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There are more than 2,500 summer employment opportunities with unique and exciting careers at the Chicago Park District in 2024. 

CHICAGO – In 2023, the Chicago Park District opened the Summer Job Application and began actively recruiting vital employees earlier in early Spring. This year, we are moving up the timeline to allow the Park District to reach a wider audience of candidates and fill roles as Recreational Leaders, Lifeguards, Junior Laborers, Special Recreation Leaders, and more. 

Making the applications available earlier in the year will also help to better assess our recruitment strategies and address workforce needs before key pivotal summer dates are upon us. 

The “Your Perfect Summer Job” campaign launches today at

Watch for posters at our fieldhouses, in billboards throughout the city, and on social media featuring some of our current and past employees. 

“We are not waiting and are launching the ‘Your Perfect Summer Job’ campaign earlier than last year.  This gives teens, college students and adults from different walks of life, including retirees, more time to secure great summer job opportunities and to join the city’s lead recreation and green agency – the Chicago Park District. From our recreation leaders to our junior laborers, working at the Chicago Park District could lead to fun, unique and exciting career choices,” said Rosa Escareño, General Superintendent and CEO of the Chicago Park District. “If you’re seeking your first job or an employment opportunity after retirement, I invite you to apply. Our employees gain experience in youth engagement, natural resources, emergency response, special recreation and so much more.” 

“Your Perfect Summer Job” opportunities are available for qualified candidates, ages 16 and up, to apply at More than 2,500 seasonal employees from all walks of life join the Park District team every summer, and help strengthen our summer workforce. 

Each one of these positions plays an integral part in creating the meaningful summer experience that Chicago residents and visitors have come to love and expect from the Chicago Park District and its 616 parks, and along our 26 miles of lakefront. 

The “Your Perfect Summer Job” campaign focuses on informing job-seeking Chicago residents about the variety of employment opportunities available at the District to help them find a job that suits their interests, schedules and experience levels.  The District’s summer jobs offer competitive wages, life-skill building opportunities, flexible work schedules and pathways to careers and full-time employment. Even more attractive is the unique opportunity to complete your work duties indoors and outdoors, depending on the position.

Recreation Leaders
Summer Recreation Leaders guide enriching activities and fun games with children and teens, and develop valuable management, and program/event planning skills. Employees can count on a flexible schedule that allows them to enjoy evenings and weekends off. More than 230 park locations will offer six-week day camp, and serve over 25,000 campers, which allows applicants to work near their homes and/or to explore new areas of the city. The commitment for this position is for six-weeks, from mid-June to early August. Candidates, 16 and older, can apply at

Junior Laborers
A perfect candidate for the Junior Laborer position would enjoy being outdoors, visiting a variety of neighborhoods and learning about the landscaping world. Our Junior Laborer team helps maintain the parkland that is used by millions of park visitors during the summer. As the city’s lead green agency, Junior Laborers gain entry-level experience in landscape maintenance to help sustain our flourishing green landscape of nearly 9,000 acres. Apply for this position and build skills in trade jobs and work outdoors in nature as a Junior Laborer this summer at Candidates must be 16 and older. These positions start as early as April and run through June.

In 2023, the Park District opened all of its beaches and pool locations with support from a strong lifeguard corps that answered the call for eligible candidates. The Park District launched several initiatives in 2023 to train and capacitate lifeguard candidates as part of the recruitment campaign and has been steadily rebuilding the learn to swim to lifeguard pipeline through various efforts. These initiatives include the Lifeguard Explorers Training Program, and expanding free Learn to Swim programming in targeted areas. More than 150 youth, between the ages of 13 and 19, have participated in the Fall and Winter sessions of the Lifeguard Explorers Training. The Spring session of this program will open for registration on March 4 and 5. Participants receive a $475 stipend for completion of the program. 

Chicago lifeguards are trained with life-saving skills, which they can apply to a variety of career opportunities, including as first responders. Individuals that enjoy time in the water, and meeting people from all walks of life, will instantly connect with this opportunity. Apply now at Candidates must be 16 and older by July 1, 2024. These positions start as early as April and run through September. Candidates will have access to a full schedule of Swim Test dates upon completing the Lifeguard application. The next tests are on March 9th and March 23rd. The first 500 candidates to take the test will receive a $50 Amazon gift card. After fulfilling the swim test requirements, candidates will be assigned to an American Red Cross Blended Learning Waterfront Lifeguard Training Course. The Chicago Park District will provide participants with a $400 stipend for completion of the course, and $100 for re-certification.

Special Recreation Leader & Inclusion Aide 
Special Recreation Leaders lead recreation activities and games for children and adults with intellectual disabilities during our summer camp experiences like fun and games, sports skills and drills, and arts & crafts. This is the perfect job for individuals interested in exploring employment opportunities in this field, and enhancing skill development, encouraging socialization, and promoting independence for individuals with intellectual disabilities. Candidates must be 16 and older. These positions run from mid-June to early August. Apply at Inclusion Aides must be 18 years old and over. 

Attendants are essential to our parks and help maintain our facilities clean and orderly for visitors to use when attending an event or program in our parks. They are also critical to our summer maintenance operations response and assist with waste disposal and overall cleanliness on a daily basis. Applicants must be at least 18 years of age. Learn more at

Teen Opportunity Fairs
In combination with pop-up informational opportunities, the Park District is hosting three Teen Opportunity Fairs to match potential employees with job opportunities. At the fairs, candidates will be able to connect in-person with District staff available to answer questions about the openings and the application process.

New this year, Chicago residents, ages 16 and up, will be invited to interview on site with the Chicago Park District for the position of their choice. The Fairs are open to candidates 13 to 19 years old. For teens between the ages of 13 and 15, the Park District will offer information about job readiness opportunities, including Junior Counselor and Junior Lifeguard positions. 

The Fairs are scheduled for Saturday, March 9 at Truman College, 1145 W. Wilson Ave., Saturday, March 23 at Kennedy King College,740 W. 63rd St., U Building, and Saturday, April 6 at Malcolm X College, 1900 W. Jackson Blvd., from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Entry is free. To register and receive additional information about the Teen Opportunity Fairs, visit

Year-round Jobs

Seasonal jobs are essential to the Park District during the peak summer months when millions flock to our parks to enjoy the outdoors. However, there are many opportunities to join the Park District team in a year-round capacity. Full-time employment opportunities in a variety of career concentrations are posted frequently on our ‘Jobs’ webpage, which could be accessed by following the link