Need a summer side hustle? Try lifeguarding

May 25, 2023, 12:00 PM | Updated: May 26, 2023, 10:46 am

Consider lifeguarding for your summer side hustle. Lifeguard shortages are still a thing this year, but it's not as dire in Utah as it is elsewhere. (SL County Parks and Recreation)

(SL County Parks and Recreation)

SALT LAKE COUNTY, Utah — Last year at this time, about a third of the 309,000 public swimming pools in the country could not find enough lifeguards to open for regular hours. Salt Lake County suffered along with the rest of the country, facing the option of closing pools or limiting hours because of a shortage of lifeguards. So if you need a summer side hustle, this could be it. 


Is it as bad this year?

B.J. Fisher, director of Health and Safety for the American Lifeguard Association, said it will be as bad or worse this year.

The news is not as grim in Utah.

Salt Lake County Parks and Recreation has openings this summer, but they are in a much better position than last year.

“We are not experiencing a large shortage this year,” said Callista Pearson, communications manager for Salt Lake County Parks and Recreation. “We have 1,200 lifeguards for the summer season. Right now we are only short 160 lifeguards across 19 different pools in the county.”

Lifeguarding as a summer side hustle?

In Salt Lake County, “we have everything from 15-year-old lifeguards to much older, non-traditional lifeguarding staff,” Pearson explained.

Pool managers are promoting these positions to stay-at-home moms and retired individuals who have time and want to make some extra money.

“Unless we start looking differently at lifeguarding, not as young teenagers who don’t have to pay rent or buy food, but as a career, we will have a shortage,” Fisher said.


In Salt Lake County, there are four job requirements for lifeguards.

  1. They need to be at least 15 years old.
  2. They need to be able to swim 100 yards.
  3. They need to be able to pick up a 10-pound brick from the bottom of the pool.
  4. They need to be able to tread water for 30 seconds.

How’s the pay?

You may be surprised.

“We pay between $14 and $18 an hour,” Pearson said. “We also pay them for the training. Our swim instructors get between $16 and $19 an hour.”

If lifeguarding isn’t your thing, Salt Lake County is also looking for park caretakers, referees for various spots from rugby to soccer, swim instructors and camp support staff.

For more information on the county’s opportunities for a summer side hustle, stop by your local recreation center or go to its website.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Today’s Top Stories

Business + Economy

A new Washington Post-Ipsos poll shows that 75% of workers would prefer a 10-hour, four-day workwee...

Allessandra Harris

Four-day workweeks are growing in Utah once again, but this time they’re hybrid

A new Washington Post-Ipsos poll shows that 75% of workers would prefer a 10-hour, four-day workweek rather than the common 8-hour, five-day workweek.

2 days ago

Crews finish placing the Delta Center name on the former Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City, on May 25,...

Lindsay Aerts

Delta Center sign returns to the home of the Utah Jazz

Seventeen years ago a contract expired and the Delta Center became the Energy Solutions Center, then Vivint.

3 days ago

A grocery-shopping guru joined KSL Podcast D2 to offer tips and advice on how to pinch your pennies...

Curt Gresseth

How to cut down on your costs at the grocery store

A grocery-shopping guru joined KSL Podcast D2 to offer tips and advice on how to pinch your pennies while shopping for food.

9 days ago

A “now hiring” sign is pictured at Salt Lake Running Company in Salt Lake City on Friday, Nov. ...

Amie Schaeffer

Utah’s economy is slowing down, according to April employment report

Utah's job report for April showed strong job growth in rural communities, but also a slowing in Utah's economy.

9 days ago

The US Treasury Department is seen here in Washington, DC, on May 8. President Joe Biden has resurf...

Tami Luhby, CNN

Here’s how the 14th Amendment factors into the debt ceiling debate

Several liberal lawmakers in both chambers are pushing him to invoke the amendment rather than give in to Republican demands.

9 days ago

salt lake bees fans come back to smiths ballpark...

Devin Oldroyd

Ballpark NEXT: The future of Smith’s Ballpark and the Ballpark community

To help decide what should be done with the Smith's Ballpark, the city is hosting a contest called Ballpark NEXT.

10 days ago

Sponsored Articles

close up of rose marvel saliva blooms in purple...

Shannon Cavalero

Drought Tolerant Perennials for Utah

The best drought tolerant plants for Utah can handle high elevations, alkaline soils, excessive exposure to wind, and use of secondary water.

Group of cheerful team members high fiving each other...

Visit Bear Lake

How To Plan a Business Retreat in Bear Lake This Spring

Are you wondering how to plan a business retreat this spring? Read our sample itinerary to plan a team getaway to Bear Lake.

Cheerful young woman writing an assignment while sitting at desk between two classmates during clas...

BYU EMBA at the Marriott School of Business

Hear it Firsthand: 6 Students Share Their Executive MBA Experience at BYU’s Marriott School of Business

The Executive MBA program at BYU offers great opportunities. Hear experiences straight from students enrolled in the program.

Skier being towed by a rider on a horse. Skijoring....

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking for a New Winter Activity? Try Skijoring in Bear Lake

Skijoring is when someone on skis is pulled by a horse, dog, animal, or motor vehicle. The driver leads the skiers through an obstacle course over jumps, hoops, and gates.

Banner with Cervical Cancer Awareness Realistic Ribbon...

Intermountain Health

Five Common Causes of Cervical Cancer – and What You Can Do to Lower Your Risk

January is National Cervical Cancer Awareness month and cancer experts at Intermountain Health are working to educate women about cervical cancer.

Kid holding a cisco fish at winterfest...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Get Ready for Fun at the 2023 Bear Lake Monster Winterfest

The Bear Lake Monster Winterfest is an annual weekend event jam-packed full of fun activities the whole family can enjoy.

Need a summer side hustle? Try lifeguarding