How much money do lifeguards make?

Lifeguards are known for their bravery, their golden tans, their physical endurance, and… their titles. Let’s face it: it feels good to say you’re a lifeguard. Although, an often-asked question is whether or not the pay is worth the work. In our eyes, it’s always a yes — it’s rewarding to be a lifeguard! But if you’re on the fence, we can provide some insights on the typical pay for a lifeguard.

The quick answer

Alright, page-skimmers! Here’s the quick n’ dirty answer: it depends. Location, experience, years in the field and type of work all factor into your pay. While we can’t give you an exact answer, we can say that the average lifeguard makes $10.50 an hour.

The long answer

You made it to the long answer — congratulations! The lifeguard industry is a growing one. It’s projected to grow 7% from 2018 to 2028. So, you know the drill. Supply and demand. If the industry continues to grow, or even skyrockets, that could really impact the way compensation is adjusted.

All of that aside, you can expect to see a variation in your pay depending on the state where you’re working. Not sure where yours ranks? Here are the 10 highest paying states for lifeguards, as of 2017:

  • Wyoming
  • Washington
  • Alaska
  • Florida
  • Illinois
  • Michigan
  • California
  • North Dakota
  • Minnesota
  • Arizona

All 10 of these states have an average lifeguard salary greater than $20,000 a year. Check out this diagram to see your state’s average.

The last thing that factors into your pay is the amount of hours you work. Most pools and beaches will adjust your pay according to full-time or over-time work. If you work under 40 hours, you’ll get paid a set amount per hour —

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