Need a summer job? Love the outdoors? You may want to become a New York State lifeguard. The starting pay has increased this summer to address lifeguard shortages, and it's not just by a couple of cents.

New York State Governor Kathy Hochul announced increased wages to help address staffing shortages at New York State Parks & Historic Sites beaches and pools and Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) campgrounds and day-use area beaches.

Young lifeguard with megaphone on beach background. Lifeguard on duty with a life buoy at the beach
Aleksandr Zhurilo

Pay Hikes

"All New Yorkers deserve the opportunity to safely enjoy our public beaches and pools this summer," Governor Hochul said. "With a lifeguard shortage threatening access to swimming facilities, we are aggressively recruiting more lifeguards to ensure safe access to outdoor recreation during the summer months."

Starting pay rates for lifeguards at upstate New York facilities will go from $14.95 per hour to $20 per hour. Downstate lifeguards will go from making $18.15 per hour to $22 per hour. The changes take effect immediately.

New York Lifeguard
Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Recruiting Events

On Friday, June 24, from 1 - 5 PM, the DEC is holding a lifeguard recruiting event at the Lake George Beach Day Use Area, commonly known as Million Dollar Beach. Learn more about the free training and certifications provided.

State Parks is holding on-demand Lifeguard Certification Courses. A lifeguard Digital Recruitment Campaign is running until at least July 4, 2022, on all digital platforms.

All applicants must be willing to work weekends and holidays throughout the summer. For staffing opportunities at DEC campgrounds and beaches visit the DEC website, call (518) 457-2500, Ext. 1, or email

safely lifeguard tower stand with rescue board on a sunny sandy beach seashore
mirror-images/Think Stock

Hundreds of Lifeguards

The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation oversees more than 250 parks, historic sites, recreational trails, golf courses, boat launches, and more, which are visited by 78 million people annually.

More than 500 seasonal employees are hired by the DEC annually to provide a variety of services throughout the summer season at 52 public campgrounds and 5 day-use areas throughout the Adirondack and Catskill Parks.

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