Lifeguard in water going out for a rescue

Delaware State Parks Beach Patrol

About the Delaware State Parks Beach Patrol!

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!

Summer 2024 Beach Patrol Tryouts

Summer tryouts for Beach Patrol season 2024 (500 meter swim in under 10 minutes and 1 mile run in under 10 minutes):

  • 9:00 am September 3, 2023 at South side Indian River Inlet
  • 9:00 am September 10, 2023 at Cape Henlopen State Park

For more information or to express interest for future seasons, please contact Capt. Bailey Noel at

Application, tryout criteria, and what to bring information is listed below.

Bonus Incentives

  • Rookie Bonus ($250): Complete rookie training and pass all required certifications to guard your first summer with DSBP
  • Referral Bonus ($200 per recruit): Recruit a new guard to DSBP who successfully passes all training, and works a total of 400hrs during the season (incl. Labor Day)
  • Retention Bonus ($250): Work a minimum of 40 hours between Aug. 23 – Sept. 06
  • Retention Bonus ($350): Work a minimum of 51 hours between Aug. 23 – Sept. 06
  • End of Season Bonus ($500): Work 12+ weekends during guarding season (*2 weekends must be Memorial Day & Labor Day)

Pay Structure

All DSBP guards will receive base pay determined by their tenure and guarding rank, plus additional hourly pay upon achieving the following certifications. All certifications are available through Delaware State Parks.

  • All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV): +$0.25/hr
  • Personal Watercraft (PWC): +$0.25/hr
  • Self-Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus (SCUBA): +$0.25/hr
  • National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians – Basic (NREMT-B): +$1.00/hr
  • National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians – Paramedic (NREMT-P): +$2.00/hr
  • *Fluency in a 2nd Language (no certification): +$0.50/hr

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. 
  • Nationally Accredited DOT Emergency Medical Responder Training
    Training 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.
  • Stand Rotations
    We offer our guards rotations of 30 minutes on stand and 30 minutes off stand.
  • 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 2023 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 Criteria

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

  • Minimum Age Requirement: 16 at time of hire
  • 500 meter swim within 10 minutes, freestyle stroke only
  • 1-mile beach run within 10 minutes

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)

See What It's Like To Be A DBSP Lifeguard

Beach Patrol member Hannah

"I joined the Delaware State Parks Beach Patrol because of the amazing work environment and the high demands for on the job. Being on the beach all day has its perks, but what I enjoy most is the fact that I get to help keep patrons safe and have the training to save lives and provide medical attention when needed. Daily workouts keep me in great shape and lifeguard competitions are the highlight of my summer. This job is in high demand, the pay is great, and the satisfaction you get from helping others is even better. If you love the ocean and want a fun job, this beach patrol is calling your name!”

~ Hannah

Beach Patrol member Alec

“I joined the Delaware State Parks Beach Patrol not only as a result of my lifelong love of the ocean, but also to help those in need. It is extremely rewarding using your lifesaving knowledge to make a true impact on someone's life. In addition, the patrol is a unified group of well-skilled individuals who love what they do. This gives a great sense of community at work, and therefore I enjoy my time on the stand each and every day. The members of this patrol have my full trust at all times because they are not only my co-workers, but my friends as well.”

~ Alec

Beach Patrol member Nick

“I joined the beach patrol because I was looking for a more fulfilling place to put my lifeguarding skills to use. I'm also an avid surfer and love the opportunity to work where many people only get to vacation. Summer 2020 will be my fifth summer with DSBP, and my second summer as a lieutenant. My favorite part of my job is working with my employees and the public. My staff are some of my best friends. I also love helping the public understand how to have fun and stay safe at our beaches. At DSBP, you will receive the highest level of training, get in the best shape of your life, meet lifelong friends, and make unforgettable memories.”

~ Nick

Beach Patrol member Kyle

“DSBP has given me some of the greatest memories of my life. It truly has felt like my second family from the day I started, and I’ve made friendships that will last a lifetime. Not only have I been taught skills that I can carry with me anywhere, but it gave me a chance to fall in love with the beach all over again. If I could go back and do anything differently, I would have joined sooner!”

~ Kyle

Testimonials from Rookie Training Week:

“This has been the most physically, emotionally, and psychologically challenging week of training that I have ever participated in. It taught me to have better confidence in myself, my friends, and in all the DSBP lifeguards. Our workouts have made me realize what I am capable of. I’m very glad I chose DSBP this summer and look forward to wearing my uniform proudly. I only have positive things to say about DSBP and the training that was included.”

“Throughout this past week, I have learned a lot about how to be a lifeguard but also to stay strong when things are rough. Rookie training was by no means easy, and I was pushed more than ever before. I have also learned a lot about being on a team and encouraging everyone else to stay strong as well. At the end of the day, it is my job to make sure that everyone makes it home safely no matter what might be going on in my personal life. While training was physically and mentally demanding, every day I went home feeling accomplished for what I had learned and the workouts I had completed.”

“These have been some of the best and worst days of my life. I’ve grown so much already and have learned so many valuable life skills and lifeguarding skills alike. You have all shown me the discipline I need in order to succeed on the stand and in life. I feel confident in my ability to protect the lives of others and I am wholly confident that I can save a life. This has been an amazing program and I consider myself lucky to be part of it. I will never forget my experience.”

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:

Chief Wayne Kline
Phone: (302) 739-9232

Junior Lifeguard Program

Registration for the 2023 Junior Lifeguard Program is now full. Check back in late spring 2024 for next season’s registration!

Annually, Delaware State Parks Beach Patrol offers a Junior Lifeguard Program for children ages 9-16 years at Cape Henlopen State Park. This fun and educational program is designed to teach the importance of water safety, surf rescue techniques, minor first aid, respect for natural resources, and to provide children with the knowledge and experience of true ocean rescuers.