NYC Lifeguard Pay Bumped to $22 Per Hour

 NYC Lifeguard Pay Bumped to $22 Per Hour

NYC Parks Commissioner Sue Donoghue and DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido announced on Thursday, February 1 that the City has reached an agreement with the lifeguard union represented by DC 37 to raise hourly wages for seasonal lifeguards to $22.00 per hour.

In addition, beginning summer 2024, returning seasonal lifeguards and chief lifeguards will receive a $1,000 bonus if they work through peak season. Based on the agreement, the new hourly salary has been made permanent.

“Every New Yorker deserves to safely enjoy our city’s pools and beaches this summer, and that starts with ensuring we have the lifeguard ranks that we need. I’m proud of the critical deal we’ve reached with DC 37 to give lifeguards the raises they deserve, which will undoubtedly encourage more people to become lifeguards, help address staffing shortages, and prioritize the safety of New Yorkers,” New York City Mayor Eric Adams said. “This administration has made strides in improving the way we hire, recruit, and retain lifeguards — and we’re hopeful that these wage increases and bonuses will allow as many New Yorkers as possible to take advantage of our pools and beaches in the coming years.”

“Parks and DC 37 recognize the essential role lifeguards play in safeguarding New Yorkers at our beaches and outdoor pools. As we remain laser focused on rebuilding our seasonal lifeguard ranks, this salary agreement will aid retention by rewarding returning lifeguards, while making lifeguarding a more viable and attractive career for new recruits,” NYC Parks Commissioner Sue Donoghue said. “Being a seasonal lifeguard is more than just a job — it’s an opportunity to be a part of a brave team dedicated to public service. With the U.S. currently facing a nationwide shortage of lifeguards, it’s never been more important for courageous New Yorkers to step up and answer the call. We encourage all qualified individuals to register for a qualifying test today, and for past lifeguards to get recertified to serve their City again in 2024.”

“We are proud to have negotiated a $22 per hour wage and $1,000 retention bonus for our lifeguards. While we battle the same shortages facing the rest of the country, this new agreement gives New York City a competitive edge while preparing for the summer and continuing our members’ legacy of keeping area pools and beaches safe,” said Henry Garrido, Executive Director of District Council 37.

Qualifying exams for new seasonal lifeguards began in December 2023 and are now ongoing at more than 15 pools around the city, including recreation centers and local schools. Dates are available through March 2. You must be able to swim 50 yards in 45 seconds or less, with proper form during the test. You must also have at least 20/30 vision in one eye and 20/40 in the other without corrective lenses (test on site of have a letter from eye doctor). All applicants must be 16 years old by the start of employment.

Register for a qualifying exam at:

Becoming a seasonal lifeguard is a rewarding experience that allows you to learn CPR, first aid, and rescue techniques while working alongside others who are committed to public safety by protecting New Yorkers at the City’s eight public beaches and 53 outdoor pools.

New Yorkers who worked as lifeguards in Summer 2023 are urged to get their recertification with the NYC Parks Lifeguard School to serve again this summer.

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