CHICAGO — The Chicago Park District is offering a $600 summer bonus in an effort to recruit more lifeguards.

Candidates must successfully complete all required trainings and fulfill their duties during the summer season.

In addition to the $600 bonus, the district is offering a free Divvy membership, tickets to Chicago Fire games and the chance to win a one-day pass to Lollapalooza.

“We rely on our summer workforce to fully deliver on the essential, quality summer programs and services that residents have come to expect from us. The retention bonus is one approach to attract and retain the most qualified and enthusiastic lifeguards needed to open all beaches and pools this summer,” said Chicago Park District CEO & Supt. Rosa Escareño. “In addition, we’re looking ahead to next year and focused on offering competing wages and building our future pipeline of summer workers and lifeguards disrupted over the past two years.”

During the summer, the average current wage will be raised to an equivalent of $17.45 an hour for new and returning hires and over $18 for current year-round lifeguards, according to the park district.

Bonus payments will be divided in two equal payments to be distributed with employee payroll checks during the season.

Last summer, the park district offered a $500 bonus for new lifeguards, but bumped it up to $600 in June to try to address staffing issues.

In Oct. 2021, former CEO Mike Kelly stepped down following an investigation into harassment and assaults of lifeguards by supervisors.

Chicago’s beaches will open on Memorial Day, the unofficial start of summer.

For more information to apply, visit