing period for the Ocean Lifeguard Candidate closed on August 4, 2017 at 5:00 p.m (PST).

Important Dates:

July 14, 2017- Job Bulletin Posted

July 21 – August 4, 2017- Filing Period

August 26, 2017- Practice Swim

September 23, 2017- Practice Swim

October 21, 2017- Ocean Swim Exam

Not ready for this year’s test? Fill Out an Interest Card

THE ROADMAP TO RECRUITMENT

On a near daily basis, Ocean Lifeguards across Los Angeles County get asked the same question, “What do I have to do to become a Lifeguard?” Below we lay out the step-by-step process toward earning a position in the Lifeguard Division. The LA County Lifeguards have a long standing tradition of being one of the top ocean lifeguarding agencies in the world. Whenever we offer our exam, we are looking for quality individuals with a strong aquatic background (swimming, surfing, etc.) to continue this tradition.

Any prospective candidates will have to meet the following prerequisites:

  1. Must be 18 years old by the FIRST day of Academy 
  2. Have a High School diploma or GED certificate
  3. Must have a valid CA Drivers license

Great candidates will also posses the qualities displayed in our LA County Fire Department Core values: Integrity, Teamwork, Community, Commitment, Courage, Caring

Starting pay for a Recurrent Ocean Lifeguard is: $24.67 or $27.49 with E.M.T. Certification (as of 06/2017).

As you look through the roadmap below, remember, each image below represents a step on the path. If you click the step beneath each image you can get more detailed information of that part of the process.

STEP 1 - TRAIN FOR THE EXAM

Lifeguards recommend a minimum of six months training time prior to the exam. The best way to prepare for the 1,000 meter ocean swim exam is to train with a masters, school, or club swim team. Contact your local aquatic professional about the availability of one of the aforementioned programs near you: List of Municipal Pools. At the very least, swimming 3-5 days a week on your own is advised.

The test is very competitive, so try to be in the best swimming shape possible. Ocean swimming can be very different than pool swimming, so practicing in the ocean is also a must. When you go to train in the ocean, remember to ask a Lifeguard about the ocean conditions and any possible hazards. You can also ask any working L.A. County Lifeguard for tips as they have all started their careers by passing the same swim exam you’re training for now.


STEP 2 - APPLY.

You can sign up to become an L.A. County Lifeguard only through the Los Angeles County portal of GovernmentJobs.com (click here) The L.A. County Lifeguard Job Bulletin usually posts at the end of summer in August or September, but is subject to change. There will be a cap on how many applications we can accept each exam, so it is important to file earlier rather than later.

For the latest info regarding specific dates you can follow us on Social Media or sign up for our recruitment list to be emailed when the bulletin is posted as well as any other pertinent dates regarding the exam process. For more information on how to access job bulletins on the LACounty.gov Website click HERE.


STEP 3 - TAKE THE EXAMINATION.

This exam will consist of THREE (3) parts:

PART I: An evaluation of Training and Experience weighted at 10% covering Swimming, Learning Agility, and Environmental Exposure Tolerance based on responses to the supplemental questionnaire.

PART II: A multiple choice test weighted 40% covering Verbal Ability, Achievement, Collaboration, Compliance, Confidence, Reliability, Safety Judgment and Safety Orientation.

Applicants must meet the Minimum Requirements and achieve a passing score of 70% or higher on PART II, and a combined score of 70% or higher on PART I and PART II to proceed to the 1000-meter Ocean Swim Performance Test (PART III). Candidates who achieve a passing score in PART Iand PART II will be notified via e-mail. Candidates who do not achieve a passing score on PART I and PART II will be notified by U.S. mail. SCORES CANNOT BE GIVEN OVER THE PHONE.

THE WRITTEN TEST IS NOT REVIEWABLE BY CANDIDATES PER CIVIL SERVICE RULE 7.19.

PART III: A performance test consisting of a 1000-meter swim weighted 50%. The performance test will measure Swimming, Running, Stamina, Dynamic/Explosive Strength, Gross Body Equilibrium/Coordination, General Psychomotor Abilities, General Sensory Abilities, Hearing Sensitivity, Environmental Exposure Tolerance, Safety Focus, and Stress Tolerance. The performance test is scheduled to be conducted on Saturday, October 21, 2017.

CANDIDATES MUST ACHIEVE A PASSING SCORE OF 70% OR HIGHER ON PARTS II AND III IN ORDER TO BE PLACED ON THE ELIGIBLE LIST.

Candidates compete in a 1,000 meter ocean swim. Course Map. Candidates must wear a standard swim suit (ie. Speedo, Jammers, swim trunks, women’s two piece/ one piece swimsuit etc.). Specific information regarding swimwear can be found in the USA Swimming Rulebook, under rule 102.8.1B (page 30). You will also be given a swim cap provided by L.A. County the day of the swim. A swimsuit and swim cap are the only things that can be worn for the swim exam. Wetsuits, fins, goggles, or any other type of insulation, flotation, or propulsion equipment will not be allowed for the test.

All applicants line up at the starting line and are started all together. They enter the water, swim out 100 meters, make a quarter turn around a floating marker and continue swimming parallel to shore for 800 meters, then around another marker and 100 meters in to a finish line in the sand. There is no set cut-off time for the swim. Times vary year to year depending on ocean conditions. In years that there is a large swell or very cold water, times will generally be slower than years with no surf and warm water. Previous standard times for an ocean swim of this length have been as short as 12 minutes and as long as 30 minutes. The specific number each year will be relayed to prospective candidates prior to the exam.

The day of the swim, bring a swim suit, towel, warm clothes, food, and water.


STEP 4 - PASS THE BACKGROUND CHECK & PHYSICAL EXAM.

The LA County Fire Department does a thorough background check of all prospective employees.  After passing the background check, each Candidate is scheduled for a detailed physical examination at an LA County affiliated medical office.  Physicals include vision, hearing, strength, flexibility, and fitness testing. It is very important to pay close attention to the job bulletin to check the requirements for vision and hearing.

After passing all of these stages, you will receive an invitation to attend our Lifeguard Training Academy.


STEP 5 - GRADUATE THE LIFEGUARD TRAINING ACADEMY.

 A rigorous 100 hour training course held over five consecutive weekends in the Spring.  Candidates are taught the principles of Lifeguarding with an emphasis on Ocean Dynamics, Rescues, First-Aid, Rescue Boat Operations, Communications, Public Relations as well as specific department policies and procedures.

Candidates will be paid during their time in the training academy.


STEP 6 - BECOME AN OCEAN LIFEGUARD.

After completing the Lifeguard Training Academy, candidates become Recurrent Lifeguards, and have the option to work a summer schedule or to be available to work on a day by day basis. Summer schedules are full time, 5 days a week, 40 hours, with possible overtime. Peak summer season is from the last week in June to through the first week in September.

During the rest of the year, recurrent lifeguards can make themselves available to work on an as- needed basis. Weather, ocean conditions, and special events determine the amount of lifeguards hired each day. The LA County Lifeguard hiring list is compiled by seniority. New recurrent lifeguards must work a minimum of 20 shifts per year. After working as a recurrent lifeguard and gaining experience, individuals can test to become an Ocean Lifeguard Specialist, which is a full time year round position.