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 a summer season of employment 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. The next classes are at Onondaga Park Pool. Sessions are two weeks, Monday - Friday, 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.:

  • Session I: June 26 - July 7
  • Session II: July 10 - 21
  • Session III: July 24 - Aug. 4.

Step 3.Attend all sessions.

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.