Top LA Lifeguards Make $300,000 A Year

Image Credit: iStock Photos, nata_rass

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One thing’s for sure, these are no beach bums.

Seven Los Angeles County lifeguards made more than $300,000 in 2019, and 82 brought in over $200,000, according to a new investigation by Forbes.

Wall Street Sum, Santa Monica Sun

While Pamela Anderson made $300,000 per episode to play an LA lifeguard on Baywatch, these real-life rescuers are doing pretty well for themselves.

LA County’s highest beach patrol earner was acting chief lifeguard Fernando Boiteux, who earned $391,971 total from salary ($205,619), perks ($60,452) and benefits ($125,900) in 2019, the latest year for which figures are available.

For many of the top earners, it wasn’t just Wall Street money. They were holding down Wall Street hours, too, with overtime skyrocketing their paychecks.

  • The second highest earner, Captain Daniel Douglas, earned a mammoth $131,493 in overtime pay on top of $140,706 in base salary, $21,760 in “other pay” and $74,709 in benefits. All for a cool $368,668.
  • Thirty-one lifeguards earned $50,000 to $131,493 in overtime during the year.

Two Major Snags: Apart from the pay itself — which some may call excess public spending within California’s $45 billion public payroll — there were a couple of big concerns.

  • Almost all of the top-paid lifeguards were men. Only two of the top-twenty high-earners in LA County were women.
  • Many of those who won the Medal of Valor, in other words lifeguards who performed extraordinary acts of heroism, didn’t crack the top earners.
the takeaway

Maybe that high school summer job was better for your C.V. than you realized.