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How to Become a Lifeguard

Any candidate, 16 years of age or older, may attend any one of the screenings. Once the screening is passed, the candidate may move on to Lifeguard and CPR Training. 

Steps to Becoming a Lifeguard

  1. Lifeguard candidate attends a screening. (No appointment necessary.)
  2. After candidate passes the screening, staff on site will enroll the candidate in a Lifeguard Training Class.
  3. Candidate begins required 21 hours of Lifeguard Training Classes.
  4. Candidate seeks out position at one of the Philadelphia Parks & Recreation pools and obtains and completes the necessary paperwork.
  5. Candidate completes 21 hours of Lifeguard Training Classes.
  6. Lifeguard begins work at pool where he/she has applied and has been accepted.

For more information, call the Aquatics office at (215) 683-3663 or email

What's in a Lifeguard Screening?

  • Swimming 12 lengths of the pool continuously using both freestyle and breaststroke
  • Retrieval of a 10-pound brick from a deep (12 feet) well. The candidate must return to the surface and swim 20 yards using only his/her legs. The brick must be out of the water with both hands and it has to be done within 1 minute and 40 seconds.
  • Tread water using only your legs for two minutes.