Lifeguard Training & Hiring

This position offers:

  • Pay starting at $17.29 per hour
  • Fun, dynamic work environments 
  • Flexible scheduling with 30+ pool locations
  • Professional development opportunities: 
    • coaching
    • community engagement
    • leadership
  • Must be at least 15-years-old to apply...all those ages 15 and up are welcome to apply!

How to get hired as a Denver Lifeguard:

Already have a Certification?

Step 1.Certified lifeguards should start by applying online. 

Apply now!

Step 2.DPR Aquatics staff will contact qualified candidates for a phone interview.

Those candidates who move past the initial phone interview will be contacted to schedule a lifeguard skills assessment with DPR staff. Note: Candidates who possess lifeguard certification with Ellis & Associates, StarGuard, etc. may be required to complete American Red Cross certification with Denver Parks and Recreation.

Step 3.Upon successful completion of a skills assessment,

candidates will complete the hiring and onboarding process with Denver's Office of Human Resources. 

Step 4.You're ready to start working as soon as onboarding is complete! 


Check out the FAQ list below to learn more about starting to work at one of our pools.

Need Certification?

No problem! Denver Parks and Recreation (DPR) provides no-cost lifeguard certification through the American Red Cross for anyone age 15 or older who will work for the City & County of Denver as a lifeguard. 

Step 1.Becoming a DPR Lifeguard begins by submitting an application.

Get started now!

Step 2.After reviewing your application,

you'll be contacted for a phone interview. 

Step 3.Candidates who move past the interview

will be enrolled in an American Red Cross Lifeguarding class conducted by DPR— Check out Upcoming Lifeguarding Classes below.

 all applicants must be 15-years-old by the final day of class in order to work for the City of Denver.

Step 4.Upon successful completion of training,

you'll complete the formal hiring process with the Denver Office of Human Resources.

Step 5.After certifying and onboarding,

you are ready to begin working!


Check out the FAQ list below to learn more about starting to work at one of our pools.

Upcoming Lifeguard Training Classes

IMPORTANT: Lifeguard training is available only for City and County of Denver applicants. Candidates must apply before they can enroll in a class. 

Attendance at all class sessions is mandatory, as is completion of all online coursework prior to the start of class sessions for American Red Cross Blended Learning Classes.

  • Blended Learning combines online knowledge and 20 hours of in-person water, first-aid and CPR/AED skills training.
  • Traditional/Standard Lifeguard Training is 26 hours of in-person courses in the water and classroom.

Class participants are encouraged to bring note-taking materials and are welcome to bring snacks or meals. Be prepared to get in the water for all class sessions.

Next Certification Courses:

June 6, 7, 8, 2022 | Martin Luther King Jr. Recreation Center
PRE-TEST: Wed. May 25, 4:00-6:00 p.m.

June 4, 5 & 11 | Carla Madison Recreation Center
PRE-TEST: Thurs. May 26, 3:00-5:00 p.m.

June 8, 9, 10, 2022 | Athmar Recreation Center 
PRE-TEST: Fri. May 27, 4:00-6:00 p.m.

June 25, 26 & July 2 | Carla Madison Recreation Center
PRE-TEST: Thurs. June 16, 3:00 - 5:00 p.m.

Lifeguard Training Swimming Pretest

Denver Parks and Recreation (DPR) seeks to employ a multicultural, diverse team of individuals who positively engage and impact the communities we serve. 

All DPR Lifeguards must be at least 15 years old and possess a current Lifeguarding certification. 

Applicants without a Lifeguarding certification can receive no-cost training and certification through American Red Cross classes offered by DPR.

Swimming Pre-Test

Successfully completing a swimming pre-test is required to participate in the Lifeguard training course. The swimming pre-test occurs approximately 7-10 days before class begins and includes:

  • Swimming 300 yards/meters (6 laps) without stopping
    • Candidates may use goggles and use any combination of front crawl or breaststroke
    • Swimming on the back or side is not allowed 
  • Treading water for two (2) minutes, using the legs only
    • Candidates will be required to place their hands under the armpits 
  • Completing a series of actions within 1 minute, 40 seconds:
    • Swim 20 yards (goggles not allowed)
    • Surface dive (head or feet first) to a depth of 7-10 feet and retrieve a 10 lb diving brick
    • Return to the surface with the brick and swim 20 yards (on the back), keeping the brick at or above the surface of the water, keeping both hands on the brick
    • Place the brick on the pool deck and exit the water without using a ladder or steps

Lifeguarding instructors will provide additional information about course requirements and expectations following successful completion of the swimming test.

What do Lifeguards do?

Lifeguards protect their community by preventing, recognizing and responding to water-related emergencies.

As a professional Lifeguard, your primary duties will include:

  • Monitoring activities in and near the water through patron surveillance
  • Preventing injuries by minimizing or eliminating hazardous situations or behaviors
  • Enforcing facility rules and regulations and educating patrons about them
  • Recognizing and responding quickly and effectively to all emergencies
  • Administering first aid, CPR, AED, and O2 when needed
  • Working as a team with other lifeguards, facility staff and management 

To fulfill the responsibilities of a professional Lifeguard, you must always be mentally and emotionally prepared to do your job. DPR Lifeguards are expected to be:

  • Knowledgeable and Skilled — Through annual and preseason orientation and training, and ongoing in-service training
  • Reliable — Arrive to work on time, ready to work and respond to all incidents quickly and effectively
  • Mature — Be a leader but also a good team member, act responsibly, take initiative, and obey all facility rules, leading others by example
  • Positive — Show a positive attitude in all job activities 
  • Professional — Look and behave professionally and be prepared to respond appropriately to any situation by:
    • Wearing lifeguard uniform only when on duty
    • Sitting or standing upright while at the lifeguard station
    • Keeping rescue equipment positioned for immediate use
    • Keeping your eyes focused on your assigned zone of coverage
    • Observing all facility rules, regulations and policies
  • Be healthy and fit, eat and rest, hydrate and protect yourself from sun exposure

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) from new lifeguards

Contact the Denver Parks & Recreation (DPR) Aquatics Office if your question is not answered here: 720.865.0663 |

Frequently Asked Questions

When can I start?
Upon completion of the Office of Human Resources hiring process ,you will receive an email titled Clear to Start: John J. Lifeguard (Your Name). An assigned Coordinator will reach out to you about scheduling, pool-specific orientation and a start date.

When will I work?
Whether you want to work year-round or seasonally, 39 hours per week or 3 hours per month, we will do our best to make a schedule that works for you! Availability can be discussed during the hiring process and on a weekly basis once you begin work.

DPR is always hiring for early morning and daytime guards who can work year-round!

Where will I work?
As a DPR Lifeguard, you may be asked to work at any of our 30 aquatics facilities (14 indoor and 16 outdoor). Visit our Find a Swimming Pool page for an interactive map of our pools.

You will have an opportunity to submit location assignment requests during the initial hiring process, as well as seasonally.

The Aquatics team makes every effort to fulfill specific pool assignment requests, however, assignments are made based on staff availability and coverage needs throughout the city. You may be asked to work at multiple locations seasonally, or as coverage is needed.

What does the job pay?
The current starting pay rate for Denver Parks and Recreation Lifeguards is $17.29 per hour.

Will I be eligible for benefits?
Some DPR Lifeguards qualify for healthcare and other benefits through the City and County of Denver. Lifeguards should contact the Office of Human Resources with specific questions about their benefit eligibility. Learn more in the Human Resource Center.

What advancement opportunities exist for Lifeguards?
As a DPR employee, you will have the ability to apply as an internal candidate for jobs throughout the City and County of Denver.

Within Aquatics, there are potential advancement opportunities for Lifeguards to become:

  • Water Safety Instructors
  • Certified Fitness Instructors
  • Pool Coordinators
  • Aquatics Coordinators
  • Pool Maintenance Technicians

Within Parks and Recreation, there are potential advancement opportunities for Lifeguards to become:

  • Recreation Assistants
  • Recreation Service Representatives
  • Administrative Support Assistants
  • Recreation Instructors
  • Fitness Instructors
  • and more!

Explore careers at the City and County of Denver (CCD) by visiting the CCD Jobs Portal.

Denver Pools

 Indoor Pools   Outdoor Pools 
 Ashland Recreation Center   Atzlan Outdoor Pool
 Athmar Recreation Center  Barnum Outdoor Pool 
 Carla Madison Recreation Center - Lap Pool  Berkeley Outdoor Pool 
 Carla Madison Recreation Center - Leisure Pool    Congress Park Outdoor Pool 
 Central Park Recreation Center    Cook Park Outdoor Pool 
 Glenarm Recreation Center  Eisenhower Outdoor Pool 
 Hiawatha Davis Jr. Recreation Center  Garfield Outdoor Pool 
 La Familia Recreation Center  Globeville Outdoor Pool 
 Martin Luther King Jr. Recreation Center  Green Valley Ranch Outdoor Pool 
 Montbello Recreation Center  Harvard Gulch Outdoor Pool 
 Montclair Recreation Center  Harvey Park Outdoor Pool
 Rude Recreation Center  La Alma Outdoor Pool
 Scheitler Recreation Center  Mestizo/Curtis Park Outdoor Pool 
 Twentieth Street Recreation Center  Ruby Hill Outdoor Pool 
 Washington Park Recreation Center  Southwest Outdoor Pool 
   Swansea Outdoor Pool