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Industry & Trends

Woodworking in Top 25 Jobs not Requiring College: Study

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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 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. Skillepoint 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 SkillPointe.com. 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, including links to details about each job and industry are below:

Score  Job Type                         Industry
1Software Developer         Technology
2Systems Analyst        Technology
3Electrician                         Construction
4Police Officer                        Public Service
5Truck Driver                          Transportation
6Carpenter                        Construction
7Plumber                       Construction
8IT Support Specialist          Technology
9Nurse – LPN / LVN             Healthcare
10Certified Nursing Assistant         Healthcare
11Auto Mechanic                           Transportation
12Teacher Assistant                     Public Service
13Medical Assistant                  Healthcare
14Industrial Machinery Mechanic      Manufacturing
15Network Administrator              Technology
16Heavy Equipment Operator      Construction
17Training and Development Specialist Public Service
18Paralegal and Legal Assistant        Public Service
19Social Services Assistant         Public Service
20Information Security Analyst      Technology
21Welder                                 Construction
22Dental Hygienist                    Healthcare
23Machinist                            Manufacturing
24HVAC TechnicianConstruction
25Laboratory TechnicianHealthcare

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