New York 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.
Beginning this summer, returning seasonal lifeguards and chief lifeguards will receive a $1,000 bonus if they work through peak season.
"Parks and DC 37 recognize the essential role lifeguards play in safeguarding New Yorkers at our beaches and outdoor pools," said NYC Parks Commissioner Sue Donoghue. "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."
Lifeguards currently keep New Yorkers safe at the city's eight public beaches and 53 outdoor pools.
"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,” said New York City Mayor Eric Adams. "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."
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. 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. Register for a qualifying exam here.