Lifeguard Certification New Jersey (NJ)

The requirements for lifeguard certification in New Jersey (NJ) are more rigorous than those in many other states.  With thousands of tourists flocking to its beaches every year, New Jersey pays particular attention to its lifeguarding requirements.

Lifeguards must be certified in First Aid and CPR/AED and also should have the appropriate lifeguarding certification for their work environment.  Organizations offering certifications approved by the NJ Department of Health and Senior Services include the following:

First Aid Certification

  • American Red Cross
  • National Safety Council

CPR/AED Certification

  • American Red Cross
  • American Heart Association
  • National Safety Council

Lifeguarding Certification (for swimming pools and lakes)

  • American Red Cross
  • Boy Scouts ofAmerica
  • YMCA

Lifeguarding Certification (for ocean and tidal water environments)

  • United StatesLifesaving Association

Pool Operators Certification

  • National Recreation and Park Association
  • National Swimming Pool Foundation
  • YMCA

All lifeguards in New Jersey are required to pass the State Park Service Lifeguard Test to perform lifeguard duties.  This includes a written exam which requires a score of 90 or higher to pass.  It also involves a physical fitness examination which has two parts:

Part 1: Candidates must swim a distance of 500 meters in 10 minutes or less.  Flip turns in the pool are permitted.  When a pool is not available for the examination, the “open water” test is given instead.  Candidates begin on the beach and run into waist-deep water.  Then they must swim to touch a marker that is 250 meters from the water line and return to the starting point within the 10 minute time requirement.

Part 2: Candidates must run a distance of 400 meters in 1 minute, 40 seconds or less.  This test takes place on a track, parking lot, or other hard surface.

Ten minutes is the maximum rest and changing time between the two parts of the test.

The NJ Department of Health and Senior Services also requires that returning lifeguards and new recruits complete the required training program which is approved by the United States Lifesaving Association (USLA).  It covers skills such as completing kayak and rescue board rescues, handling spinal injuries, scanning, and the proper use of lifeguard equipment.  The full program is outlined in the NJ Department of Environmental Protection’s Lifeguard Manual (see resources list below).  During the season, New Jersey lifeguards are also required to complete regular physical trainings to maintain their skills and fitness levels.

Sources for Lifeguard Certification New Jersey (NJ):

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