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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — As summer approaches, the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) is offering incentives to help recruit more lifeguards for beaches and parks.

The DEM announced it’s offering bonuses of up to $1,000 for lifeguard candidates: $500 for signing on, and another $500 for those who stay long enough.

The hourly pay is also going up this year by 10 to 15 percent, according to the DEM. The minimum a lifeguard can earn is now $15.50 per hour, and pay can increase up to $18.75 per hour with promotions.

All candidates must go through certification training. To qualify, a person must be 15 years old or older. Applicants under 18 must also have a parent or legal guardian’s signature to take the certification test.

To start the certification process, candidates can apply on the DEM’s website.

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