Lifeguard and Water Safety Instructor (WSI)

Are you interested in becoming a City of Tucson lifeguard?

Here's what you need to know!
Get paid to train. Pay starts at $16.75/hr.
*All applicants must be at least 15 years old or older.


1. Apply for the Lifeguard position at

2. Register for a free Lifeguard Swim Test & Interview on (must be at least 15 years of age to register)

3. Pass the Lifeguard Swim Test & Interview
The interview has an informal dress code. Come prepared to swim with a suit, goggles (optional), and a towel.You will be interviewed and perform the following in water swim skills.

  • 100-yard continuous approach stroke without tube (front crawl and/or breaststroke)
  • 50-yard approach stroke with a rescue tube
  • 2-minutes treading water using legs only
  • 50-yard elementary backstroke 
  • 50-yard side stroke supporting a dummy 
  • Retrieve a 10 lb. diving brick from ~12 feet, return it to the surface, and exit the pool without a ladder.

3. Upon completing and passing the swim test and interview, you will be onboarded with Human Resources. You will receive an email from Workday to complete your pre-hire information. Then, send an email to to set up a fingerprint appointment. We will pay for your StarGuard certification which includes a 6-hour online course* and 16-hour in-person course, with the commitment to work for the City of Tucson Parks and Recreation department.

4. Pass the online and in-person required Starguard training courses. (Online must be passed prior to in-person)

5. Meet with our team to receive your pool placement.

Apply Online

Are you already a certified lifeguard? Apply online at to get to work today!

Water Safety Instructor (WSI)

You must have WSI certification to teach swim lessons. Lifeguarding, CPR/AED for the Professional Rescuer and First Aid Basics certifications are required. Certification is earned through Starfish Aquatics Institute. It is blended learning that includes an online course as well as in-water practicum.

Class are offered starting in the spring. Enrollment into the StarFish program through City of Tucson pool supervisors. Interested staff must contact the to request training.

Trainees must be 16 years old before the first class. Stroke and swim skills are tested in the first and second classes. Trainees should be proficient in the following strokes:

  • Front Crawl
  • Back Crawl
  • Breaststroke
  • Sidestroke
  • Elementary Backstroke
  • Basic knowledge of Butterfly is also helpful.

Lifeguard Training and Water Safety Instructor classes conducted at selected City of Tucson pools certify many of these lifeguards and instructors as well as lifeguards and instructors seeking employment. For questions about training or employment email