Apply to be a city lifeguard

South Philadelphia’s pools are opening back up this summer and the city’s Parks & Recreation Department is looking for lifeguards to keep swimmers safe.

According to the department, the city will be hiring 42 new lifeguards to staff South Philly public pools and interested applicants can get a head start by signing up for free training in hopes of securing a great summer job.

Each summer, Philadelphia Parks & Recreation trains and hires more than 400 lifeguards to safely staff the city’s public pools. The city will be looking to fill spots at South Philly parks like Sacks, Murphy and Ford. The lifeguard position pays a competitive wage of $15.25 to $17.24 an hour. 

“Lifeguards are South Philly’s hometown heroes,” said Philadelphia Parks & Recreation Commissioner Kathryn Ott Lovell. “Our lifeguards are the foundation for a fun Philly summer.”

Parks & Rec operates dozens of outdoor pools each summer throughout the city and pools open from mid- to late June through mid- to late August. Free training and swim lessons are available to anyone interested in building the skills to get certified to work as a lifeguard this summer. Red Cross certification classes are free for anyone ages 16-24 who commits to working at a city pool. The Red Cross lifeguard certification course fee is $110 for all other candidates.  

In order to secure a lifeguard position, applicants must be able to swim 300 meters nonstop, tread water for two minutes and retrieve a 10 pound brick from the bottom of the deep end of the pool.

Candidates can make an appointment for free training or to take the lifeguard screening at Training and screening appointments are available 7 days a week at indoor pools across the city.

The screening test is required for all new and returning lifeguards, and can be completed on a walk-in basis. Certified candidates who pass the screening test will be ready to complete the job application and go to work this summer. New lifeguards will be enrolled in a Red Cross certification course upon passing their screening exam. 

Candidates can get started by visiting their local pool, or emailing

“From teens and young adults to retirees and school teachers, lifeguards come from all walks of life and have one thing in common: a passion for Philadelphia and a commitment to bringing our kids the safe summer of fun they so deserve,” Ott Lovell said.