Lifeguards at state-run beaches, campgrounds getting big pay raise

Lifeguard(MGN, US Air Force / Jon LaDue)
Published: Jun. 22, 2022 at 2:30 PM EDT
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WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) - Albany is giving lifeguards a big pay raise to work at state-run beaches, pools and campgrounds.

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.

The state says it’s offering the raises to help address a staffing shortage at New York State Park beaches and pools and Department of Environmental Conservation campgrounds and day-use areas beaches.

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.

State Parks provides lifeguards at swimming pools and beaches at 70 parks across the state.

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.

State Parks is holding on-demand Lifeguard Certification Courses and also launched a lifeguard Digital Recruitment Campaign that has already gained approximately 1.2 million impressions to date across a variety of platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, Indeed, YouTube, and Vistar, and will run until at least July 4, 2022.

Last year, New York lowered the lifeguard age restriction to 15 across most of the state and is now proactively adjusting lifeguards from park to park to address shortages until full staffing capacity is achieved.

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