Facility News

Urgent Notices

  • Natatorium Hosting YMCA W. District Swimming Championships! Closed Fri 3/6 after 2PM and all day Sat/Sun 3/7-8. Will reopen at our standard time Monday morning.


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).

Acceptable lifeguarding certifications include only the following programs.  If you were certified by a different program (e.g. Beach Rescue, USLA, RLSA), you would have to first complete one of the following approved courses in order to be eligible to work.

      • American Red Cross Lifeguarding / First Aid / CPR/AED
      • YMCA Lifeguarding
      • StarGuard Lifeguarding
      • Ellis & Associates Lifeguarding Certification**

        ** Note: E&A "Licenses" may not be automatically transferable There may be a process to "release" your license or issue you a certification at an additional fee. You will need to speak with E&A or your employer/instructor if you have an E&A license rather than an E&A Certification.

Our expectations for all Penn State lifeguards are very high. Our lifeguards are highly trained and work to polish their skills and abilities throughout the course of their employment. Once hired, lifeguards undergo a pre-service training program before assuming lifeguarding responsibilities. Then all lifeguards participate in an ongoing program of in-service training, for a total of four hours of training per month. Completion of this training is a condition of employment. It is this commitment to excellence that separates Penn State lifeguards from others. Please review our Code of Conduct as well as our Lifeguard Evaluation to get a better understanding of lfieguard expectations.

If you think you have what it takes to become a Penn State lifeguard, please download and review our Lifeguarding Application Packet. Completed applications may be returned to the Aquatics Administration office at the McCoy Natatorium.

Pre-Employment Skills & Knowledge Test

Those applicants that meet our eligibility requirements will be invited to participate in a skills and knowledge evaluation (written exam) which includes lifeguarding and CPR/AED skills in addition to timed swimming events. This evaluation may take up to 3 hours to complete. We will then select our strongest applicants for individual interviews with our management team before a final selection is made.

Please come to the pre-employment test prepared with:

  • Original Lifeguarding / First Aid / CPR / AED certificate(s). Copies of certificates or letters from instructors are not acceptable. We must see the original certification / license.
    • If you completed a class but your certificates have not arrived, we will make every effort to work with you to see what options are available. However, we must maintain a copy of your certificate on file.
  • Proof of Eligibility to Work in the U.S. (Federal I-9 Form explained below)
  • Cancelled check or banking information - If offered a position you be asked to complete the Automatic Payroll Deposit Form for payroll purposes.
  • Bathing Suit
  • Towel
  • CPR Pocket Mask
  • Uniform deposit ($20 Cash/Check) - If offered a position, lifeguards will be required to contribute about 50% ($20) toward their Penn State lifeguard uniform. Each September thereafter, lifeguards will receive a $25 "Guard Cash" allowance to be applied to the purchase of additional uniform items.

Upcoming Evaluation Sessions:

Summer 2015 Lifeguard Tryouts
Reservation Required!

To Be Announced
Please contact mas1000@psu.edu


To reserve a space, please contact Meredith Stille , Assistant Director of Aquatics.


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.


Prepare for your skills test and written exam!


Many lifeguard applicants can perform the required swimming skills, but are very challenged with passing the knowledge components of the written exam. First Aid and CPR/AED seem to be areas where lifeguard applicants tend to be very weak. We strongly encourage you to review your lifeguarding and CPR textbooks in preparation for your written exam. This is even more important if you haven't looked at the books since the first time you took your lifeguarding class.

Below are free digital copies of the current American Red Cross lifeguarding participant manual as well as the NEW CPR/AED for the Professional Rescuer and Healthcare Provider course. The pre-hire exam is based upon the new ECC 2010 CPR Standards, in which there are a few significant differences from the old ECC 2005 Standards. Please review all materials carefully to maximize your test score.

Link to the NEW American Red Cross Lifeguarding participant manual:


Link to the NEW American Red Cross CPR Professional Rescuers and Health Care Providers workbook:




If you have questions about working as a Penn State lifeguard, please contact Meredith Stille, Assistant Director of Aquatics.



Customer Service

The McCoy Natatorium hires Customer Service Representatives to staff our main customer service desk and to monitor the Fitness Loft. Preference is given to work study recipients. Applications are available online or may be picked up at the Natatorium. Please return completed applications in person to the Natatorium's administrative offices.



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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

If you have the certifications needed to teach any of our specialty programs, please return your completed application to the Aquatics Administration Offices at the McCoy Natatorium. For Red Cross Instructors, your Red Cross Instructor ID number is required. This can be obtained by contacting your American Red Cross chapter of authorization and speaking with someone in the Health & Safety department.


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.