Parks & Rec is just about one month away from the first public pools opening, and the City is still actively recruiting, training, and hiring lifeguards!

Parks & Rec’s pools will begin opening in mid-June, and candidates are strongly encouraged to enroll in a free lifeguard certification class by June 1 in order to work at a city pool this summer.

Working on the pool deck is the hottest summer job in Philly. One of the best-paying teen jobs around, Parks & Rec lifeguards earn up to $18 per hour, with starting pay set at $16 per hour.

Parks & Rec is offering free training for anyone interested in lifeguarding at a City pool this summer. If you think lifeguarding is for you, check out five of the most frequently asked questions about lifeguarding jobs with the City of Philadelphia:

1. Is being a Philadelphia lifeguard for me?

Parks & Rec lifeguards come from all walks of life. From teens to college students, teachers, and retirees, all qualified candidates are welcome at City pools. Parks & Rec lifeguards are responsible, caring, and alert individuals.  Many grew up in the neighborhood where they work, returning each summer to give back to the young people in their communities. 

2. Do I need a Philadelphia address to work as a lifeguard?

No. Unlike other City jobs, lifeguard candidates do not need to reside within Philadelphia. 

3. How can I build the skills to become a lifeguard? 

Parks & Rec provides free training and skill building to any candidate interested in becoming a lifeguard. 

The Lifeguard Swim Screening is required 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.

Free training is available to help master the skills required in the screening test. Once candidates pass the screening, they are enrolled in a Red Cross lifeguard certification course. 

4. Do I have to pay for the Red Cross lifeguard certification course? 

Not if you are under the age of 24.

Red Cross certification is:

  • FREE for applicants ages 16-24 who commit to working at a City pool. 
  • $110 for all other candidates. 
  • Required for most lifeguarding jobs.
  • Valid for two years. Candidates must be recertified after two years.

5. How do I get started?

Interested candidates can train for free with Parks & Rec, and prepare for the required Red Cross lifeguard certification. 

Find an available time and location and book your spot. All screening tests and skill building are supervised by our Water Safety Instructors.


Sign up for updates on the lifeguard hiring process.