nyc lifeguarding

As summer hits New York City and temperatures rise, many lifeguards start looking for the best spots to work and earn some cash while enjoying the sun and surf. Whether patrolling beaches along the coastline or overseeing pools in the five boroughs, these are often considered the top destinations for motivated lifeguards. As the largest association for aquatic professionals on the East Coast, the American Lifeguard Association has compiled this ranking of beaches and pools to start your search.

Coney Island Beach

At over 3 miles long, Coney Island Beach has been one of the most iconic spots in the city to spend summer days for well over a century. With average daily visitor counts reaching into the tens of thousands on hot weekends, NYC lifeguarding who take positions here can expect to be very busy overseeing the ocean swimming areas. While rough surf and occasional strong rip currents can pose challenges, the sense of history and spectacle of the busy boardwalk make it a memorable place to work. On your breaks, you’ll have easy access to various amusement park rides, games, and of course the classic hot dogs and pastries of Nathan’s Famous. Housing is easily available in nearby Brooklyn if you want to spend your summer close to the action on the sand.

Rockaway Beach

Just a bit farther east of Coney Island is the more rugged coastline of Rockaway Beach. Stretching along the Rockaway Peninsula in Queens, this area benefits from calmer water than Coney but can still have dangerous patches depending on weather and tides. Lifeguard stations are spaced out over several miles, providing both privacy for each group but also requiring the use of patrol vehicles to respond to emergencies across the wider area. The natural dunes and harbor views make this a more secluded summer experience compared to the lively boardwalk further west. After work, explore neighborhood restaurants or enjoy a quiet sunset with surfers still playing in the waves. Housing options may require a longer commute from parts of Queens, Brooklyn or the other outer boroughs.

Orchard Beach

Across the East River in the Bronx, Orchard Beach offers lifeguards a coastline experience paired with urban convenience. The continuous crescent of sand receives over 5 million visitors annually seeking relief from the city heat. As one of the largest and most popular beaches in New York, lifeguards can stay occupied with patrols and have opportunities for leadership roles in supervision. However, the large crowds and limited beach space can also lead to more stressful situations. To decompress after shifts, take advantage of the adjacent Pelham Bay Park trails or check out neighborhood delis and pizza joints. The Bronx has many affordable housing areas within easy access to this in-demand beach.

Central Park

One of the most iconic locations anywhere is working as a lifeguarding near me in Central Park. Getting to oversee guests enjoying the lagoons, harbors and pools is a unique experience in the heart of Manhattan. The training and professionalism required to handle any emergencies in this dense urban setting makes these prime guard positions highly competitive. But making it here also means gaining recognition as one of the best and getting to spend your summer days in one of the world’s most famous parks. On breaks, explore quiet nooks or enjoy cultural offerings like music, art and festivals throughout the park. Manhattan apartments can get pricey though for young guards just starting their careers here.

Prospect Park

Over in Brooklyn, the sprawling oasis of Prospect Park offers a similar lifestyle for lifeguards as Central Park but in a slightly more relaxed atmosphere. Patrols involve keeping watch over the lagoon swimming areas as well as smaller pools, fountains and wading areas all around the park. The greenery provides a nice escape from the concrete jungle and you’ll become very familiar with the trails and natural nooks visitors enjoy. After hours, hang out in lively neighborhoods like Park Slope or check out summer concerts hosted in the park bandshell. Brooklyn has a wider range of housing options close by compared to other borough locations.

Astoria Pool

One of the top public pools to work at is located in the heart of Astoria, Queens. The Astoria Pool first opened its gates in 1936 and remains an iconic summertime destination to this day as one of the largest outdoor pools in New York City. As a lifeguard here, you’ll have the fun challenge of monitoring safety for over 1000 daily swimmers enjoying the three main pools and diving boards. With great views overlooking the East River, it’s the perfect spot to spend hot summer days. The charming neighborhood has great dining options nearby to try after your shifts, as well as easy transportation access to explore other parts of the city on your days off. Housing near Astoria Pool is very affordable for summer lifeguards.

Yonkers Pier Water Playground

Another hidden gem waterfront setting up the Hudson River is Yonkers Pier Water Playground in Westchester County. This interactive splash park features a variety of fountains, slides and features for younger visitors to enjoy cooling down on sunny days. As a lifeguard present to monitor safety, you’ll have the rewarding experience of ensuring safe fun for families. The work environment provides a fun alternative to traditional beaches and pools. Nearby Yonkers also has a burgeoning arts scene, restaurants and residential areas providing a nice small city environment close to New York. Commuting to the park each day is very manageable from the northern Bronx or lower Westchester.

City Island Pool

If you’re looking to spend your summer directly on the water, City Island Pool in the Bronx has a maritime vibe like no other. Work as a lifeguard on this historic island community located just off the northeast Bronx coastline. Guards are stationed at a smaller pool area with views of passing ferries and sailboats gliding by. Spend days off relaxing on beaches, checking out seafood joints or exploring hidden marsh trails around the island. The beach town charm makes this setting a unique way to still enjoy summer by the water while working in American Lifeguard Association. Housing options may involve a short bridge commute each day but keep you directly in the island neighborhood after hours.


Whether opting for busy beaches, urban parks or hidden coastal gems, these tops spots around New York City offer motivated lifeguards a chance to spend summer days ensuring safe aquatic fun for residents and visitors alike. Gaining experience at premier locations recognized by groups such as the American Lifeguard Association can also help open future career opportunities either locally or wherever your travels may lead after summer ends. We hope this guide has provided you with some leading options to consider as you start planning where to apply your important skills for the season ahead. Please let us know if any other questions come up in your search. Wishing you the very best of luck!

By Anurag Rathod

Anurag Rathod is an Editor of, who is passionate for app-based startup solutions and on-demand business ideas. He believes in spreading tech trends. He is an avid reader and loves thinking out of the box to promote new technologies.