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Employment Opportunities

The aquatic programs at Penn State University offer a variety of employment and educational opportunities for University and high school students and experienced adults as well. All of our employment positions include both work-study and wage payroll opportunities.  Preference will be given to students with a work study award.



Lifeguarding at Penn State aquatic facilities is a great way to maintain your water safety skills and certifications while also earning some extra money. 

Applicants must be currently certified in lifeguarding, first aid, CPR/AED for the Professional Rescuer, and Oxygen Administration. (We offer reduced cost training in Oxygen Administration for those needing this certification).

Click here for more information about becoming a Penn State Lifeguard. 


Required Background Checks for All Lifeguard Applicants and Instructors Working With Children (WSIs, LGIs)


All applicants must complete a variety of background checks before we can offer you a position. Because lifeguards and Water Safety Instructors may be working around or with minors, Pennsylvania law requires that you obtain the following three clearances: 

  • Pennsylvania State Police Criminal Background Check (SP-164)

  • Pennsylvania Child Abuse History Clearance Form (CY-113)

  • Federal (FBI) Fingerprint Criminal Background Check (Criminal History Report)

If you are interested in working during the Summer or Fall semesters, we strongly recommend that you begin working to obtain these clearances as soon as possible. It can take up to 4-6 weeks to process each clearance following your online submittal, so time is of the essence.  The fastest way to complete the clearances is to do so electronically. To process the clearances electronically, you will need to use a credit card.

The FBI Fingerprint Criminal Background Check requires you to visit an approved fingerprint testing location.  If you are under 18 years of age, you will need a parent/guardian to accompany you to the fingerprint location after you’ve first registered online. 

Once your clearances have been processed, you will receive via U.S. Mail a hard copy of your results.  (In some cases you may also receive an email with your clearance attached.)  It is important that you list you current mailing address so that the results get to you in a timely fashion.  If the results are sent to your permanent residence (e.g. parent’s home) someone will need to forward them to you at your school mailing address. Please keep in mind that we are not able to hire you until after all three clearances come in and after our Human Resources office reviews the results. We, therefore, recommend that you start the process as early as possible otherwise half the semester could go by before we can put you to work.

If we do offer you a position, we will be able to reimburse you for the costs of the clearances provided you submit receipts for each. If the results of these checks are such that we are not able to offer you a position, or if you do not print out receipts, we will not be able to reimburse you for the costs of the clearances.

For more information on how to obtain these clearances, please visit: http://www.universityethics.psu.edu/UniversityEthics/upload/Penn-State-Information-for-Completing-Publicly-Available-Background-Clearances_REVISED_3-25-2015.pdf

Customer Service

The McCoy Natatorium hires Customer Service Representatives to staff our main customer service desk and to monitor use of the swimming pools. Preference is given to work study recipients. Click here for additional information relating to our Customer Service positions.



Experienced instructors are needed for a variety of programs.

  • Water Safety Instructors are needed to teach our American Red Cross Learn-to-Swim Program and our private swimming lessons. (This position requires the three clearances explained above.)
  • Lifeguarding Instructors are needed to teach the American Red Cross Lifeguarding course in addition to in-service trainings and both first aid and CPR/AED courses. (This position requires the three clearances explained above.)
  • Certified Aquatic Exercise Instructors are needed to teach our Aquacise program. Certification from the Aquatic Exercise Association is preferred, although other certification programs may be accepted. Students with a fitness background who desire to lead water exercise programs are encouraged to obtain the requisite certifications.
  • American Red Cross First Aid and CPR/AED Instructors are needed to teach our Lay Rescuer CPR/AED and First Aid courses.

Click here for additional information on our various teaching positions.

Additional Opportunities

  • Being a Special Populations Program Leader is a great way to build your resume, especially for those majoring in fields such as kinesiology, gerontology, physical therapy, and recreation management. Most positions are volunteer, with the potential for wage payroll hire as needs arise. Email Teri Jordan for more information.
  • Independent Study and RPTM Internship credit can also be earned for a wide range of individualized projects related to Penn State's aquatics programs.

Proof of Eligibility to Work in the U.S.

If offered a position, you will need to provide proof of your eligibility to work in the U.S.  For a list of all documents that the government will accept as proof of your eligibility to work in the U.S., please see the federal I-9 form which you will be asked to complete upon hire.  Most often, applicants come prepared to show an ORIGINAL

  • U.S. Passport (Current); or

  • BOTH a Driver's License (or PSU ID) AND Social Security Card.

According to federal law, without these ORIGINAL documents, employers, are not allowed to hire you. Please come to school prepared with ORIGINAL documents (no copies, photos, scans, etc.). If you have a document from List A, that is easiest to process.  Otherwise, you will need an original document from BOTH List B and List C.

If offered a position, you will also be asked to complete the Automatic Payroll Deposit Form for payroll purposes. This will require a cancelled check or your banking information (routing number and account number). After hire, if you change your banking information, you will need to complete this form again.