Working & jobs

Become a lifeguard

Philadelphia Parks & Recreation hires dozens of lifeguards for the summer. Parks & Rec hires lifeguards year-round for our indoor pools.

Lifeguard trainings will resume soon. Check back for more details.


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.

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To be considered for a position, you must pass a lifeguard screening given by a water safety instructor. For the screening, wear a bathing suit and bring a towel. You may wear swim goggles.

You must be able to complete the following skills to pass the screening:

  • Swim 12 lengths of the pool using both freestyle and breaststroke without stopping. This is not a timed swim, but you must continuously swim the 12 lengths and not stop or you will need to start over.
  • Tread water for two minutes using only your legs with your hands out of the water.
  • Retrieve a 10-pound brick from a deep well (12 feet). 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.
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Where and when

Lifeguard trainings will resume soon. Check back for more details.

Screenings take place at the following Philadelphia Parks & Recreation indoor training facilities:

Pickett School Pool

Where: 5700 Wayne Ave. Philadelphia, PA 19144
When: TBD

Lincoln Pool

Where: 7437 Rowland Ave. Philadelphia, PA 19136
When: TBD

5835 Spruce St
Philadelphia, PA 19139
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Screening is free of charge and no appointment is necessary. However, the lifeguard training course is $110 if you commit to working for Parks & Rec and $175 if you will work somewhere else.

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Lifeguard screening

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Take the screening test

You must be able to complete the lifeguard screening outlined in Requirements above.

If you pass the screening, the water safety instructor will enroll you in the next lifeguard training course at that specific training facility. The course date depends on the number of candidates who have passed the screening.

If you fail the screening, you can try again until you pass. The instructor will give you tips on what you can do to improve.

Complete lifeguard training course

After enrolling in the course, you must complete the required 21 hours of Lifeguard Training including lifeguarding, CPR, and First Aid.

Pass the exam

Once you finish the course, you will take a final skills assessment and written examination.

If you pass, you will be a certified American Red Cross Lifeguard.

Application process

The starting salary for Parks & Rec lifeguards is $13.65 per hour, with a salary cap of $15.90.

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Go to a Parks & Rec pool

Apply for the position at the site where you want to work.

Fill out an application

If a facility has an opening, the facility supervisor will supply the candidate with the application packet and instructions. All applications must be returned to the site where they were obtained.

Complete Process

Once all of the paperwork is completed and accepted, you will receive a call from the Aquatics Office to schedule a drug screening (if 18 years or older) and employment approval.