Los Angeles County boasts the world’s largest professional lifeguard association. But most of the association’s 850 guards work seasonally. The incomes of the 150 year-round lifeguards can seem surprisingly rich to anyone raised on the hit 1990s TV show, Baywatch – or anyone who worked as a summer lifeguard at the local pool.
Getting the exact number of Los Angeles County lifeguards was a bit of a challenge. We called up the Los Angeles County Fire Department. They transferred us to the Lifeguard Division in Manhattan Beach. That’s where we learned there are about 850 lifeguards but just 150 full-time lifeguards. The state controller’s website shows about 750 seasonal workers and about 120 full-timers. Transparent California shows over a thousand total lifeguards in 2015.
Here’s the list of the 10 highest paid lifeguards in LA County, which includes total pay and benefits. This list was pulled from the State Controller’s Office and Transparent California:
|Name||Job Title||Total Pay and Benefits|
|Fernando Boiteuz||Assistant Chief||$287,064.96|
|Terry Yamamoto||Section Chief||$265,972.43|
|Erik Albertson||Section Chief||$223,103.25|
There are 93 “Lifeguard Specialists” who earn an average total compensation of $148,000. At least 86 lifeguards earn salaries in excess of $100,000. Add in other benefits, and 128 lifeguards earn total compensation above $100,000. While we don’t know the details about lump pay and “other pay”, some individuals make excessive amounts in those categories. You can see each lifeguard’s pay here.
The cost between the full-time and seasonal lifeguards is massive. The average total wages for a full-time lifeguard is $115,995, while a seasonal lifeguard is $14,092. The average full-time lifeguard has a benefit package of $47,281. A seasonal lifeguard has a benefits package of $2,046.
Though there is not much accumulated overtime in the group, one captain earned base pay of $114,204 – and clocked $125,864 in overtime.