Lifeguard in water going out for a rescue

Delaware State Parks Beach Patrol

Join the 2020 Delaware State Parks Beach Patrol!

We are recruiting for our 2020 season! The Delaware State Parks Beach Patrol is an elite group of men and women responsible for ocean rescue and beach safety at Delaware's award-winning state park beaches. Our beach patrol members receive advanced, nationally certified training, work in some of the most beautiful locations in the state, meet lifelong friends, compete in lifeguard competitions, and serve the people of Delaware, all while getting paid and having fun!

Are you interested in joining the Delaware State Parks Beach Patrol? We are recruiting for our 2019 Season! We provide all of the necessary training, and pay you while you receive it! Plus, you'll be eligible for a Wilmington University Scholarship.

Delaware State Parks Beach Patrol members

We Offer:

  • Advanced Certification
    DSBP maintains advanced certification through the United States Lifesaving Association (USLA).  USLA is the only national organization setting industry standards for open water and surf lifesaving.  DSBP is one of only three patrols in Delaware with this advance level of certification.
  • Paid Training 
    You will receive our own Delaware State Park Ocean Rescue Training, (DSPORT), renown in the Mid–Atlantic as one of the most comprehensive and best programs around.  Guards that have moved on to other patrols, and incoming guards we have hired from other patrols, have all mentioned the superiority of DSPORT training.  You will also receive nationally accredited DOT Emergency Medical Responder training, which includes CPR/AED, oxygen administration, and trauma/medical care at the professional level.
  • Competitive Salary
    We will have a new salary schedule starting this season, establishing us as one of the highest paid patrols in the mid-Atlantic.  We have numerous guards paying their own way through college, all on a beach patrol salary!
  • Physical Fitness
    As mentioned, beach patrol is a demanding job.  We expect all of our guards to be physically fit and mentally alert. To ensure this, you will be required to work out on a regular, if not daily, basis.  You will almost always have a stand partner, and will be given plenty of time to work out, all on our dime.  You are a professional athlete and will be treated as such.
  • Competition
    We participate in numerous local, state, regional, and even national lifeguard competitions.  You will have the opportunity to try out for and represent our patrol, showing off the skills and training you have worked so hard to master.
  • Prime Beach Locations
    We have four separate locations at Cape Henlopen, Delaware Seashore, and Fenwick IslandState Parks.  This provides us with the flexibility to work with your housing location, no matter where you live.  It also provides that small patrol, tight-knit feel, even though you will be part of one of the largest patrols in Delaware.
  • Housing
    We offer a limited number of subsidized housing options to qualified applicants.
  • Additional Training Opportunities
    You will receive additional, paid training over and above what is directly related to the beach patrol. Even first year guards are eligible for Medic Assist through SCEMS, various HR programs, and informal trainings with our patrols own Medical Director, Dr. Paul Cowen.  Veteran guards will be able to move on and pursue ATV, PWC, SCUBA, and even helicopter rescue training.

Beach Patrol rescue drill

Application Process

To apply for the Delaware State Parks Beach Patrol, you must complete the following steps:

  • Sign up for a 2020 Beach Patrol Tryout
  • Successfully complete the tryout
  • Fill out an application on-site
  • Interview with Delaware State Parks Beach Patrol officers and senior staff following the tryout

Tryout Information

The first step in the hiring process is to sign up for and successfully complete one of the scheduled tryouts. Tryout registration will open at 8:00am one month before the scheduled tryout date. Registration will close 1 week before the scheduled tryout date. Spots are limited!

2020 Beach Patrol Tryout Dates

All tryouts begin at 7 a.m. at the Rehoboth Beach YMCA.

  • January 5, 2020
    Registration opens December 5, 2019
  • February 16, 2020
    Registration opens January 16, 2020
  • March 8, 2020
    Registration opens February 8, 2020
  • March 29, 2020
    Registration opens February 29, 2020
  • April 26, 2020
    Registration opens March 26, 2020

Tryout Criteria

No experience is necessary, but minimum physical fitness standards and swimming ability are required:

  • Minimum Age Requirement: 16 at time of hire
  • 550-yard swim within 10 minutes, freestyle stroke only
  • Demonstrate acceptable back- and side-strokes
  • 25-yard swim within 18 seconds
  • Simulated 25-yard rescue tow with 10# diving brick
  • 2-mile beach run within 20 minutes
  • 100-yard soft sand sprint within 20 seconds
  • 30 push-ups within 60 seconds
  • 30 sit-ups within 60 seconds
  • 25-yard soft sand stand drag

Items to bring to your tryout

  • Swim Suit
  • Towel
  • Sweats
  • Running shoes
  • Contact info for at least 2 references
  • Driver's license
  • Social security card
  • Direct deposit information (voided check, or account statement showing both routing and account numbers)

Beach Patrol in the water


lifeguard standing in water at the beach

“I joined the Delaware State Parks Beach Patrol to not only get paid to get tan and work out but to also help others. My favorite part about being a guard is the ability to have fun while still being serious when the situation calls for it. While beach patrons may be challenging sometimes, I find it rewarding when I’m able to provide assistance for whatever they may need: from telling them where the bathroom is to giving them serious medical attention. If you’re interested in being paid to work out and help others, I strongly recommend this position for you.”

~ Hunter

lifeguard sitting on chair

“I joined the Delaware State Parks Beach Patrol because it is the best summer job a teenager can have. I learned many life skills such as First Aid, interpersonal communication, and most importantly how to save a life. There are other great perks such as the daily workout sessions, spending all day on the beach, a high salary, and the friendships you make with your coworkers. Some days can be stressful when the surf is rough and we have lots of rescues, but it is worth it when you hear the gracious thank you from the patron you saved. I would definitely recommend the Beach Patrol to anyone because it gives you a job where you can have fun and gain experiences you can’t find anywhere else.”

~ Lindsey

Join our team!

Ocean rescue is a demanding job, and our experienced staff will prepare you to meet every challenge. If you have any questions about the Delaware State Parks Beach Patrol, contact our beach patrol captain:

Kris Knutsen
Phone: (302) 632-0396