Banner Slideshow

Being a lifeguard is one of the more rewarding jobs you'll ever have.  You'll learn life skills & help save lives, earn lifesaving certifications (First Aid, CPR, AED), gain unparalleled work experience for future careers, engage in fulfilling work, and make a positive impact on our city.   

New for the 2023 season

  • Streamlined three-step application process (see steps below).
  • Lifeguards to be conditionally hired after completion of the lifeguard skills test & paid for attending the three-day training academy
  • American Red Cross Certification classes offered at various days & times  to provide options for all schedules

Job Requirements

  • Be at least 16 years of age
  • Be a resident of the City of Chicago
  • Be fully vaccinated
  • Pass the lifeguard skill test
  • Become American Red Cross certified



Apply now for summer 2023.  The three-step application process is as follows:
  1. Complete the Job Application
    Apply online for the Lifeguard-Seasonal position. 
    Apply Now

  2. Take the Lifeguard Skills Test

    Lifeguards hired by the Chicago Park District must demonstrate that they possess the physical abilities required for the job.  Candidates must pass all portions of the test to be considered for the position. The test portions include:

    - 200-yard swim in less than 3 min., 30 sec.  (4 min., 30 sec. for Shallow Water Attendants)
    - 20-yard underwater swim
    - Retrieval of a 10-pound object from a depth of 10-14 feet
    - Approach stroke 25 yards, retrieve a submerged manikin in deep water, and tow 25 yards

    The test day will be selected when completing the lifeguard job application (step 1).  After passing the lifeguard skills test, candidates will be conditionally hired.


  3. Attend the Lifeguard Training Academy
    The New Lifeguard Training Academy is a three-day course on the safe operation of a beach or swimming pool. This course allows trainers to assess a candidate’s ability to be on time and prepared to work, follow directions, perform rescue and life-saving skills, and complete tasks under supervision. Testing occurs on the final day of the academy.  Applicants must pass all requirements of the academy to be considered for the lifeguard position. Pass/fail information will be provided on-site at the completion of the academy.  Applicants must pass the Lifeguard Skills Test to attend the training.

    Sign-up for the training academy takes place at the completion of the lifeguard skills test (step 2).

All candidates must have their American Red Cross Waterfront Lifeguarding Certification by the start of the Lifeguard Training Academy.  Certification classes are offered at various dates & times to meet the needs of different schedules.  Classes are offered on weekends, after school, and over the holiday break.  Learn more about these classes and register for one now:  Lifeguard Certification Classes


For questions about the Chicago Park District’s Lifeguard Hiring and Training process, please contact the Chicago Park District Aquatics office at (773) 363-2225.