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Second Careers: Park Ranger

Former electrician chose nature

Park Ranger Dale Klco holding an owl at the Hobe Sound National Wildlife Refuge and Nature Center

Dustin Cohen

DALE KLCO, 68 | $15,000 a year

Home: Hobe Sound, Fla.

Previous life: Electrician

"People will sometimes stop me and say, ‘I want your job."

How he did it: Don’t be afraid to start by volunteering. At the Hobe Sound National Wildlife Refuge and Nature Center, I assisted in animal care and as a docent. When there was a job opening, my manager encouraged me to apply.

What he does: I collect visitor fees, and at Hobe Sound I patrol in an ATV. I educate visitors about shore dynamics, ecology, and about the sea turtles and shore birds that nest here. During nesting season, a team guides people onto the beach at night to observe female loggerhead turtles filling their nest chambers.

What you need to know: It’s been an adjustment transitioning from private industry to the bureaucratic constraints of the government. But between savings, Social Security and my earnings, I’m doing great.

Park Ranger Dale Klco patrols at Hobe Sound in an ATV

Dustin Cohen