Being a lifeguard in Los Angeles is a pretty lucrative gig.
Seven top-ranking guards in LA County make an astonishing $392,000-a-year thanks and 82 lifeguards made more than $200,000 during the same year thanks to overtime.
Fernando Boiteux, LA County’s “acting chief lifeguard” made $391,971 in 2019 with a salary of $205,619, perks of $60,452, and benefits totaling more than $125,900 according to the Forbes report.
Overall, thirty-one lifeguards made between $50,000 and $131,493 in overtime in 2019.
Forbes also found that saving people’s lives doesn’t always equal higher pay. Many of the lifeguards who won the Medal of Valor – for exhibiting bravery and saving lives – were not on the highest-paid list.
The website also reported that most of the top-paid lifeguards were men and only two of the top 20 high-earners were women making $281,000 and $279,980.
Why beach lifeguards earn so much money is a question L.A. taxpayers might start asking. A lifeguard’s job can be dangerous, but it’s unclear why residents should foot the bill for so much overtime when the state’s public employees already cost taxpayers $45 billion a year.
For comparison, putting on a bathing suit in Los Angeles and patrolling the public beaches is a better paying job than an anesthesiologist, most surgeons, doctors, and even lawyers.
To be fair, this video shows just how many lives California lifeguards save on average each day.