AUSTIN (KXAN) — The city is offering even more incentives to attract applicants and hire hundreds of much-needed lifeguards for the busy summer season.
The Austin Parks and Recreation Department announced Thursday that lifeguards can now earn up to $1,250 in bonuses, while summer camp staff members could also get bonuses up to $750. The amounts vary by the position, the city said.
Last month the department shared it would offer $500 summer completion bonuses for all temporary lifeguards and temporary summer camp counselors who meet the criteria. According to Parks and Rec, lifeguard staff must be fully trained and working June 1 through Aug. 15 as well as working three shifts per week, unless otherwise approved, in order to receive that bonus.
Pay for these positions starts at $15 an hour for entry-level jobs and increases based on experience. Sick leave, a free bus pass and flexible scheduling are also available, the city noted.
The city is struggling to fill hundreds of lifeguard positions, which is already affecting operations at one pool. Barton Springs Pool remains closed on Mondays and Wednesdays for the time being due to the lack of qualified lifeguards with a special open water certification.
Last week a memo stated Austin’s Aquatics department still needs around “599 lifeguards to fully operate the aquatic system during the summer season” and “200 temporary employees for summer camp operations.” Additionally, the department is looking for 25 employees for ongoing summer maintenance. It laid out a number of strategies the city may take to attract and retain employees.