North America’s Largest Woodworking Event | Tuesday–Friday | August 6–9, 2024


Industry & Trends

Woodworking in Top 25 Jobs Not Requiring College: Study


September 10, 2021 | Bill Esler

Atlanta, GA—Of the top 25 jobs that do not require college degrees, carpentry—which includes cabinet building and architectural millwork—ranks number six, according to the first SkillPointe Job Score Report, released earlier this month.

Overall, construction and technology jobs, dominate the list, along with healthcare, while jobs in retail and hospitality face an uncertain future, likely a result of the COVID-19 pandemic’s continued impact. Some 2.3 million job openings were identified among the Top 25 in the SkillPointe Job Scores study.

See below for the complete list of 25 careers.

Scores are based on a proprietary analysis of multiple data sources, including SkillPointe user behavior, Bureau of Labor Statistics, National Employment Matrix, Occupational Employment Statistics, The Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey and Emsi Burning Glass, 2021.

Carpentry, which ranks sixth on the list, is linked to a descriptive page that notes, “Good carpenters are always in demand. You’ll find yourself working on construction sites or on home improvement and remodeling projects. As a carpenter you’ll learn the skills to cut, measure, and shape lumber in lots of useful ways and how to put all kinds of woodwork together.”

Carpentry duties as defined at the site include “specialty work”, e.g., making cabinets, furniture, and kitchens; and finish work or finishing: working on interior elements like stairs, doors, windows. SkillPointe woodworking advocate Matthew McVay, a carpenter based in Columbus, OH, explains what his job is like.

Logo for Woodworking Manufacturing Month
Woodworking Manufacturing Month 2021 runs October 1-31.

To support awareness of industry innovation and the many job opportunities available in the wood products field, the IWF Woodworking Manufacturing Month launches next month. Running October 1-31, 2021, it includes a turnkey marketing program to tie into a national advertising campaign. Registration is available now.

SkillPointe, a foundation that provides support and training scholarships for skill-based careers requiring two years or less of training, sees as its mission the celebration of careers in skilled trade and non-degree professionals. It helps prospective workers discover the best career options, find local training at community colleges or trade schools, and search open jobs from local employers who are hiring.

The study notes that the current employment crisis is at a critical point as many of the unemployed lose $300 in federal weekly benefits and millions of self-employed and gig workers lose unemployment entirely.

“We are now going through the great reassessment,” says James Franchi, SkillPointe CEO. “Many people may find it difficult to re-enter the workforce, however focusing on the best careers and training options highlighted on SkillPointe will help.” The report on the best job opportunities available today that do not require a four-year college degree is based on a proprietary analysis of current salaries, available job openings, future growth, and interest among job seekers on Among key findings:

  • The high-growth jobs featured on SkillPointe represent 2.3 million job openings in 2021
  • Given continued challenges, retail and hospitality rank below other industries
  • Construction, technology, healthcare and public service jobs dominate the Top 25
  • Construction has the most jobs on the list, featuring six, and is expected to grow with increased infrastructure spending
  • High-growth energy jobs (such as wind turbine and solar technicians) did not make the list due to a lower number of job openings versus larger industries

“While retail and hospitality have faced significant challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic, other industries still offer amazing opportunities with lots of growth, strong salaries, and future job security, all without a college degree,” says Todd Wilson, SkillPointe founder. “These jobs do require some training, but fast-track options are available at local community colleges and trade schools for a fraction of the cost of a four-year program. Employer apprenticeships are also a great option.”

Overall rankings are below, including links to details about each job and industry.

Top 25 Jobs Not Requiring a College Degree


More Industry & Trend News

  • Baltimore Bridge Collapse Could Impact Plywood and Veneer Shipments

    April 10, 2024

  • Home Depot Doubles Down on Pro Business

    April 10, 2024

  • Over Half of Homeowners Plan to Renovate in Next Five Years

    April 10, 2024

Register to Attend

Be part of North America’s largest woodworking show and conference.

Register Now

Apply to Exhibit

Grow your business at the premier global woodworking trade show.

Exhibit at IWF 2024

Show Hours & Location

International Woodworking Fair
August 6–9, 2024

8:30 AM–5:00 PM
8:30 AM–2:00 PM

Georgia World Congress Center
285 Andrew Young International Blvd
Atlanta, GA 30313

Get Industry News & IWF Updates

Subscribe to IWF Network News.

Subscribe Now

Terms & Privacy Policy

© 2020 International Woodworking Fair, LLC Terms of Use & Privacy Policy

3520 Piedmont Rd NE #350, Atlanta GA 30305 | (404) 693-8333

IWF 2024 Add to Calendar

Sync IWF 2024 with your favorite calendar program.

Notification Message

loading … please wait