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Lifeguards Wanted!

The Chicago Park District could have a job for you!

Photo: American Red Cross

Chicago’s beaches are set to open May 27th this year–Memorial Day weekend. At least, that was the plan. Now, according to, places like Fox Valley Park District’s Philips Park Recreation Center in Aurora don’t have enough lifeguards to reopen.

During the pandemic, they didn’t have beaches open, so lots of lifeguards had to find other jobs during the summer. Now, the city is trying to hire them back, specifically 160 more for Fox Valley. So far, they’ve only gotten 74 guards. The park district has said that they’re struggling to hire many because of the requirements involved and people not reaching back to them. Because of the shortage, however, Chicago is offering some pretty sweet deals to those who apply.

Being a lifeguard pays between $16-17 an hour according to, which is already a decent salary for a teenage summer job. But this summer, the park district is offering a $500 retention bonus. That means that you get paid $500 as an incentive to keep that job. It’s not so easy to get the job, though. You need to be at least 16, be a Chicago resident, fully vaccinated, pass the swim test, and become American Red Cross certified, according to the Chicago Park District website.

So, if you’re looking for a job this summer, you have a good chance of getting a position if you meet all the requirements above. Because of the shortage, Fox Valley Park District won’t have lifeguards on the beaches for Memorial Day weekend. They’re heavily encouraging people not to go for a swim there because of this. Hopefully, they eventually get enough guards and their beaches will reopen at some point this summer.


By Inti Navia, Junior, ChiArts

Instagram @intinavia

Written by Inti Navia

I love nerding out over Star Wars, Gravity Falls, and Lord of the Rings. I'm an introvert with a never ending appreciation for all things Sci-Fi and fantasy media.

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