A Matter of Degree

Six cutting-edge jobs you can get without a piece of sheepskin.

[For the rest of MoJo’s Mini College Guide, read 10 Cool Schools, 8 Unusual Scholarships, and Give ‘Em Hellraisers.]

Solar panel installer 

What it takes: A one-week licensing class, no fear of heights, sunscreen
Average salary: $44,000

Hybrid auto mechanic
What it takes: Standard auto repair training, plus about 70 hours of specialized classes
Average salary: $66,000

Retirement plan specialist
What it takes: Licensing exam, ability to calm freaked-out boomers
Average salary: $57,000

Organic farmer
What it takes: Green thumb, will to resist the lure of Roundup
Average salary: Depends on how chichi your farmers market is

Nuclear reactor operator
What it takes: Three-year apprenticeship, exam, immunity to Homer Simpson jokes
Average salary: $78,000

Food cart purveyor
What it takes: Location, location, location
Average salary: Commensurate with drunkenness of clientele