Washington State Facing Significant Lifeguard Shortage

Photo by Jonathan Borba from Pexels.

As school winds down you might be anticipating finally slipping into that summer vibe and going to the beach or a public pool. The last thing you would expect to find is beaches closed as the result of a statewide lifeguard shortage. Yet that is the issue we are facing right now. Currently, the city of Bellevue has only 21 lifeguards on staff for six beaches and a swimming pool according to King 5 News. That’s a mere three lifeguards per location, clearly not enough to ensure the safety of the visitors and the happiness of the workers. If they don’t get more lifeguards soon they will be forced to either restrict beach hours or close some beaches altogether. The city is in such desperate need of lifeguards that they are offering a starting rate of up to $18 an hour for new employees. Seattle is also facing a shortage with only 200 lifeguards on staff for their 19 beaches and 10 pools, only 6.9 lifeguards per location. Wages for Seattle lifeguards start at $19.51 an hour.

Last year the city experienced a similar shortage with beaches at Clyde, Chesterfield and Chism having no lifeguards at all for portions of the summer, with people being told to swim at their own risk. The hope is the same predicament won’t be repeated this year and that the cities can get enough lifeguards to successfully and safely sustain summer swimming.

If you are interested in applying for a lifeguarding job, Bellevue and Seattle are currently hiring. For more information about applying for a lifeguard position in Bellevue check the City of Bellevue website. For more information about the Seattle lifeguard positions, check out the City of Seattle website.