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May 11, 2021

Orange County, where lifeguards earn $200K per year

Who defends public worker pay? Public workers, mostly, but when it’s all said and done, who are we to sit and say government-paid employees shouldn’t earn a decent living?

603382_lifebelt Last month, after a report came out saying more than 70,000 Ontario public workers now earn over $100,000 each year, as many people defended the high pay as ripped into it.

This, though? This’ll be tough even for John Q. Civil Service to argue for. According to a new story in the Orange County Register, lifeguards in Newport Beach, Calif., earn a publicly-funded salary of as much as $211,000 per year.

No, this post isn’t meant to rehash the old “do public workers make too much?” argument, but what else can we say? Of the 14 full-time lifeguards working in Orange County, 13 collected more than $120,000 in total compensation (eight of which topped the $150,000 mark), two earned more than $200,000 and only one of the bunch, at $98,160.65, brought home less than $100,000 last year.

Here’s where some might say, Yeah, but it’s the OC. It’s all beach houses and Peter Gallagher out there.

Maybe. Yet the posh Orange County median household income is still only $71,735, below actually what the average Canadian home earns.

Of course, lifeguards are important workers. But are they more so than, say, nurses, who earn between $40,000 and $84,905 in Canada, according to Payscale.com, or paramedics, who appear to max out at about $70,000 annually?

Or, more to that, OC lifeguards may be pressured to look like this, but they probably shouldn’t earn up to four times what Canadian lifeguards (up to $45,327, Payscale says) do.

By Jason Buckland, MSN Money

*Follow Jason on Twitter here.



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...