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For reasons that are not mine to address, we are looking for alternatives to WSUS and SCCM to automate SQL CU patching (particularly on SQL 2017+)

There are some neat Powershell solutions like this one by Adam Bertram which I found via the related post Automate the patching of SQL Severs on Windows

I know there are a plethora of commercial solutions, that Google finds easily. I am looking for solutions we can manage in house.

I am looking for other approaches to consider as well. After extensive searching the only other approach I can even imagine is a SQL job, that runs on server restart (server patching occurs regularly generally with restart) that would go look in a shared folder for the most current CU and apply it if not installed. But I don't find any mention of solutions other the those above.

Are there any methods for automating SQL CU patching, that I have not found examples of?

If SQL job patching is viable, are there any examples?

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I would not go with SQL agent running Patch to upgrade sql server. During patching and/or after patching SQL server needs to be restarted along with a reboot of windows machine - depending on the files that are locked during patching.

Alternatives are described in my answer here : https://dba.stackexchange.com/a/105837/8783

Also, dbatools has Update-DbaInstance.ps1 that can perform installation of SQL Server Service Packs and Cumulative Updates on local and remote servers.

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