Tucson Increases Lifeguard Pay Amid Extreme Shortage

TUCSON, AZ — Tucson Parks and Recreation has upped its lifeguard pay for the second time this year, to $16.75 per hour, in response to an extreme lifeguard shortage.

The city first increased lifeguard pay in February to $15 per hour.

The department is hoping to hire 200 more lifeguards so it can safely manage pool operations, swimming lessons and youth camps, the city said in a news release.

The city has only opened 10 pools so far this summer because of the shortage, but its goal is to hire enough lifeguards to open 10 more pools as soon as it can.

The minimum age for a lifeguard is 15 years old, and American Red Cross lifeguard training classes are mandatory. Tucson Parks and Recreation offers certification classes.

“The lifeguard class is an intense, fast-paced course and strong swim skills are required,” the city said. “Anyone interested who wants to practice can go to an open City pool and utilize the deep ends and lap lanes prior to taking the class.”

A waitlist for certification classes is open online, and participants will be contacted as classes become available.

The City of Tucson requires all employees, including lifeguards, to be vaccinated for COVID-19 by their scheduled start date. You can apply here.

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