Governor Hochul announces pay increases for lifeguards to address shortage

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) – Lifeguard recruitment efforts are underway, including Digital Recruitment Campaign, to staff state beaches and pools. State lifeguard pay has increased up to 34 percent to attract qualified people and ensure beaches and pools stay open.

On Wednesday Governor Kathy Hochul directed a pay increase for state lifeguards. Starting pay rates for lifeguards at upstate facilities will increase 34 percent, from $14.95 per hour to $20 per hour, and 21 percent for lifeguards at downstate facilities, from $18.15 per hour to $22 per hour.

"All New Yorkers deserve the opportunity to safely enjoy our public beaches and pools this summer," Governor Hochul said. "With a lifeguard shortage threatening access to swimming facilities, we are aggressively recruiting more lifeguards to ensure safe access to outdoor recreation during the summer months."

The new pay rates will go into effect immediately for lifeguards at swimming facilities operated by the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and the Department of Environmental Conservation.

Pay rates will also increase for lifeguards with more than two seasons of experience, ranging from five percent to 30 percent, depending on location and experience.

Lifeguards must meet certain eligibility criteria, which includes successfully completing the qualifying procedure before being hired. For a current schedule of qualifying dates, more information about hiring requirements, and an application, visit here.