Banner Slideshow

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. Join our team!
Make $19 an hour!
Be a Chicago Park District lifeguard this summer! 

1.  Apply

Apply online for the Lifeguard 2024 Summer Season position. 

No previous experience is necessary! 
You must be at least 16 years of age by July 1, 2024, and a resident of the City of Chicago to apply.

Apply Online Now



2.  Test - last test is June 1!

Take the Lifeguard Skills Test.
You'll select your test date when applying (step 1).

After successfully completing the test, you’ll be conditionally hired!

Upon passing the test, you’ll be assigned to an American Red Cross class. At the successful completion of the class, you’ll receive your certification and a stipend.

The test includes:

  • 200-yard timed swim
  • 20-yard underwater swim
  • Retrieve underwater object



3.  Work for the Parks!

Pass your Red Cross class and turn in all paperwork to receive your stipend for training.

You’ll then be assigned your summer location.

After you receive your assignment, your first week will be 40 hours of paid training, which begins as early as May 16th, 2024.







Additional Information & FAQ's

Lifeguard Skills Test Prep

We offer the following opportunities to help you prepare for the Lifeguard Skills Test.
  • New! - Lifeguard Explorers (ages 15-22)
    • Stipend Training Program that teaches the skills needed to pass the lifeguard skills test plus supervised practice time 
    • 15 classes  per session  



  • TEAM Sports
    This program includes Swim Team, Water Polo and Junior Lifeguarding. Participants learn or improve their four competitive strokes, learn skills and game techniques for water polo, and how to use rescue equipment and perform rescue techniques.


  • Lap Swim
    Lap swim sessions are offered at most pools. Need swimming advice?  Attend lap swim and ask a lifeguard for assistance. We're happy to help get you ready for the test!
    A lap swim membership is required. Membership fees are waived for Lifeguard applicants. Inquire with the lifeguard at Lap Swim.

    view lap swim info 


  • Chicago Park District & Chicago Public Schools Learn to Swim programs
    Offered at Select Chicago Public School High Schools, during the school day
    Inquire with your school principal.



1. What are the time requirements for the Lifeguard Skills Test?

  • 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


2. How old do you have to be to be a lifeguard?
Applicants for the summer 2024 lifeguard positions must be 16 years old by July 1, 2024.


3. Do you have to live in Chicago?
Yes, you must be a Chicago resident to apply to be a lifeguard with the Chicago Park District.


4. What is the rate of pay?
The 2024 pay rate for seasonal lifeguards is $19 per hour.

5. How much is the stipend for the Certification Training?
Those who need a full certification will receive $400 upon passing the course.  Returning guards who only need to go to former school will receive $100 after passing their 1-day course.

6. How do you get a $50 Amazon gift card?
The first 500 people who took the 2024 Lifeguard Skills test were given a $50 Amazon gift card. 





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.



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.



Interested in other positions in the Parks? Learn more:



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.