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Become a lifeguard

Philadelphia Parks & Recreation hires hundreds of lifeguards each summer. The starting salary for all Parks & Rec lifeguards is $16 per hour. Lifeguards typically work 35 hours per week from June through August.

Lifeguard trainings take place throughout the year. If you’re interested in serving as a Parks & Rec lifeguard, follow the process below.

Returning lifeguards: Please complete the process detailed below for recertification.

Who

You must be 15 years or older to attend a lifeguard screening at one of our two indoor training facilities. However, you must be 16 years or older to work as a lifeguard for the City of Philadelphia.

Requirements

To be considered for a position, you must:

  1. Contact a city pool supervisor to begin the application process (see below).
  2. Attend a lifeguard screening given by a Parks & Rec Water Safety Instructor.
To pass the screening you must:
  • Swim 300 yards non-stop.
    • 12 laps of freestyle or breaststroke in a 25-yard pool.
    • This is not a timed swim.
    • If you stop, you will need to start over.
  • Tread water for two minutes without using your arms.
  • Retrieve a 10-pound 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.
    • The brick must be held out of the water with both hands.
    • You must complete this task within one minute and 40 seconds.
For the screening, wear a bathing suit and bring a towel. You may also wear swim goggles.

Where and when

Lifeguard screenings and skills trainings take place at:

  • Northeast Philadelphia: Lincoln High School – 3201 Ryan Ave., 19136.

Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Reserve a time slot at the Northeast Philadelphia location.

Cost

Screenings and trainings are free of charge. Sign up in advance to secure your spot.

The lifeguard certification course fees for 2022 are:

Lifeguards ages 16–24 who commit to and work at a Parks & Rec pool:

  • Certification: FREE. 
  • Recertification: FREE.

Lifeguards ages 25+ who commit to and work at a Parks & Rec pool:  

  • Certification: $110. 
  • Recertification: $65.

How


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