"Mass. having a hard time finding lifeguards this summer; Reflects a trend officials deem worrisome" by Rosa Nguyen Globe Correspondent June 12, 2015
The shortage continues despite yearlong recruiting attempts. Flashing orange highway signs advertise lifeguard positions. DCR officials fill high school guidance departments with fliers and visit schools in October, promoting lifeguard classes offered throughout the winter. The department’s Lifeguard Diversity Program offers free training for underprivileged youths, providing CPR and lifeguard certification at no cost to trainees.
The wages aren’t bad, either, at $13.26 an hour. But these benefits may not be enough to sway the high school and college-aged crowd.
Elizabeth Walker, 21, an MIT student and former lifeguard, said better-paying jobs could easily be found elsewhere, with some university jobs paying $20 to $30 an hour. Several college students said they pursued internships relevant to their field and used their summers to network and begin lifelong careers.
Other former lifeguards said the job was too physically strenuous.
“I burned myself out,” said Luke Schlueter, 20, who worked for three years as a lifeguard in a St. Louis pool. “The temperature reached the mid-90s, with 75 percent humidity. Doing that five hours a day, every day, was miserable.”
While Dwinell concedes lifeguard jobs aren’t for everybody, he said they can be a great learning tool for students entering health care or public safety fields....
At least things get better when you graduate.
UPDATE: Lifeguards finally get into the swim of things at Mass. beaches
There were no other jobs available!