I grew up in Virginia Beach, the largest beach town in America, and I think guards there make something in the $10-$15/hr. range. If that.
I am giving the California life guards a bit of a hard time. Surf rescue can be a deadly serious business and there is quite a lot of responsibility associated with the job. Lord knows these guys do more work than a lot of administrators back in City Hall who are probably paid even more. But retiring at 50 with a $100K pension? Can’t go for that.
Newport Beach’s wealth masks the municipality’s self-inflicted fiscal problems, said Orange County Supervisor John Moorlach, a former county treasurer whose district includes the city. Full-time lifeguards hired before November 2012 are eligible to retire with full pensions when they turn 50. The city has the highest per-capita unfunded liability among Orange County’s 34 municipalities, Moorlach said. Eight city lifeguard managers made more than $100,000 in 2012, according to compensation data on state Controller John Chiang’s website. In all, 357 of the city’s 1,234 employees were paid more than $100,000 that year, the data show.