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Lifeguarding skills are life skills!

This position offers:

  • Pay starting at $13.00 per hour
  • Fun, dynamic work environments 
  • Flexible scheduling with 30+ pool locations
  • Professional development opportunities: 
    • coaching
    • community engagement
    • leadership
  • Earn more by teaching swim lessons with Water Safety Instructor Certification
  • Must be at least 15-years-old to apply!

How to get hired as a Denver Lifeguard:

  1. Currently certified lifeguards should start by applying online.

  2. DPR Aquatics staff will contact qualified candidates for a phone interview. Those who move past the initial phone interview will be contacted to schedule a lifeguard skills assessment with DPR staff.

  3. Upon successful completion of the skills assessment, candidates will complete the formal hiring process with Denver's Office of Human Resources

  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. 


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.

  1. Becoming a DPR Lifeguard begins by submitting an application. Get started now!

  2. After reviewing your application, you'll be contacted for a phone interview. 

  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.

  4. Upon successful completion of training, you'll complete the formal hiring process with the Denver Office of Human Resources.

  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. 

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.

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

IMPORTANT: 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.


Upcoming Training Classes

Montclair Recreation Center
729 Ulster Way

Lifeguard Training (Blended Learning)

Thursday, Sept. 12 | 4:30 PM - 6:30 PM
Friday, Sept. 13 | 3:30 PM - 5:30 PM

Class Dates & Times:
Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2019 | 4:30 PM - 8:30 PM
Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019 | 4:30 PM - 8:30 PM
Thursday, Sept. 19, 2019 | 4:30 PM - 8:30 PM
Friday, Sept. 20, 2019 | 3:30 PM - 7:30 PM
Saturday, Sept. 21, 2019 | 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM

Carla Madison Recreation Center
2401 E. Colfax Avenue

Lifeguard Training (Traditional)

Sunday, Sept. 15 | 11:30 AM

Class Dates & Times:
Saturday, Sept. 21, 2019 | 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019 | 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday, Sept. 28, 2019 | 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday, Sept. 29, 2019 | 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM

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 $13.00 per hour.

Lifeguards can become certified as Water Safety Instructors (must be 16 years old) and can earn hourly differentials for teaching group or private swimming lessons, and coaching swim team.

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.

Outdoor Pools Indoor Pools
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Barnum Athmar
Berkeley Carla Madison
Congress Park Central Park
Cook Park Glenarm
Eisenhower Hiawatha Davis Jr.
Garfield La Familia
Globeville Martin Luther King Jr.
Green Valley Ranch Montbello
Harvard Gulch Montclair
Harvey Park Rude
La Alma Scheitler
Mestizo/Curtis Park 20th Street
Ruby Hill Washington Park

Join Our Team!

Denver Parks & Recreation's Aquatics Office offers FREE lifeguard training in an effort to keep pools adequately staffed. Work where you play and join our team!

lifeguards of all ages

Contact Us

Aquatics Office
Martin Luther King Jr. Recreation Center
3880 Newport Street
Denver, CO 80207
Phone: 720-865-0660

Mon. - Fri: 9:00am to 5:00pm