A chief lifeguard in Los Angeles, California, made earnings nearing $500,000 in 2020, and several other lifeguards earned wages in the corporate-executive range that year.
“Being a lifeguard in California can be unbelievably lucrative,” founder and CEO of OpenTheBooks.com Adam Andrzejewski wrote in a Forbes article published Saturday. “If we had only known, many of us would have packed our bags and headed west for a career on the California beach.” (RELATED: Lifeguard Rips Off Prosthetic Leg To Save Man Drowning Trapped In Sinking Car)
OpenTheBooks.com used data from Freedom of Information Act requests and data provided on Transparent California. Andrzejewski’s article documents their findings.
The acting Chief Lifeguard, Fernando Boiteux, earned $391,971 in 2020, according to OpenTheBooks.com. Boiteux had earned $205,619 as his salary, $60,452 as perks and $125,900 in benefits.
Dream job alert! Los Angeles County’s “acting chief lifeguard” made $392k in 2019 https://t.co/h0Qx5kyKND— Lachlan Markay (@lachlan) March 29, 2021
He was not the only lifeguard to earn tons of money in 2020, OpenTheBooks.com found. Seven lifeguards made earnings exceeding $300,000 that year.
After Boituex, the second highest-earning lifeguard was Captain Daniel Douglas. In 2020, Douglas made $140,706 in base salary, and $131,493 in overtime compensation, with $21,760 in “other pay” and $74,709 in benefit. Douglas’s total earnings added up to $368,668.
OpenTheBooks.com found that most of the highest-earning lifeguards were male, with only two women falling in the top-twenty high earning lifeguards: Captain Virginia Rupe, who made $281,000, and Section Chief Christine Linkletter, who made $279,980.
Contrary to the assumption high pay was for extraordinary heroism, Andrzejewski stated all the lifeguards who won the Medal of Valor, an award recognizing bravery in saving lives, failed to make it to the 2020 list of LA County’s highest-earning lifeguards.