LA Lifeguards Bring In As Much As $500K

The careers of Los Angeles lifeguards appear to be going swimmingly.

According to a report from OpenTheBooks, LA’s lifeguards are drowning in dough. During 2021 there were 98 LA-based lifeguards who earned at least $200,000 dollars including benefits. Another 20 Mitch Buchannon’s made between $300,000 and $510,283.

Not bad scratch if you enjoy sun, swimsuits and the occasional life-saving rescue.

Amongst LA’s top-earning lifeguards were Captain Daniel Douglas, who pocketed $510,283 for his beach duties. Nearly half of his compensation ($246,060) was earned through overtime.

Stick around the beach alongside C.J. Parker for a while longer in exchange for a couple extra bucks?

Sure. Pass the sunscreen.

Pamela Anderson
SEPT 8TH 85 MALIBU, CALIF BAYWATCH Filming the BAYWATCH babes save wrestler Hulk Hogan from drowning. (Photo courtesy of Getty)

Right behind Captain Douglas in 2021 earnings was Chief Fernando Boiteux, who brought in just under $464k. His compensation package included more than $142,000 in benefits. Not included in said benefits package is the eye candy that regularly patrols Los Angeles beaches in little more than a shoelace between one’s cheeks, a layer of Coppertone and built-in flotation devices.

Models hit the beach
HERMOSA BEACH, CA – AUGUST 20: Reality Show “Remodeled” Swimwear Models Summer Shoot ’12 on August 20, 2012 in Hermosa Beach, California. (Photo by Vivien Killilea/WireImage)

Douglas and Boiteux weren’t the only ones benefiting from the beach last year. Thirty-seven lifeguards made between $50,000 and $247,000 just in overtime.

The least amount of total 2021 compensation pocketed by LA’s highest-earning lifeguards was only $377,477, courtesy of Captain Tom Seth.

Of his pay, just $25,620 was made via overtime.


Per OpenTheBooks, after 30 years of service, LA lifeguards can retire as young as 55 on 79-percent of their pay.

The only downside — you have to live on the Left Coast.


Follow along on Twitter: @OhioAF

Written by Anthony Farris


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  1. These articles from sources like Open The Books are extraordinarily deceiving. They run this stuff all the time in California to rile up the masses. Some lifeguards in California are sworn peace officers or firefighter/paramedics in addition to being a lifeguard, but work at the beach or lakes in both capacities. These sites cherry pick positions that make more money because they have dual duties AND they make a lot in overtime.

    Why do they make a lot of overtime? Because the city or country refuses to hire more positions but still has to staff the current positions. Its cheaper for the county to pay someone overtime so they save money on not paying someone else benefits, workers comp, payroll taxes, etc. And when this comes out, the county lets the employee take all the heat for their cheapness while making the employee who is saving them money look greedy. Because that’s how it works in California, where the employed are the bad guys.

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