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Kansas City area cities increase pay to attract lifeguard applicants

Most metro cities now pay $15 per hour
lifeguard overland park.png
Posted at 6:34 AM, Mar 14, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-15 15:20:40-04

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — Cities like Overland Park, Kansas, will pay lifeguards more money this summer in hopes of attracting more applicants. New lifeguards can make $15 per hour in Overland Park, up from the hourly rate of $13 the city paid last year.

“Pay has increased for Overland Park lifeguards to try to stay competitive with other jobs high schoolers and college kids can get in this market,” explained Meg Ralph, the city’s communications manager.

In 2022, Overland Park did not open Bluejacket Pool because of lifeguard shortages. Its three other public, outdoor pools opened as normal.

Overland Park decommissioned Marty Pool because firefighters are temporarily using the pool house as a fire station while the city rebuilds the station at 75th Street and Conser.

The pool is permanently closed, but the City will solicit neighborhood feedback and turn space into a park after the firefighters move into the new fire station.

In Missouri, Kansas City and Independence contract with Midwest Pool Management to operate facilities and hire lifeguards. The Unified Government of Kansas City, Kansas, and Wyandotte County uses the same management company. All three municipalities will also pay lifeguards $15 per hour this season.

Independence and KCK each only have one public pool. Kansas City, Missouri, has 27 aquatic facilities. It’s currently conducting an assessment of those facilities. The results of that study will help the Parks and Recreation Department plan for the 2024 pool season.

The city of Olathe, Kansas, begins pay between $13 and $15 per hour. It is hiring lifeguards for its four public pools and beach at Lake Olathe.

Most municipalities require applicants be at least 15 years old. City staff will train new hires in CPR, and other life-saving techniques.

Here are links to apply for each municipality: