The Seasonal Lifeguard application is being posted so that we are prepared in the event that beaches and pools reopen for the 2021 summer.  This is not a confirmation that facilities will reopen. That determination will be made at a later date.

COVID Guidelines & Limitations

Beach and pool operations up to and including Summer 2021 will be subject to some uncertainty due to COVID health and safety guidelines.  Please be aware of the following:

  • Completion of the application and training process does not guarantee hiring.
  • Don’t wait to start the hiring process. This schedule is subject to change based on evolving health and safety guidelines, so don’t miss out.
  • Candidates must demonstrate compliance with health and safety protocols throughout the hiring process. Failure to wear a mask or maintain safe physical separation from others can be grounds for dismissal from any portion of the hiring process.
  • Work as a Park District lifeguard will require interaction with the public and enforcement of COVID health and safety guidelines. If you are uncomfortable with that, this position may not be right for you.
  • Capacity for most components will be limited, so don’t be surprised if certain offerings fill up quickly. We have increased the number of offerings at every level to accommodate lifeguard candidates.


Apply for the lifeguard position by completing the following steps:


box_for_website Take an American Red Cross (or equivalent) Lifeguard class
Multiple sessions are offered from March through May.  Completion of this class is required to be considered for the lifeguard position. Learn more about the American Red Cross Lifeguard class and register now.

box_for_website Apply online for the Seasonal Lifeguard position
Application closes April 30, 2021 

box_for_website Take the lifeguard test
Learn more about the 2021 lifeguard test
Candidates must submit the job application (see previous step) before attending a lifeguard test.  After applying, candidates will receive an email with an invitation to select their test date.  Potential candidates must pass all portions of the lifeguard test to be considered for the lifeguard position.  Results will be provided on-site at the completion of the test. 

box_for_website Complete the pre-employment processing
All lifeguard applicants are required to take a pre-employment drug screening test.  The Chicago Park District does not knowingly employ anyone who is currently using drugs.  All applicants age 17 and older will be fingerprinted as well.



box_for_website Pass the Former Lifeguard Academy 
View the 2021 Former Guard Academy dates and times.
The Former Lifeguard Academy lasts one day.  Applicants must pass all requirements of the Former Lifeguard Academy Review. Pass/fail information will be provided on-site at the completion of the academy.  Registration for the academy takes place at the lifeguard test.

box_for_website Sign up for an interview time (at the Former Lifeguard Academy)

box_for_website Attend the Interview
At the completion of the interview, viable candidates will be offered a position.
Job sites for former lifeguards are filled on a first-come, first-served basis.  Every attempt is made to assign all former lifeguards before the new lifeguard candidates are assigned. COMPLETION OF THE PRE-EMPLOYMENT PROCESSING IS REQUIRED BEFORE LIFEGUARDS CAN BE ASSIGNED TO A LOCATION.



box_for_website Pass the New Lifeguard Academy
View the 2021 New Guard Academy dates and times.
The New Lifeguard Academy runs for five days.  Applicants must pass all requirements of the New Lifeguard Academy. Pass/fail information will be provided on-site at the completion of the academy.  Registration for the academy takes place at the lifeguard test.
box_for_website Attend the New Lifeguard Academy Graduation Ceremony
Sunday, June 6, 2021.  Location TBA.

box_for_website Attend the Interview 
New lifeguard applicants will receive a designated interview appointment with their certificates at the New Lifeguard Academy Closing Ceremony.  Appointments are assigned based on candidate rankings.  New lifeguard candidates are ranked according to their performance on the testing requirements, which includes swim times and water skills as well as all the material covered and reviewed in the New Lifeguard Academy.  

At the completion of the interview, viable candidates will be offered a position based on availability.  
New lifeguard candidates should have a thorough knowledge of indoor pool, outdoor pool and beach locations and travel routes and options.


  • Applicants must pass all pre-employment testing and requirements before an assignment for employment can be offered.
  • If an applicant is offered an assignment and they chose not to accept that assignment for any reason, they have the option of refusing employment or requesting to be placed on a decline list. After all eligible applicants have been offered a position; the applicants on the decline list will be offered any remaining positions. Specific location requests cannot be accommodated.
    Please note, that there may be no openings at alternate locations available during the season.  If that is the case, the lifeguard applicant, if they apply for the following season, must pass all swim test requirements and also attend the New Lifeguard Academy.
  • Applicants hired are expected to work the summer season, which ends on Labor Day.  Applicants who resign their position prior to Labor Day MUST provide documentation for the early resignation.
  • Applicants are evaluated on job performance, including attendance and are rehired based on these evaluations.  ALL hired employees must review and sign their evaluations every payday.
  • Employees MUST submit Leave Requests when time off is needed and MUST provide documentation for the leave.  Accumulating more than 24 hours of unexcused absence will affect future employment.


Want to print this?  This information is available in a printable pdf document.  Open and print this now.

For questions, please contact the Chicago Park District Aquatics office at (773) 363-2225.