INDIANAPOLIS — Based on the current job market, it’s hard to imagine an unemployed lifeguard around Indianapolis.

A brief search of job posting sites finds dozens of employers looking to hire a lifeguard for both summer and year-round jobs.

This is the environment the Indianapolis Parks and Recreation Department is looking to in hopes of not repeating last year’s lifeguard hiring effort.

“We had a hundred lifeguards,” said Phyllis Boyd, director of the city parks department.

But to keep 18 pools running, three times that number was needed. So, just eight city pools opened.

“A disappointing summer,” said Boyd. “We were actually talking about what are we going to do next year in the midst of trying to get last season worked out.”

The plan: put more money on the table.

The year, Indy Parks is offering lifeguards a starting wage of $15 per hour, plus signing bonuses. of $500 for applicants that complete training by April, and $250 for applicants that finishes training by May 5. Both bonuses kick in after 100 hours of work.

Mayor Joe Hogsett said he wishes the city’s current pay and incentives were around when he was a lifeguard in his youth.

“Had that been available in 1972, I would have had a big smile on my face.”

Another issue that cropped up last year was lifeguard applicants failing mandatory pre-employment testing. Now, free training is available, even for those who initially fail at testing.

Boyd said so far the early results of the new lifeguard recruitment effort have been good.

“Right now, we’ve got a 190, and we’re on our way to our 292 goal.”

People interested in lifeguard and other city parks jobs can find more information at