Working on the pool deck is the coolest summer job in Philly. It’s also one of the best-paying jobs for teens. Parks & Rec lifeguards earn up to $18 per hour. Starting pay is set at $16 per hour. Parks & Rec offers free training for those who want to be a lifeguard at a City pool this summer.

The $1,000 bonus is back!

This year, qualified lifeguard candidates can also earn up to a $1000 bonus. To receive the $1,000 end-of-season bonus you must:

  • Submit your completed employment application by April 15, 2024.
  • Work through the 2024 summer season.

Not ready to commit in April?

If you submit a completed application by May 15, 2024 you’re eligible for a $500 end-of-season bonus.

Wondering if lifeguarding is for you?

Check out the most frequently asked questions about serving as a lifeguard at a city pool:

1. Is being a Philadelphia lifeguard for me?

Parks & Rec lifeguards come from all walks of life. They include teens, 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. They return 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, you do not need to live in Philadelphia to be a lifeguard.

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

Parks & Rec provides free training and skill building to those who want to be a lifeguard.

You must complete a lifeguard swim screening to work at a City pool. As part of the required screening you must:

  • Swim 300 yards non-stop.
  • Tread water for two minutes without using your arms.
  • Retrieve a 10-lb brick from a 12 foot-deep well. Return to the surface and swim 20 yards back to the starting point with the brick, using only your legs.

Free training is available to help master these skills. Once you pass the screening we will enroll you in a Red Cross lifeguard certification course.

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

Not if you are age 24 or younger.  Red Cross certification is:

  • FREE for applicants ages 16-24 who commit to working at a City pool.
  • $175 for all other candidates for a full certification. Red Cross lifeguard recertification costs $110.
  • Required for most lifeguarding jobs.
  • Valid for two years. Candidates must be re-certified after two years.

5. How do I get started?

Start by reserving a time slot for a Lifeguard Swim Skills Training. This training is free. Parks & Rec’s Water Safety Instructors supervise the screening tests and skill building sessions. This will help prepare you for the required Red Cross lifeguard certification.

Let us help you train for free and prepare for the required Red Cross lifeguard certification!