It is not easy to be a lifeguard, and because of that, less and less people have made the choice to become one.

There has been a well-documented shortage of lifeguards across the state of New York, something that has impacted people both downstate, and here in upstate. It's becoming increasingly hard for pools, lakes and other water-based businesses to find people to man these critical seasonal positions.

Because of this, the state is upping the ante, and has made it more enticing to be a lifeguard this summer.

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New York Paying Lifeguards Significantly More in Summer 2022

According to an article from New York Upstate, starting pay for lifeguards will jump from $14.95 per hour to $20 per hour in Upstate New York this summer. That pay raise is a total of 34%, according to the article. The announcement was made by New York Governor Kathy Hochul on Wednesday.

In addition to the Upstate New York increase, lifeguards who work downstate will also see a bump in pay. Hourly rates will go from $18.15 per hour to $22 per hour, per the report.

While this pay raise is specifically intended to entice people to become lifeguards this summer, those who have remained lifeguards from past summers will also see bumps in pay, as their total take will increase anywhere from five to thirty percent.

Lifeguards on duty by an ocean / Unsplash (isi martínez)
Lifeguards on duty by an ocean / Unsplash (isi martínez)

All of these changes are aimed at increasing the amount of working lifeguards in the state, which in turn, will allow more pools, lakes and waterparks to remain open throughout the summer. The lifeguard shortage has caused certain pools across Upstate NY to close, or limit hours, during the early months of the summer, which has negatively impacted the ability for these small businesses to make the money they need to remain open in the long-term.

While being a lifeguard is undoubtedly a stressful summer job, the skills that one will learn are extremely important as teenagers become young adults. The ability to administer CPR, or to apply First Aid care, are two critical skills that everyone needs to know.

So, if you're looking for a summer job in the Capital Region, consider becoming a lifeguard. Your wallet may end up thanking you.

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