The highest paid beach lifeguard in Los Angeles made nearly $400,000 in 2019 while 82 others earned at least $200,000 or more over the course of the year.
According to a report from Forbes, Fernando Boiteux raked in $391,971 in 2019, making him the highest paid lifeguard in the city.
As the acting chief lifeguard, Boiteux had a salary of $205,619, perks of $60,452 and benefits of $125,900.
Fernando Boiteux (left) raked in $391,971 in 2019, making him the highest paid lifeguard in Los Angeles. The second top earner was Captain Daniel Douglas (right), whose total compensation was $368,668
Top Five Highest Paid Lifeguards by Salary
1. Fernando Boiteux, acting chief lifeguard
2019 Pay Breakdown: $391,971
Breakdown: Salary of $205,619, perks of $60,452 and benefits of $125,900.
2. Daniel Douglas, captain
2019 Total Pay: $368,668
Breakdown: Salary $140,706, overtime pay $131,493, ‘other pay’ $21,760 and benefits equaling $74,709.
3. Jeffrey Horn, lifeguard captain
2019 Total Pay: $254,382
Breakdown: Salary $135,587, overtime pay $93,809, and ‘other pay’ $24,986.
4. Patrick O’Neill, lifeguard captain
2019 Total Pay: $249,556
Breakdown: Salary $136,692, overtime pay $95,302, and ‘other pay’ $14,562.
5. Timothy Arnold, lifeguard section chief
2019 Total Pay: $204,182
Breakdown: Salary $177,867 and ‘other pay’ $26,315
The second top earner was Captain Daniel Douglas, whose total compensation was $368,668 that included a base pay of $140,706, $131,493 in overtime pay, $21,760 in ‘other pay’ and $74,709 in benefits.
It’s unclear what is meant by ‘other pay’.
Forbes, citing its own auditors at OpenTheBooks.com, reported that 82 lifeguards earned $200,000 or more in 2019.
The report noted that 31 lifeguards made between $50,000 and $131,493 in overtime.
Of the $368,668 that Douglas made in 2019, $131,493 was overtime pay.
Behind Douglas was lifeguard captain Jeffrey Horn, who brought in a total of $254,382.
Lifeguard captain Patrick O’Neill earned $249,556 and rounding out the top five earners was lifeguard section chief Timothy Arnold who made $204,182.
The majority of lifeguards were men, but there were two women who were top earners.
Virginia Rupe made $281,000 and Christine Linkletter brought in $279,980, according to Forbes.
Rupe and Linkletter barely made it into the top 20 for highest-paid lifeguards in Los Angeles, with overtime pay making up the majority of their earnings.
And if the salaries aren’t surprising enough, many of the lifeguards who saved lives and were awarded the Medal of Valor were not a part of the top earner.
In 2020, Edward Macko won the medal but only earned $134,144 in compensation.
According to Forbes, Macko pulled a man from the rough waters of a Palos Verdes gorge.
Meanwhile, pool life guards aren’t even paid half of what most beach lifeguards are paid.
The highest paid pool lifeguard in Los Angeles County only made $46,997, including pay and benefits.
According to the report, California public employees cost taxpayers $45billion a year.
In other comparisons, some of these top paid lifeguards are making more or just as much as some surgeons, lawyers and top cops in Los Angeles.
The majority of lifeguards were men, but there were two women who were top earners. Virginia Rupe (right) made $281,000 and Christine Linkletter (left) brought in $279,980
The average salary for a surgeon ranges between $382,793 and $537,227. Lawyers in Los Angeles make on average between $96,092 and $127,079.
The chief of police in Los Angeles makes more than $307,000.
LA County’s top-paid employee is a physician who makes more than $1million, which includes overtime pay and benefits.
According to Transparent California, the top 10 employees of the county all are doctors who bring in more than half a million a year.
While there has been debate about the salary of LA’s highest paid lifeguards, those whose salaries are in question note that they have decades of service and are considered public-safety employees under the fire department, just like fire captains and chiefs.