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City raises lifeguard pay to $16.75 an hour

tucson lifeguard
Posted at 12:33 PM, Jun 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-07 15:43:29-04

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — The City of Tucson is giving lifeguards a hefty pay raise.

In a move geared to make up for a lifeguard shortage, the city will now pay $16.75 per hour, up from the $15 hourly rate established in February.

The goal is to hire 200 additional lifeguards in order to staff summer pool operations, swim lessons and youth camps.

Lifeguards must be 15 years old and pass an American Red Cross lifeguard training class, as well as be vaccinated for COVID-19 and meet these physical requirements:

  • American Red Cross CPR for the Professional Rescuer Certification 
  • First Aid Basics 
  • Lifeguard Certification 
  • Swim test 
  • Swim 300 yards combination of front Crawl (freestyle) and breaststroke, continuous swim, but not timed  
  • Tread water for two minutes with hands out of water  
  • Retrieve a 10-pound dive weight from 7 feet deep, surface, and swim 20 yards with the weight, using legs only and exit the pool without using a ladder within 100 seconds. 
  • Swim 500 yards including front crawl, breaststroke, elementary backstroke, and sidestroke  
  • 25-yard sprint 18 seconds or less  
  • Tread with 10-pound dive weight for 60 seconds using legs only 
  • Enter deep water and surface dive to retrieve a 10-lb dive weight from 12ft deep and bring it to the surface in 13 sec or less (11 seconds if you dive straight into deep water, but surface dive requirement is preferred)  
  • Swim 25 yards sidestroke while carrying 10-pound dive weight on hip in under two minutes (goal time is 1:20) 

To apply for a lifeguard job, visit the City's website.

Phil Villarreal is the senior real-time editor for KGUN 9. He is also a digital producer and host of "Phil on Film" seen weekly on Good Morning Tucson, Phil moved to KGUN after 17 years with the Arizona Daily Star. He is married and has four children. Share your story ideas and important issues with Phil by emailing or by connecting on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.