Lifeguard Earnings Here May Have You Practicing Your Strokes

Highest-paid lifeguards in LA County earned almost 400K in 2019—more than top-earning NY cops
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 30, 2021 12:21 PM CDT
Calif. Lifeguards Earn More Than Top-Earning NY Cops
In this Jun. 29, 2020, file photo, a lifeguard keeps watch over a packed beach in Huntington Beach, Calif.   (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)

It pays well to be a lifeguard in Los Angeles County. According to Forbes, seven lifeguards made more than $300,000 in 2019, which was the most recent year for which data was available, while 82 lifeguards made more than $200,000. Thirty-one lifeguards made more than $50,000 in overtime pay, while three collected more than $100,000, per Forbes. Lifeguard Capt. Daniel Douglas pulled in the most in overtime pay with $131,493, plus $140,706 in base pay, $21,760 in "other pay," and $74,709 in benefits. That $368,668 in total compensation was enough for second best overall. Only Fernando Boiteux, the county's acting lifeguard division chief, earned more. He pulled in $391,971 in total compensation, with a $205,619 salary, $60,452 in perks, and benefits worth $125,900.

Both lifeguards earned more than New York's two highest-earning police officers in 2018, who brought in $323,562 and $317,795, reports the New York Post. This follows lifeguard shortages across the country. As KXTV reported, California had trouble recruiting lifeguards in 2019 despite offering starting wages at $14.52, or 29% above the national average. The data showed just two of the 20 highest-earning lifeguards were women, per Forbes. Virginia Rupe, a captain, earned $281,230, while section chief Christine Linkletter earned $279,980. A third of Los Angeles County's 1,001 lifeguards are pool lifeguards, but they earn significantly less than beach lifeguards, who require more training. The highest-earning pool lifeguard made only $46,997 in 2019. (Read more lifeguard stories.)

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