Lake Rescue & Safety Employment

UWPD Lake Rescue & Safety employs both Lifesaving Station Operators (TE’s) to work at the station and Student Lifeguards to guard at the popular Memorial Union swim pier. Please see the sections below for more information about the jobs and current job openings.

Lifesaving Station Operators (TE’s)

We are not hiring Lifesaving Station Operators at this time.


We employ Lifesaving Station Operators to work at the boathouse of the UW Lifesaving Station. The season of employment runs from April through October (see our hours for more details). Duties include operating two 31′ twin-screw rescue boats to assist UW and private boaters, maintaining a watchful eye on current lake users, and monitoring weather conditions.

We generally hire applicants with varying combinations of the following qualities/skills:

  • Knowledge of operating powerboats
  • Knowledge of operating twin-screw inboards
  • Successful completion of the Wisconsin DNR Boater’s Safety Course
  • Knowledge of non-motorized watercraft (sailboats, windsurfers, canoes, and kayaks)
  • Knowledge of lake rescue procedures
  • Knowledge of basic weather and lake conditions
  • Knowledge of Lake Mendota
  • Knowledge of basic CPR (CCR)/AED/first aid procedures
  • Knowledge of first responder/EMT procedures
  • Available to work an average of 30 hours per week, especially during the summer months
  • Minimum three-year commitment (more is preferred)

Student Lifeguards

We are not hiring Student Lifeguards at this time.


We employ Student Lifeguards to work at the Memorial Union swim pier. The lifeguarding season runs from the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day. Duties include ensuring the safety of swimmer and pier users and working closely with UWPD Lake Rescue & Safety. Shifts are seven days a week from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and from 4:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Guards will work approximately four shifts per week.

The following are REQUIREMENTS for working as a Student Lifeguard (there are NO exceptions):

  • Must have CURRENT student status OR be enrolled as a college student in the upcoming fall (does not need to be enrolled at UW-Madison)
  • Must be at least 18 years of age before the first day of employment
  • Must be able to attend a six-hour lifeguard orientation session in May
  • Must be available to work the entire summer with no long vacations or extended absences
  • Must have CURRENT certifications in the following for the ENTIRE summer:
    • Lifeguard certification
    • First aid certification
    • CPR (CCR)/AED certification
  • Committed to working approximately four days per week, including evenings and weekends (four five-hour shifts)
  • Minimum two years commitment (more is preferred)

We do NOT provide refresher lifeguard or CPR (CCR)/AED/First Aid training. Please check with your local community or American Red Cross for when these classes will be offered.