Nearly 100 lifeguards earned over $200K in 2021, corporate-level earnings.
(LOS ANGELES) — Government spending watchdog OpenTheBooks.com released a report Tuesday that shows many Los Angeles County lifeguards are earning massive amounts of overtime on top of large base salaries, driving some of their total compensation into corporate executive territory. Last time the organization checked in 2019, the highest paid made $392,000; in 2021, the top earner, a lifeguard captain, collected $510,283 between salary, benefits, perks and $246,010 in overtime pay.
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Key findings from the group:
* Ten lifeguards last year made over $337,000 and $511,000 in total compensation
* The top-paid lifeguard of 2021 has accrued $980,007 in overtime since 2016
* Many brave lifeguards who earn Valor Awards fail to crack the top 20 earners
* 18 of the top 20 earners were men
Thanks to the Los Angeles County Lifeguard Association, lifeguards who have served for 30 years can retire on 79% of their pay, keeping these outsized earnings accruing for years to come.
OpenTheBooks.com Founder & CEO Adam Andrzejewski released this statement:
“Who knew that lifeguards who work in the sun, surf and golden sands of California could reap such unbelievable financial award? Why they earn so much is a question the Los Angeles taxpayer might start asking. While their jobs are important and dangerous, it’s unclear why they are now paid up to a half million dollars annually. You could say it’s time to put Baywatch on pay watch.”
Auditors at OpenTheBooks.com compiled the report based on Freedom of Information Act requests and benefit data listed at Transparent California.
Forbes, Top-Paid LA Lifeguards Earned Up To $392,000 In 2019
The Wall Street Journal, The ‘$392,000 Lifeguard’: Baywatch As A Union Shop