PHILADELPHIA — Philadelphia Parks & Recreation Commissioner Kathryn Ott Lovell joined Councilmember Mark Squilla, Councilmember Isaiah Thomas, and Water Safety Instructor Thelma Nesbitt to announce a 76 cent pay increase for first year City lifeguards. The starting pay for rookie lifeguards will rise from $15.24 to $16.00 an hour, effective July 1, 2022. Experience guards will be able to earn up to $18.00 an hour. The pay boost will support ongoing recruitment efforts to ensure City pools are staffed to safely open this summer.

The news was announced as Commissioner Kathryn Ott Lovell, Councilmember Mark Squilla and Councilmember Isaiah Thomas stood poolside at a heated outdoor City pool in Port Richmond. The Samuel Recreation Center pool is the fifth training location now open to provide free training and certification classes to lifeguard trainees.

“Being a lifeguard is not just a great summer job. It’s also an incredible way for Philadelphians to give back to their community,” said Philadelphia Parks & Recreation Commissioner Kathryn Ott Lovell. “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 recruitment efforts are ongoing, with screening appointments and certification classes available seven days a week at five training pools located across the City. All interested applicants must pre-register for skills building, training, and lifeguard screening appointments at

The 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.

Parks & Rec aims to hire between 350-400 lifeguards this summer to open 68 outdoor pools. A 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.

“Learning to swim is a life lesson, and a life saving lesson,” said Councilmember Mark Squilla. “Our City lifeguards are heroes. They save lives on the pool deck and in the shallow end teaching the next generation how to swim.”

“Lifeguarding is a great summer job, and an even better resume booster,” said Councilmember Isaiah Thomas. “Having lifeguarding experience on your resume signals that a candidate is a leader, someone who will stay calm and step up when needed.”
Candidates interested in brushing their swim skills or completing the lifeguard screening must register in advance. Learn more and apply today at: