Philadelphia expands lifeguard training program to ensure city pools will open

Lifeguard watching swimming pool
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Philadelphia Parks & Recreation Commissioner Kathryn Ott Lovell recently announced that the department will expand its lifeguard recruitment efforts to ensure city pools are staffed to safely open this summer. The news comes shortly after Mayor Jim Kenney announced the administration’s upcoming budget will include funds to restore recreational programs and reopen city pools.

Lifeguard training and recruitment efforts will be extended from five to seven days a week. Due to COVID, the number of candidates who can be in the pool at any one time is limited, and all interested applicants must pre-register for skills building, training, and lifeguard screening appointments at

Starting pay is $14.74 and returning guards make $16.97 an hour. Parks & Rec aims to hire between 350-400 lifeguards this summer to open 68 outdoor pools. A detailed list of requirements can be found at The first step for interested candidates is to brush up on swimming skills and prepare for the lifeguard screening.

Lifeguard certification is free for applicants ages 16-24 who commit to working at a city pool. The Red Cross lifeguard certification free is $110 for all other candidates.

“We are working hard to put the protocols in place to safely re-open city pools this summer,” said Ott Lovell in a statement. “But we can’t do it without lifeguards. Each summer, our pool decks are staffed by hundreds of fit, friendly, fabulous Philadelphians who choose to spend their summers lifeguarding at city pools. From teens to retirees and school teachers to college students, anyone can be a lifeguard and help make this a summer to remember for Philly kids.”

Lifeguard training and certification will continue to take place at:

Samuel Recreation Center (heated outdoor pool)
3539 Gaul Street
Philadelphia, PA 19134
Hours: Monday – Sunday, 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Candidates interested in brushing up on their swim skills or completing the lifeguard screening must register in advance. Due to COVID-19 health and safety protocols, space is limited.

Residents can learn more about the screening process and register at