City expands lifeguard training and recruitment push to ensure 400 lifeguards are hired in time to open City pools for the summer

PHILADELPHIA – Philadelphia Parks & Recreation Commissioner Kathryn Ott Lovell announced today that the department will expand its lifeguard recruitment efforts to ensure City pools are staffed to safely open this summer. The news comes a day after Mayor Jim Kenney announced the administration’s upcoming budget will include funds to restore recreational programs and reopen the City’s pools. 

Lifeguard training and recruitment efforts will be extended from five to seven days a week, and a second training pool will open to double the number of lifeguard candidates who can safely train each week.  Due to COVID, the number of candidates who can be in the pool at any one time is limited, and all interested applicants must pre-register for skills building, training, and lifeguard screening appointments at

The lifeguard position pays a competitive wage. Starting pay is $14.74 and returning guards make $16.97 an hour. 

Parks & Rec hires aims to hire between 350-400 lifeguards this summer to open 68 outdoor pools. detailed list of requirements can be found at The first step for interested candidates is to brush up on swimming skills, and prepare for the lifeguard screening.

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

“The budget proposed yesterday has committed funds to safely open City pools this summer,” said Philadelphia Parks & Recreation Commissioner Kathryn Ott Lovell. “But we can’t do it without the hundreds of fit, friendly, fabulous Philadelphians who choose to spend their summers lifeguarding at City pools. From retirees and school teachers to teens and young adults, anyone can be a lifeguard and help make this a summer to remember for Philly kids.”

Lifeguard training and certification will continue to take place at:

Samuel Recreation Center
3539 Gaul Street
Philadelphia, PA 19134
Hours: Monday – Sunday, 11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.

A second location will begin training this weekend:

St. Joseph’s Preparatory School
1733 W Girard Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19130
Hours: Saturday – Sunday, check schedule for available training times

Candidates interested in brushing up on their swim skills or completing the lifeguard screening must register in advance. Due to COVID-19 health and safety protocols, space is limited. 

Residents can learn more about the screening process and register here:

# # #

Philadelphia Parks & Recreation (PPR) advances the prosperity of the city and the progress of her people through intentional and sustained stewardship of nearly 10,200 acres of public land and waterways as well as through hundreds of safe, stimulating recreation, environmental and cultural centers. PPR promotes the well-being and growth of the city’s residents by connecting them to the natural world around them, to each other and to fun, physical and social opportunities. PPR is responsible for the upkeep of historically significant Philadelphia events and specialty venues, and works collaboratively with communities and organizations in leading capital projects and the introduction of inventive programming. To learn more about Philadelphia Parks & Recreation, visit, and follow @philaparkandrec on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.