A Matter of Degree

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

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[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

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This is a big one for us. So, as we ask you to consider supporting our team's journalism, we thought we'd slow down and check in about where Mother Jones is and where we're going after the chaotic last several years. This comparatively slow moment is also an urgent one for Mother Jones: You can read more in "Slow News Is Good News," and if you're able to, please support our team's hard-hitting journalism and help us reach our big $350,000 goal with a donation today.

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