Parks & Rec resumes lifeguard training for the first time since March 2020.

Each year Philadelphia Parks & Recreation hires hundreds of lifeguards. One of the best-paying summer jobs around, Parks & Rec lifeguards earn up to $16.97 per hour, with starting pay set at $15.25 per hour.

We help candidates train and prepare for the required Red Cross lifeguard certification. Red Cross certification is:

  • Required for most lifeguarding jobs.
  • Valid for two years. Candidates must be recertified after two years.

In 2020, the City suspended lifeguard training courses due to the pandemic. Now, with important safety modifications in place, training has begun again! 

Lifeguard certification is free for applicants ages 16-24 who commit to working at a City pool. The Red Cross lifeguard certification fee is $110 for all other candidates. 

The modified lifeguard training and certification program will operate under these COVID guidelines:

  • Pre-registration is required for all classes.
  • Class size is limited due to COVID guidelines.

2021 Lifeguard Training & Certification Process

Here’s what you need to know to get (or keep) your lifeguard certification with Parks & Rec this year:

STEP 1: Lifeguard Skills Practice (optional)

Interested candidates can brush up on skills to prepare for the lifeguard screening. These classes are supervised by our Water Safety Instructors.

STEP 2: Lifeguard Swim Screening

The Lifeguard Swim Screening is required for:

  • Candidates who want to qualify for a recertification class or full certification class.
  • Certified Lifeguards who want to work at a City pool.
The screening includes:
  • Swim 300 yards non-stop.
  • Tread water for 2 minutes without using arms.
  • Retrieve a 10-lb brick from a deep well.

STEP 3: Training classes

Returning certified lifeguards
  • Take the Lifeguard Recertification Class.
  • Available to candidates with a Lifeguard Certification that expired between March 15, 2020 and June 30, 2021.
OR
New lifeguard candidates
  • Take the Lifeguard Full Training Class.
  • Offered to candidates who pass the swim screening and are at least 16 years old.