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Being a lifeguard along Chicago’s gorgeous lakefront or a neighborhood pool is a job unlike any other.
You'll be part of one of the country's largest and best-trained lifeguard corps, gaining life-saving skills while making a difference in people's lives.  Make $16.19 an hour plus a $600 bonus!  Join our team - apply today!
Be a Chicago Park District lifeguard this summer! 

Additional Incentives:  All candidates will receive tickets to a Chicago Fire FC soccer game upon completion of the Lifeguard Swim Test, plus a chance to win a one-day pass to Chicago’s Lollapalooza, tickets to Six Flags Great America, and a Divvy annual membership pass when hired. The $600 bonus, paid to year-round lifeguards and summer lifeguard candidates who successfully complete all required trainings and fulfill their duties during the summer season, will be divided into two equal payments to be distributed with employee payroll checks during the season.

1.  Complete the Job Application

Apply online for the Lifeguard-Seasonal position. 

No previous experience is necessary! 
You must be at least 16 years of age. The residency requirement has been relaxed, so non-residents may apply to be a lifeguard this summer.



2.  Take the Lifeguard Skills Test


Pass the Lifeguard Skills Test to be considered for the position.

Because Chicago Park District Lifeguards do the important work of ensuring the safety of swimmers in pools and beaches, all candidates must demonstrate that they possess the physical abilities required for the job.

After passing the lifeguard skills test, you will be conditionally hired!

The test includes:

  • 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

Complete the test & receive tickets to a Chicago Fire FC soccer home game! 






2 1/2.  Get your American Red Cross Waterfront Lifeguarding Certification (if not already certified)

Already certified? You can skip this step.

If you’re not, attend our free Lifeguard Certification class.

Sign up and attend the June 3 Lifeguard Skills Test (step 2 above).  At the conclusion of the test, you'll be enrolled in the upcoming Lifeguard Certification class.

This year, the Lifeguard Certification class is free ($85 value).



3.  Attend the Lifeguard Training Academy

Attend a 3-day paid Lifeguard Training Academy to learn the safe operation of a beach or swimming pool.

Upon completion of the Lifeguard Skills Test, you will be enrolled in Lifeguard Training Academy.*

These 3-day paid courses 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.  The training academy is offered on May 19-21, June 12-14, and June 15-17. 

Returning guards are required to complete a one-day training, which is offered April 22, 23, 29, 30; May 13, 27; and June 4.

Once you’ve passed the requirements of the academy, you will be formally hired as a lifeguard.




Thanks to our partners who support the Chicago Park District lifeguard hiring efforts:
Chicago Fire FC  *  Divvy  *  Lollapalooza  *  Reyes Coca-Cola Bottling


More than a job.

The Chicago Park District is home to pools and beaches along 26 miles of beautiful lakefront. These destinations are jewels in the crown of our incredible city, offering recreation opportunities – to residents and tourists of all ages. They are the backdrops of valuable life experiences – where we learn to swim, find relief from the sweltering summer heat or simply go to have fun.

On duty at our beaches and pools are Chicago lifeguards. Being a Chicago lifeguard is more than a job – it’s a meaningful and fulfilling path to any career one might aspire to.

Watch the video on Youtube.


Who we are.

We are students building valuable skills for future careers. Aquatics and recreation professionals growing the next generation of swimmers. Teachers on summer break. Retirees looking to give back to their community. We are heroes who save lives.

Chicago Park District lifeguards come from all walks of life–different neighborhoods, ages, interests, and professional backgrounds. What we share is a love for the water and a calling to serve.


What we do.

Our first and most important job as lifeguards is to keep swimmers safe. This means we guard beaches and pools to protect swimmers from accidents and drowning, and we respond to emergency situations in accordance with established methods and protocols.

We also lead and assist in instructing recreational activities for our aquatic programs like swimming lessons, hydro-aerobics, water polo and swim team.

View the full job listing here.


Why we do it.

Kids having fun in their local pool on a hot summer day. Families enjoying a picnic at the beach. Friends maintaining their fitness in a hydro-aerobics class. Chicago’s pools and beaches are the backdrops for special moments that make lifelong memories–and lifeguards make these moments possible.

As lifeguards, we believe in becoming better people and giving back to our communities. We take pride in knowing that our jobs make a difference in the lives of all Chicagoans. Having fun and working in a supportive environment makes the job that much better.



Get your summer started. Apply today!


Year-round positions are also available. 
View All Year-Round Jobs


We are committed to building a better Chicago Park District.  Learn more.

For questions about the Chicago Park District’s Lifeguard Hiring and Training process, please contact the Chicago Park District Aquatics office at (312) 742-7801