The Hiring Process

Ocean Lifeguard Candidate
Filing Period: July 9, 8:00 a.m. – July 31, 5:00 p.m.

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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. Valid CA Driver License
  2. 18 years of age by start of Ocean Lifeguard Training Academy
  3. Graduation from high school or its equivalent

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: $24.91/hour (as of 7/14/18).

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 10% assessing Swimming, Learning Agility, and Environmental Exposure Tolerance based on responses to the supplemental questionnaire.

PART II: A multiple choice test weighted 40% assessing 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 in order to proceed to the 1000-meter Ocean Swim Performance Test (PART III). Candidates who achieve a passing score on PART I and 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% assessing 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, September 22, 2018.

CANDIDATES MUST ACHIEVE A PASSING SCORE OF 70% OR HIGHER ON EACH WEIGHTED PART IN ORDER TO BE PLACED ON THE ELIGIBLE LIST.

Note: Candidates are responsible for providing a valid e-mail address on their County of Los Angeles Department of Human Resources profile and application. This e-mail address must be able to receive e-mail notifications from fire.lacounty.gov. Candidates must review their inbox and junk/spam mail to verify if e-mail notification was received.

Final results will be sent by U.S. mail. Test scores cannot be given over the phone.

IN ACCORDANCE WITH CIVIL SERVICE RULE 7.19, STANDARDIZED AND COPYRIGHTED TESTS ARE NOT SUBJECT TO REVIEW.


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.