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Lifeguard Jobs

Ready for meaningful work? We’re hiring lifeguards to watch over the safety of children and families in our pools and become leaders in all areas of our nonprofit mission: youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. With lifeguards all over the greater Kansas City area—from Atchison to Olathe, Bonner to North Kansas City and everything in between—there’s a convenient location near you. Plus the Y provides a 50 percent discount on lifeguard training and certification (a $125 value) to qualified lifeguard candidates.

Why become a Lifeguard
at the Y?

Lifeguarding at the Y is an opportunity to make an impact helping others. The Y is a nonprofit in Kansas City that strengthens our community, and our lifeguards are a big part of our mission. It’s a great personal and professional development opportunity for you, too. Lifeguarding is a fulfilling part-time job or full-time job, and it also can lead to a career. 

Lifeguarding at the Y can jumpstart your career
You can grow into jobs like swim instructor, head lifeguard and aquatics director. Or your experience can even be the first steps into personal fitness or health care careers.  Countless people from all walks of life started their careers as a lifeguard.  That’s because you learn great things, like being a mentor and educating others about skills that could one day save their life. Plus you’re part of team, a member of the Y family that comes together to help others in need and make our community a better place.

Training is provided
In addition to offering discounted lifeguard certification classes to qualified candidates, the Y also provides many training and educational programs to help build skills you need for your future. Trainings cover topics such as leadership, diversity and inclusion, and fiscal management. You also may receive reduced college tuition through accredited online Capella University*. 

Future employers respect the Y
When future employers see the Y on your resume, they think of a nonprofit organization with local impact that’s part of a national and international network that’s existed for more than 175 years. We have a reputation for hiring good people who do great things.

Free Y membership
When you work for the Y, you’ll enjoy the perks of being a Y member including access to all 13 Y centers and discounts on programs, child care and summer day camp.

The job is designed with your schedule in mind
Part-time and full-time positions are available, making lifeguarding jobs at the Y ideal for students and non-students alike. From early morning hours to evening hours and everything in between, lifeguarding jobs at the Y can easily fit around your school, family or other commitments, and give you time to explore other passions.

The best co-workers ever
As a lifeguard, you’ll work among others who share a mission of creating a safe environment for children, adults and families to enjoy swimming and water exercise.  Plus, the Y is a great place to make new lifelong friends that share a desire to help others and make our community a better place.

Great “back to work” job
Lifeguarding is also a great way to come back to working, to stay active and engaged in your community, all with great pay and benefits.  Maybe you are post retirement but want to stay active. Or maybe you’re just looking for something that is flexible but fulfilling. Working at the Y brings so many opportunities to engage with others, get involved in your community and even learn and grow your personal and professional skills.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the age to be a Y lifeguard?

Lifeguards must be at least 16 years of age to be considered, but it can be a great fit at any stage of life, whether you are just starting to work or looking for meaningful work to fit around family schedules or to help you stay active in retirement.

Do you have to already be certified to become a lifeguard at the Y?

You do not have to be certified before being hired by the Y, but all Y lifeguards are required to be certified. The Y provides a 50 percent discount on lifeguard training and certification (a $125 value) to qualified lifeguard candidates.

What are the physical qualifications?

Y lifeguards must meet the following qualifications:

  • Tread water for 2 minutes 
  • Swim 100 yards of front crawl 
  • Swim 50 yards of each: 1. Front crawl with the head up 2. Sidestroke 3. Breaststroke 4. Breaststroke with the head up 5. Elementary backstroke kick with hands on the chest 
  • Perform a feet first surface dive in 8 to 10 feet of water (or maximum depth of training facility). Then swim underwater for 15 feet. 
  • Participants start in the water at shallow end. 
  • Sprint for approximately 60 feet, and then perform an arm-over-arm surface dive in 8 to 10 feet of water (or maximum depth of training facility). Pick up an object (dive ring) from the bottom of pool, surface, tread water for at least 1 minute with legs only, and replace the object back to the bottom of the pool where it was found. 
  • Swim the remaining length to end of pool, and hoist yourself out of water. 
  • Immediately begin compression on an adult manikin for 1 minute or 100 compressions; stand and listen to directions from instructor. 
  • Quickly walk over to an elevated lifeguard stand, climb onto lifeguard stand, sit down, look near your feet for a colored shape, and find the matching colored shape while scanning the pool area. 
  • Scan and identify an object located somewhere in the pool area. 
  • Stand up and blow a whistle loud and clearly shout “the Y is great”  

Why work at the Y?

Additionally, Y benefits include availability of health insurance, ability to establish a retirement plan based on your salary with no requirement for you to contribute, training, professional development and competitive pay.

Meet Alyssa, Y Lifeguard

Equal Opportunity Employer

The YMCA of Greater Kansas City is an Equal Opportunity Employer/Disabled/Protected Veteran and committed to diversity and inclusion throughout our organization.