Department of Environmental Conservation

D E C banner

Employment Opportunities in Summer Recreation

Campground Seasonal Employment

Campground summer employment poster

Summer Recreation operates 51 public campgrounds and 5 day use areas throughout the Adirondack and Catskill Parks. Over 600 seasonal employees are employed to provide varied services throughout the summer season. All hiring is done through regional offices.

Most Common Titles

Conservation Recreation Facilities Supervisor - Two years of experience in maintenance or mechanical work under the supervision of a skilled trades person or completion of an appropriate two year technical school course.

Lifeguard - Must be at least 16 years of age (Preference given to 18 years and up). Possess current certification in lifeguard training or equivalent, community first aid and safety or equivalent, and cardiopulmonary resuscitation or equivalent. Must pass DEC's qualifying procedure in Lifesaving and CPR skills.

Park and Recreation Aide Series - Must be physically able to perform a variety of maintenance duties. May require valid driver's license.

Conservation Security Worker (previously Conservation Park Ranger) - Must be in good physical condition. Must possess a motor vehicle operator's license and have completed either (A) a one year course at a ranger school, or similar learning institution, in a park or natural resource management, law enforcement or similar curriculum; or (B) one season (6 months minimum) of recreation facility experience involving contact with the public or in the enforcement of laws, rules and regulations; or (C) one year of working or interacting with the public in a recreational facility; or (D) one year of environmental experience in a remote wilderness setting; or (E) have six months work experience in law enforcement, security services employment, military service or similar experience actively involved with public contact or in the enforcement of laws, policies, and rules and regulations; or (F) have completed at least 15 college credit hours in criminal justice or similar course work.

Lifeguard Positions

Campground Lifeguard Employment Opportunities poster

Would you like to work in New York State's beautiful Adirondack and Catskill Forest Preserves this summer?

Most jobs will start the last part of May and run through Labor Day. The current hourly rate is approximately $13.27. Qualifications for employment are:

  1. Minimum age is 16.
  2. At the time of employment, all candidates must possess current certifications in American Red Cross CPR for the Professional Rescuer (or the equivalent) and the American Red Cross Waterfront Lifeguarding Certificate (or the equivalent). Also American Red Cross First Aid (or equivalent) if not included in lifeguard training course. All certifications must remain current through the entire operating season. Candidates may participate in the practical examination without the above certifications; however, they must be provided before employment begins.
  3. Candidates must successfully complete the lifeguard qualifying procedure of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) or the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (OPRHP). The DEC and OPRHP are two separate state agencies that hire lifeguards. By accepting each other's qualifying procedure results, the two agencies are working together to provide candidates with more qualifying procedure opportunities throughout New York State. For further information about employment at a particular facility, please contact the region most convenient for you. For further information about employment as a lifeguard at an OPRHP facility, please visit their web site (see Links Leaving DEC's Website at right).
  4. New candidates must undergo an interview by regional staff; the purpose of which is to evaluate an individual's maturity, related work, or other experience along with the ability to communicate and demonstration of job related knowledge. The interview will be conducted without regard to sex, race, color, creed or national origin, marital status or physical or mental disability that does not relate to the ability to perform the duties of the position.
  5. After receiving a conditional offer of employment, each candidate will be required to submit a current New York State Department of Environmental Conservation "Medical Standards and Examination Findings" form with a physician's certification that the candidate is physically capable of performing lifeguard duties. As per the new Agency standard, lifeguard candidates must meet the vision requirement of 20/70 uncorrected vision in both eyes and be correctable to the 20/40 standard. Candidates tested at a vision level below 20/40 in either one or both eyes must correct to a minimum of 20/40 with 20/20 preferred. If there is any question concerning a candidate's physical status, the returning lifeguard will be required to complete a standard medical examination. All medical records will be held in confidence.
  6. All lifeguards will be required to attend a lifeguard orientation program. Dates and locations will be announced at a later date. All candidates will be required to bring copies of certifications to the orientation.
  7. Pre-registration for all lifeguards taking the DEC qualifying procedure. All lifeguards wishing to take the DEC qualifying procedure must pre-register with the Central Office no later than one week prior to the scheduled qualifying procedure. Any lifeguard who fails to pre-register and shows up for the qualifying procedure will not be allowed to participate if the examiner to testee ratio has been met. DEC will only allow five OPRHP guards to test at each qualifying procedure. Only pre-registered OPRHP guards will have their results forwarded to OPRHP. In the event of a qualifying procedure cancelation you will be notified. We will not call you to remind you of the qualifying procedure - it is your responsibility to get to the qualifying procedure and to be on time. The contact number for pre-registration is 518-457-2500 ext. #1. You may also e-mail us

For more information and a schedule of testing dates and locations, contact:
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
Summer Recreation
Third Floor
625 Broadway
Albany, N.Y. 12233-5253
or call 518-457-2500 x1

2019 Lifeguard Qualifying Procedure Dates and Locations
Date Start Time Location Address City
Saturday January 19th 9:00 a.m. Lynch Literacy Academy 55 Brandt Place Amsterdam
Saturday February 16th 4:00 p.m. Catskill Recreation Center (DEC candidates only) 651 County Hwy 38 Arkville
Friday February 22nd 4:30 p.m. Lynch Literacy Academy 55 Brandt Place Amsterdam
Saturday February 23rd 9:00 a.m. Gloversville Middle School 234 Lincoln Street Gloversville
Saturday March 16th 9:00 a.m. Glens Falls High School 15 Quade Street Glens Falls
Saturday March 23rd 9:00 a.m. Holland Patent High School 8079 Thomson Road Holland Patent
Sunday March 24th 9:00 a.m.. Paul Smiths College (Saunders Sports Complex) Route 30 Saranac Lake
Saturday April 6th 9:00 a.m. Moriah Central School 39 Viking Lake Port Henry
Friday April 19th 4:00 p.m. Catskill Recreation Center (DEC candidates only) 651 County Hwy 38 Arkville
Saturday April 20th 9:00 a.m. Gloversville Middle School 234 Lincoln Street Gloversville
Saturday April 27th 9:00 a.m. Lynch Literacy Academy 55 Brandt Place Amsterdam
Saturday May 11th 9:00 a.m. South Lewis Central School 4264 East Road Turin
Saturday May 18th 9:00 a.m. Queensbury Elementary School 431 Aviation Road Queensbury
Saturday June 1st 9:00 a.m. Lynch Literacy Academy 55 Brandt Place Amsterdam
Sunday June 9th 9:00 a.m. Paul Smiths College (Saunders Sports Complex) Route 30 Saranac Lake
Saturday June 22nd 4:00 p.m. Catskill Recreation Center (DEC candidates only) 651 County Hwy38 Arkville

Pre-registering is required 518-457-2500 x1 or via email
Candidates must arrive at the specified start time. Qualifying procedure will begin on time. Late arrivals will not be accepted

We reserve the right to cancel qualifying procedures. In the event of a qualifying procedures cancelation we will do our best to notify you in a timely

DEC Regional Office Contacts and Addresses

DEC Regional Office Contacts and Addresses
Regional Office Contact Name Phone Number Mailing Address
Reg. 3 New Paltz Cindy Yaekel 845-256-3079 21 S. Putts Corners Rd., New Paltz NY 12561
Reg. 4 Stamford Lisa Jensen 607-652-2032 65561 State Highway 10, Suite 1, Stamford, NY 12167
Reg. 5 Northville Max Rulison 518-863-4545 x3015 PO Box 1316, Northville NY 12134
Reg. 5 Indian Lake Jamie Laubach 518-554-8064 PO Box 246, Indian Lake NY 12842
Reg. 5 Warrensburg June VanHeussen 518-623-1200 232 Gold Course Rd. Warrensburg NY 12885
Reg. 5 Ray Brook Brendan Hayes 518-897-1316 PO Box 296, Ray Brook NY 12977
Reg. 6 Herkimer Jeff Abrial 315-942-2211 x200 225 N. Main St., Herkimer NY 13350
Reg. 6 Potsdam Mike Toohey 315-265-3090 6739 U.S. Highway 11, Potsdam NY 13676