DICK SINE, 66 | $53,000 a year
Home: Bigfork, Mont.
Previous life: Law enforcement
Why he did it: I’d long dreamed of becoming a park ranger. Glacier National Park hired me on as a summer ranger. My year-round job is emergency medical services manager for my county, keeping track of 350 EMTs, tracking their training, monitoring drug inventories and more.
How he did it: I went back to college for EMS training and became state licensed as a critical care advanced skills paramedic. I studied anatomy, pharmacology and more. Now, during the park’s off-season, I hang underneath a helicopter on a cable to reach those in need.
What you need to know: Don’t let the thought of more education or training deter you. The joy of having a pension is doing what you want to do, not what you have to do to pay the bills.