Lifeguarding in OC is totally lucrative; some make over $200k

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    May 11, 2011 11:51 PM GMT
    http://orangepunch.ocregister.com/2011/05/10/lifeguarding-in-oc-is-totally-lucrative-some-make-over-200k/44783/

    High pay and benefits for lifeguards in Newport Beach is the latest example of frustrating levels of compensation for public employees. More than half the city’s full-time lifeguards are paid a salary of over $100,000 and all but one of them collect more than $100,000 in total compensation including benefits.

    When thinking about career options with high salaries, lifeguarding is probably not one of the first jobs to come to mind. But it apparently should. In one of Orange County’s most desirable beach destinations, Newport Beach, lifeguards are compensated all too well; especially compared with the county annual median household income of $71,735.
    It might be time for a career change.

    According to a city report on lifeguard pay for the calendar year 2010, of the 14 full-time lifeguards, 13 collected more than $120,000 in total compensation; one lifeguard collected $98,160.65. More than half the lifeguards collected more than $150,000 for 2010 with the two highest-paid collecting $211,451 and $203,481 in total compensation respectively. Even excluding benefits like health care and pension, more than half the lifeguards receive a total salary, including overtime pay, exceeding $100,000. And they also receive an annual allowance of $400 for “Sun Protection.” Many work four days a week, 10 hours a day.

    Lifeguarding in Newport Beach is a pretty good gig, if you can get it.
    There is no denying that lifeguards protect swimmers and play a vital safety role in protecting numerous beachgoers every year. In 2010, the total number of rescues by Newport Beach lifeguards was 2,190. Even so, these salaries seem too generous, and the compensation levels don’t appear fiscally sane.
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    May 12, 2011 1:17 AM GMT
    Figures! I use to live in Newport beach. It's a wealthy city. Everyone drives some of the most exotic and pricey cars with the 3 million plus home to go with it.
  • eddieross69

    Posts: 841

    May 12, 2011 1:25 AM GMT
    I live in Huntington Beach, which is the next enclave north of Newport.

    It's a really tough job. There are so many people in the summer, most of who shouldn't be in the water. In addition, it's one of the busiest surfing spots around, hence the name Surf City.

    Definately warrants the salary.
  • Syphon

    Posts: 366

    May 12, 2011 1:25 AM GMT
    Seems like I'm lifeguarding at the wrong place.
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    May 12, 2011 1:38 AM GMT
    Sigh.

    You'd think that they'd at least be extremely attractive- but......

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  • musclmed

    Posts: 3284

    May 12, 2011 1:54 AM GMT
    riddler78 saidhttp://orangepunch.ocregister.com/2011/05/10/lifeguarding-in-oc-is-totally-lucrative-some-make-over-200k/44783/

    High pay and benefits for lifeguards in Newport Beach is the latest example of frustrating levels of compensation for public employees. More than half the city’s full-time lifeguards are paid a salary of over $100,000 and all but one of them collect more than $100,000 in total compensation including benefits.

    When thinking about career options with high salaries, lifeguarding is probably not one of the first jobs to come to mind. But it apparently should. In one of Orange County’s most desirable beach destinations, Newport Beach, lifeguards are compensated all too well; especially compared with the county annual median household income of $71,735.
    It might be time for a career change.

    According to a city report on lifeguard pay for the calendar year 2010, of the 14 full-time lifeguards, 13 collected more than $120,000 in total compensation; one lifeguard collected $98,160.65. More than half the lifeguards collected more than $150,000 for 2010 with the two highest-paid collecting $211,451 and $203,481 in total compensation respectively. Even excluding benefits like health care and pension, more than half the lifeguards receive a total salary, including overtime pay, exceeding $100,000. And they also receive an annual allowance of $400 for “Sun Protection.” Many work four days a week, 10 hours a day.

    Lifeguarding in Newport Beach is a pretty good gig, if you can get it.
    There is no denying that lifeguards protect swimmers and play a vital safety role in protecting numerous beachgoers every year. In 2010, the total number of rescues by Newport Beach lifeguards was 2,190. Even so, these salaries seem too generous, and the compensation levels don’t appear fiscally sane.


    Honestly I was not shocked. By the way, I bet not one pediatrician in OC makes more than 211k.

    That being said there is a hazard to the job ,and the hazard of the wayward rich drunks who sometimes will try to drown themselves.

    Alot of the money around OC has been depleted lately due to failed speculation and real estate. So I don't think those salaries are going anywhere.

    They do do a good job of kicking rif-raff of the beach. Which is a dirty job, and just like adult daycare. So its probably pays off for Newport Beach.



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    May 12, 2011 2:24 AM GMT
    I suppose if that's the rate for the seasoned lifeguards in Newport, I'd say it's probably worth it. Like others have said, it gets IMMENSELY busy there, especially in the summer and I can imagine it being rough at times. And in the end they do save lives (often saving stupid people from themselves) and do see with a lot of risk, physical exertion, etc...

    Now, if that's the same rate that the temp summertime high school kids get too, then yeah, I'm quitting my PhD pursuits and just donning a pair of red swimming trunks. To hell with hating the cold water, I'll get used to it icon_razz.gif
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    May 12, 2011 2:40 AM GMT
    Look at it this way: According to those figures, the average Newport Beach lifeguard makes about 150 rescues a year. Some, many or maybe most are life-saving. What price should we put on that?

    Those particular lifeguards probably put themselves at risk more than most police or firemen: Saving drowning and panicked swimmers amidst riptides, undertow, thunderstorms, jellyfish, great white sharks and deep, deep water. Really, it doesn't sound unreasonable to me.



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    May 12, 2011 3:14 AM GMT
    I think some people are SEVERELY underestimating what it would mean to be a lifeguard at one of the busiest beaches in America. In addition to the "crowd control" jobs that make the job unsavory - imagine the number of unruly drunks and fights and who knows what - there is a LOT of skill that is involved.

    Now I'm not saying that the summer guards at your local suburban pool are skilled technicians, but these guys are different. The surveillance and the readiness to respond requires barely comparable focus and skills of discerning. Those crowds are huge - picking out a drowning victim would be difficult at best. I imagine that, like most ocean-front guards, these people are trained well beyond basic lifeguarding certification. Typically, these guards are highly trained in some of the most advanced life support techniques. Finally, these guys are FIT. Swimming in the ocean isn't easy. Carrying somebody with you is harder. Doing it in between piles of unknowing swimmers makes things worse. And if your victim is drunk or has a frantic parent after them - all the more difficult. Endurance and obscene lung capacities are undeniably the name of the game. I have been swimming competitively for my entire life, and I still wouldn't be eager to challenge these guards - they'd truly kick the asses of most who tried. Any one of the saves that these guards make in a day is likely much, much more physical exertion than most of us deal with in a workout or a whole day. For those of you who haven't had the chance, backboarding in water isn't particularly easy. I can't freakin imagine how much more difficult it would be in the ocean, let alone at Newport Beach.

    Also - $400 for sun protection? Frankly, I think they deserve a larger allowance. 40 hours a week of extreme UV exposure is literally skin cancer waiting to happen.

    That kind of salary is totally warranted. Totally.
  • laguna07

    Posts: 124

    May 12, 2011 3:20 AM GMT
    No wonder my taxes are so high!
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    May 12, 2011 3:22 AM GMT
    FlyFreeEC saidI think some people are SEVERELY underestimating what it would mean to be a lifeguard at one of the busiest beaches in America. In addition to the "crowd control" jobs that make the job unsavory - imagine the number of unruly drunks and fights and who knows what - there is a LOT of skill that is involved


    The local police that patrol California beaches are responsible for crowd control, in my experience living here. And, generally, there are not a bunch of drunks fighting on the beach except for certain volleyball tournaments and July 4th, during which the beach cities tend to hire extra police protection.

    I would say unruly crowd control protection is needed three, maybe four times a year at most.

    Newport is a rich city, and I'm sure they can afford it. But in ten years of living in Cali I've never seen or heard of anything happening at Newport Beach that would warrant that kind of compensation.

    But it's up to the people of the City of Newport. Like I said, it's not like they can't afford to pay their lifeguards 200,000/yr to work part-time. If that's what they want to do, let em.
  • ncaahockey

    Posts: 59

    May 12, 2011 3:33 AM GMT
    riddler78 saidhttp://orangepunch.ocregister.com/2011/05/10/lifeguarding-in-oc-is-totally-lucrative-some-make-over-200k/44783/


    High pay and benefits for lifeguards in Newport Beach is the latest example of frustrating levels of compensation for public employees. More than half the city’s full-time lifeguards are paid a salary of over $100,000 and all but one of them collect more than $100,000 in total compensation including benefits.

    I don't believe these people are over-paid you must look at the total picture before you make a judgement call.


    When thinking about career options with high salaries, lifeguarding is probably not one of the first jobs to come to mind. But it apparently should. In one of Orange County’s most desirable beach destinations, Newport Beach, lifeguards are compensated all too well; especially compared with the county annual median household income of $71,735.
    It might be time for a career change.

    If you take a $100,000 salary and remove the health insurance and pension components (most business use 33% to compute this), the actually yearly salary these people make is roughly $70,000. In my opinion this is a perfectly good example of not looking at the complete picture and using figures to make public employes look over paid and have excessive benefits.


    According to a city report on lifeguard pay for the calendar year 2010, of the 14 full-time lifeguards, 13 collected more than $120,000 in total compensation; one lifeguard collected $98,160.65. More than half the lifeguards collected more than $150,000 for 2010 with the two highest-paid collecting $211,451 and $203,481 in total compensation respectively. Even excluding benefits like health care and pension, more than half the lifeguards receive a total salary, including overtime pay, exceeding $100,000. And they also receive an annual allowance of $400 for “Sun Protection.” Many work four days a week, 10 hours a day.

    Another item that is not mentioned in your figures is how long many of these employes have worked for the city? If many of them have been with the city for many year they will logically make more as they have been for a longer time.

    Also your statement about $400 a year for sun protection really isn't all that bad, that comes down to roughly $35 a month. Most of us know that a bottle of Quality sunscreen can easily cost over $10 dollars and used up in only a few days on vacation. These people are on the beach everyday and need proper sun protection to prevent cancer! If you worked a job where you were exposed to vapors and needed to wear a respirator wouldn't your employer provide a respirator for you for protection, if you cut wood in a forest wouldn't your employer provide safety glasses, and other protective items? Why not sunscreen for someone who works outside all day on the beach?

    Your last statement in this paragraph made me laugh. "Many work four days a week, 10 hour days" you state this like it's something BAD? Police, Firefighters, Nurses, etc... all work similar work schedules and put in their 40 hours in a work week. My question to you is, do you believe these people should work more than 40 hours a week and get paid the same?


    Lifeguarding in Newport Beach is a pretty good gig, if you can get it.
    There is no denying that lifeguards protect swimmers and play a vital safety role in protecting numerous beachgoers every year. In 2010, the total number of rescues by Newport Beach lifeguards was 2,190. Even so, these salaries seem too generous, and the compensation levels don’t appear fiscally sane.


    I have to totally disagree with your final assumption. Your figures show they saved around 2190 people last year. That is around 6 saves per day! That is an incredible amount of work considering the total number of people on the beach and the abuse they take from people that are drunk or just don't want to do what they are told to do.

    I don't believe you fully appreciate the value that public servants do for Newport Beach. That is a very wealthy part of the country and the wages they make are no more out of line than the average household income for that area. If you factor in the cost of housing, food, and gas for this area I believe you will further find that $70,000 a year really doesn't do much for you. If you go to another part of the country you might have a completely different picture.

    By manipulating the numbers to make it look like they make more is not fair to them or to the readers of this topic.

    These types of attacks on American workers is what is killing this country. It's "OK" for those in Corporate America to make hundreds if not millions of dollars gutting our workforce and "right sizing" then hiring people back with half the wages and fewer benefits than before. Just watch what Ford and GM are doing. They closed and fired THOUSANDS of workers (not to mention the thousands that were fired in industries related to the auto industry). Now GM and Ford are re-hiring workers back but at wages less than half and with barely any benefit packages. And they are suppose to be happy they have a job while both companies just reported millions in profits in the first quarter. This has been happening slowly over the last 30+ years but most of you are too young and most don't research what has been going on. Corporation use to value their employees and pay them accordingly with good wages and benefits. But wall street has changed all that and greed is now the determining factor of the bottom line. If the company is doing well and reports profits share holders are never happy unless they can get a double digit return on their investment.

    I pray this all changes in the future and we all learn that the bottom line is not always the $

    Sorry for the long post but I've seen other topics regarding this and have stayed on the sideline way too long. It's time the American work force take back this Country and get our share of the American Pie before Corporate America takes everything.
  • sportsjockla

    Posts: 498

    May 12, 2011 3:51 AM GMT
    No wonder The OC is always having money problems. They've already filed bankruptcy several years ago
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    May 12, 2011 3:58 AM GMT
    Ncaahockey- I hope you do know that 'riddler78' did not write the article- he didn't even comment on it... icon_confused.gif
  • ncaahockey

    Posts: 59

    May 12, 2011 10:26 AM GMT
    A1EX - It does not matter if riddler78 wrote the article or not, the way the article was written is completely biased and needs to fairly compare lifeguards with other workers from that area. If he would have further copied the full story so that you could see it was clearly written by people that like to vilify public employees.

    As you do read the article, towards the bottom there is a reference to a youtube video from Americans For Prosperity. Once I saw that I knew the article would be biased.

    The only way to combat biased articles is with facts and education.

    I should have made the distinction in my response to the article that I was responding to the article and not riddler78, for that please accept my apology.
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    May 12, 2011 11:02 AM GMT
    150 rescues per lifeguard is ALOT. Lifeguarding is a hard job in that kind of crowd. I worked 2 summers in Texas, and made 1 rescue. I got 9$ an hour. You guys shouldn't talk shit, it's probably harder and more stressful than ANY of your jobs.
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    May 12, 2011 11:02 AM GMT
    and you can be damn sure pretty much all of them have lifeguarded for most of their lives.
  • coolarmydude

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    Jul 17, 2011 7:45 PM GMT
    Are you sure they weren't citing the Baywatch actors' pay?
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    Jul 17, 2011 8:43 PM GMT



    According to Southbeach, making 200K a year does not mean you're wealthy. In fact he openly sneers at those who think so...

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    Jul 18, 2011 6:43 AM GMT
    If anything this exhibits the classcism that exists in the US. There's never any discussion of say whether those in the financial services industries deserve their pay -- they always do no matter what happens or what they do. But those outside that arena, such as a lifeguard, or any other profession that could be named, no matter what training or responsibilities they may have. These lesser professions never deserve the salary they receive let alone a 6 figure salay -- that's only reserved for the truly special no matter what they may or may not add to the economy, or how many may benefit from their work, training or expertise.

    There's a strong class divide to this discussion -- if you aren't a so called 'job creator' and how many jobs have they created? They you don't deserve the salary you get no matter what you may do, how hard you may work, or what training you may have -- you aren't worthy, and you aren't part of the trained elite. On the other hand it doesn't matter how much you may wreckd the economy or how much money the government may have bailed you out, but you're worth whatever pay we may give or whatever bonuses may be handed out merely for being a part of a certain group. How many jobs have bankers or much of the private sector created and that despite the fact they have record profits, and how is giving them more money going to create jobs, please to do tell, and how much money do they deserve? How much money do they create, and why other than title do they deserve the salaries they deserve, and what about that isn't class related?
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    Jul 18, 2011 12:49 PM GMT
    wrerick saidIf anything this exhibits the classcism that exists in the US. There's never any discussion of say whether those in the financial services industries deserve their pay -- they always do no matter what happens or what they do. But those outside that arena, such as a lifeguard, or any other profession that could be named, no matter what training or responsibilities they may have. These lesser professions never deserve the salary they receive let alone a 6 figure salay -- that's only reserved for the truly special no matter what they may or may not add to the economy, or how many may benefit from their work, training or expertise.

    There's a strong class divide to this discussion -- if you aren't a so called 'job creator' and how many jobs have they created? They you don't deserve the salary you get no matter what you may do, how hard you may work, or what training you may have -- you aren't worthy, and you aren't part of the trained elite. On the other hand it doesn't matter how much you may wreckd the economy or how much money the government may have bailed you out, but you're worth whatever pay we may give or whatever bonuses may be handed out merely for being a part of a certain group. How many jobs have bankers or much of the private sector created and that despite the fact they have record profits, and how is giving them more money going to create jobs, please to do tell, and how much money do they deserve? How much money do they create, and why other than title do they deserve the salaries they deserve, and what about that isn't class related?


    People should be paid what others are willing to pay them. It sounds like a tautology, but it's not. The problem is that when the other side of the equation is government is that the values are far more arbitrary given that government administrators are not spending their own money and in fact, are often influenced by campaign contributions by those with whom they are negotiating salaries. You are lumping and generalizing some actions in the economy - which were incentivized by bad policy decisions as a general case when none can be made.

    It would be nice though if you could justify any salary at any value but when it comes down to it, it depends on what someone else is willing to pay and that generally is representative of your productivity.
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    Jul 18, 2011 12:58 PM GMT
    IT IS UNFAIR !

    While an amateur Right Wing Pundit might spend 14+ hours of his day compiling and dispensing the various stories that he believes to have tangential relation to his overriding philosophy......

    .......a working man less consumed by bending other minds in his direction......

    ......can make BIG BUCK$ !
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    Jul 18, 2011 12:58 PM GMT
    riddler78 said
    wrerick saidIf anything this exhibits the classcism that exists in the US. There's never any discussion of say whether those in the financial services industries deserve their pay -- they always do no matter what happens or what they do. But those outside that arena, such as a lifeguard, or any other profession that could be named, no matter what training or responsibilities they may have. These lesser professions never deserve the salary they receive let alone a 6 figure salay -- that's only reserved for the truly special no matter what they may or may not add to the economy, or how many may benefit from their work, training or expertise.

    There's a strong class divide to this discussion -- if you aren't a so called 'job creator' and how many jobs have they created? They you don't deserve the salary you get no matter what you may do, how hard you may work, or what training you may have -- you aren't worthy, and you aren't part of the trained elite. On the other hand it doesn't matter how much you may wreckd the economy or how much money the government may have bailed you out, but you're worth whatever pay we may give or whatever bonuses may be handed out merely for being a part of a certain group. How many jobs have bankers or much of the private sector created and that despite the fact they have record profits, and how is giving them more money going to create jobs, please to do tell, and how much money do they deserve? How much money do they create, and why other than title do they deserve the salaries they deserve, and what about that isn't class related?


    People should be paid what others are willing to pay them. It sounds like a tautology, but it's not. The problem is that when the other side of the equation is government is that the values are far more arbitrary given that government administrators are not spending their own money and in fact, are often influenced by campaign contributions by those with whom they are negotiating salaries. You are lumping and generalizing some actions in the economy - which were incentivized by bad policy decisions as a general case when none can be made.

    It would be nice though if you could justify any salary at any value but when it comes down to it, it depends on what someone else is willing to pay and that generally is representative of your productivity.


    You're really grapsing now. I'm unaware of any huge "lifeguard" union using it's influence to run up pay and benefits from government apparachicks. icon_rolleyes.gif
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    Jul 18, 2011 1:00 PM GMT
    PresentMind saidIT IS UNFAIR !

    While an amateur Right Wing Pundit might spend 14+ hours of his day compiling and dispensing the various stories that he believes to have tangential relation to his overriding philosophy......

    .......a working man less consumed by bending other minds in his direction......

    ......can make BIG BUCK$ !


    Sorry, I have no idea what you're saying.
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    Jul 18, 2011 1:01 PM GMT
    Christian73 saidYou're really grapsing now. I'm unaware of any huge "lifeguard" union using it's influence to run up pay and benefits from government apparachicks. icon_rolleyes.gif


    Ah so for clarification you are saying that $200k salaries for lifeguards is money well spent versus other priorities a city or state might have?