Few takers for a job with a starting salary of $ 51,633

Wellington is facing a chronic shortage of lifeguards at pools across the city.  (File photo)


Wellington is facing a chronic shortage of lifeguards at pools across the city. (File photo)

Are you a good swimmer looking for a job with starting pay of more than $ 50,000? If you are, the Wellington City Council has the job for you.

Faced with a chronic shortage of lifeguards and guards calling in sick with Covid, the council has been forced to temporarily close Tawa Pool and is looking to recruit at least 12 full-time guards.

The criteria for applicants is to be 16 years and over, a confident swimmer and be willing to work weekends. On the job and first aid training is provided, plus a starting salary of $ 51,633.

According to careers.govt.nz, firefighters start on a base salary of $ 58,000 and nurses $ 54,000 a year.

* Lifeguards being recruited for Stratford’s new $ 20m pool complex
* Too much poo, too few lifeguards force closures at busy Auckland swimming pool
* Ōtāhuhu has some of the ‘best lifeguards’ in the country
* Rio Olympics swimming pool lifeguard has one of the most pointless jobs ever

Council recreation facilities manager Mathew Bialy said there was a nationwide shortage of lifeguards. but Wellington had been hit hard.

“There is a major shortage of labor all around the world due to a number of factors including the impacts of Covid, immigration, OEs and, anecdotally, young potential staff are interested in work with more flexibility, more pay and less stress.”


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Wellington has 48 full-time staff, but there are 12 vacancies. The council is temporarily closing Tawa Pool from July 25, while it tries to recruit.

Bialy said being a lifeguard was rewarding and he hoped more people would consider it as a career.

“Being a lifeguard is a great job to consider as the skills learned are transferable to general life including learning the value of team-work, improved communication skills and fitness, increased responsibility.”

Starting salaries listed on careers.govt.nz

  • Solicitors with less than one year’s experience earn $ 53,000 to $ 58,000
  • Journalists start from $ 42,000
  • Police officers start on $ 69,000
  • Graduate primary school teachers earn between $ 48,000 and $ 52,000 a year and secondary school teachers between $ 52,000 and $ 57,000 in their first year.
  • Graduate librarians earn between $ 46,000 and $ 55,000.

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