LA County hiring pool lifeguards for 2021 summer season – Daily News

on Mar17
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Ready to take the plunge?

The Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation is looking to hire hundreds of poolside lifeguards for its 2021 summer season at a starting wage of $18.27 an hour. Qualified applicants must be at least 17 years old by June 1 and submit online applications by March 27.

The summer season begins June 12 and runs for 10 weeks.

The county employs more than 700 youths and young adults each year as pool lifeguards, senior lifeguards, pool managers, locker room attendants and cashiers. Lifeguards provide about 10,000 swimming lessons annually to children of all ages.

Training on the job

Applicants with qualifying experience who are selected for a senior pool lifeguard or pool manager position can earn up to $26.89 an hour.

New hires will participate in an 80-hour paid training program where they earn certifications in first aid, CPR and how to use an automated external defibrillator, among other skills. Qualified lifeguard applicants must also complete a 500-yard swimming test in nine and a half minutes or less.

Lifeguards provided 113 “assists” during the 2018-2019 summer swim season. That included swimming rescues and a variety of other mishaps, such as someone hitting their head on a diving board or a bicycle accident just outside the pool area.

60% make the grade

Joe Goss, a regional director with Parks and Recreation, said the swim test and overall vetting process weed out a fair number of job seekers.

“Several hundred people apply, but when it comes to meeting all of the requirements, including the training, drug screening and swim test … it’s challenging,” he said. “About 60% make it.”

The positions are mostly part-time with flexible hours for those looking to supplement their income. The workweek includes evenings, weekends and holidays.

“We see the full spectrum of applicants,” Goss said. “There are a lot of high school and junior college students, but we also have retired people who can still meet and pass the swim requirements. We have employees in their 60s who can out-swim others in their early 20s.”

Most lifeguards work 30 to 40 hours a week, he said.

L.A. County operates 30 facilities with 42 pools and an aquatics program for children and families who otherwise wouldn’t have access to swimming pools. The facilities attract nearly 760,000 visitors a year.

Classes are offered for all ages, ranging from a “learn to swim” program to recreational swimming and water-exercise classes. Water aerobics with low-impact movement are available for seniors, which allows them to socialize while also providing mental health benefits.

COVID-19 guidelines

The county’s pool facilities were temporarily closed last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Outdoor usage and programming at pools are slated to reopen for the summer, although that will be contingent on health guidelines.

Los Angeles County’s latest Feb. 12 COVID-19 guidelines require indoor pools to remain closed, although outdoor facilities can be open.

Occupancy levels will be reduced and space maximized at Los Angeles County-run pools to enable at least 6 feet of distance between people. Breaks and meal times will likewise be staggered to reduce occupancy in rooms at any given time.

“The requirements seem to change every time there is a health office update,” Goss said. “We’ll be able to have lap swimming, but it will only be two lanes open and they’ll have to start at opposite ends of the pool.”

To get more information on the jobs listings or to apply, visit

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