Become a Lifeguard

The Syracuse Parks trains and hires lifeguards to help ensure the safety of our pool patrons.

How much does it cost?

  • Fees will be waived for City Residents who fulfill an employment contract for the upcoming summer season with a minimum of 20 hours per week.
  • City Residents Registration Fee: $25
  • Non-City Resident Registration Fee: $75
  • Certification Fee: $80 for everyone and should be paid by check and brought the first day of class. Check made payable to Commissioner of Finance.


Step 1.Check your eligibility.

To become a lifeguard you must:

  • Be 15 years of age by the last day of class.
  • Be able to swim 300 yards.
  • Be able to retrieve objects from 12 feet.
  • Be able to swim 15 yards underwater.
  • Tread water for 2 minutes without hands.
  • Register and pass a free pre-requisite swim test at Valley Pool. (Filter by Certification & Training)
    Sign up for a pre-requisite swim test 

If you are a certified lifeguard and need to renew your certification email for more information. 

Step 2.Sign up for a certification class. 

Staff will contact you upon passing the pre-requisite swim test. Classes are at Valley Pool.

  • Fall Session 
    • Saturdays, Sept. 23 to Nov. 11, 2023
    • 5 to 8:30 p.m.
  • Winter Quick Session
    • Saturdays & Wednesdays, Nov. 29 to Dec. 23, 2023
    • 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. (on Saturdays) & 5 to 8:30 p.m. (on Wednesdays)
  • Winter Session
    • Sundays, Jan. 7 to March 10, 2024 (excluding Feb. 11 & 18)
    • 5 to 8:30 p.m.
  • Spring Session 
    • Sundays, March 17 to May 12, 2024 (excluding April 21)
    • 5 to 8:30 p.m.

Step 3.Attend all session dates.

Remember to bring:

  • Swimsuit
  • Towel
  • Goggles

At the end of the class you will be certified in:

  • Lifeguarding (Not waterfront)
  • First Aid
  • CPR for the professional rescuer
  • Automated External Defibrillator (AED)

Step 4.Apply for a job.

Upon completing and passing the certification class, we will provide an application for employment.

Step 5.Complete the hiring process.