Top 10 jobs on the UK Shortage Occupation List

UK Shortage Occupation List

The UK shortage occupation list is an essential resource you must consider if you want to use your skills to secure a UK working Visa. In 2021, more than 239,000 work-related visas were granted in the UK, an increase of 110% versus the numbers seen in 2020. As the country came out of lockdown and industries started to re-boot after a slower year, it’s not been completely joyful. In fact, the pandemic and the EU referendum have both resulted in increased vacancies across the board for most industries. 

The pandemic has also seen a shift in the types of jobs that employers are choosing to offer. Full-time contracts have increased since 2021. In contrast, part-time ones have decreased. This represents the need for UK employers to fill their payroll with skilled professionals who can meet the needs of our growing and ever-developing country. 

This blog post will cover what we see as the top ten jobs on the UK Shortages Occupation list and explore what brilliant opportunities they can offer for a professional from overseas.  

Why is it important to understand what is included on the UK Shortage Occupation List?

The UK Shortage Occupation List is updated regularly to reflect the most significant industry gaps the UK needs to fill with professionals from around the world. Securing any jobs within this list means that the candidate is eligible to submit an application for a skilled worker visa. These jobs are also fairly remunerated, with the minimum salary no less than 80% of the standard rate.

This list not only ensures that the UK industries are being filled with skilled professionals but also that employees from overseas are given a chance to carry on their profession within the UK if you they choose to do so. The UK is also experiencing a period in which there are more jobs than there are people to fill them! Unemployment currently sits at 3.6%, which is the lowest since 1974. The skilled jobs that are included within the occupation list are representative of the industries that have the most vacancies and the ones that are looking to have the quickest turnaround for employment. If you are considering moving to the UK and have the skills that are needed to apply to any of these industries, you are more likely to be accepted for a working visa. 

What are the top ten jobs on the UK Shortage Occupation List?

As of February 2022, there are 31 job types listed that are suitable for securing if applying for a skilled worker visa. The variety highlights the various sectors that the UK is known for, with vacancies spanning everything from creative design to industrial building.

Based on the trends within the UK job markets now, our top ten jobs to consider on the list are as follows:

Health services and public health managers and directors

Available in all areas of the UK with an 80% average salary of £30,720 (£15.15 per hour)

With this job sector predicted to increase by 6.2% by 2027, we think this is a brilliant choice if you want to establish a career within a care-based role. Thanks to the after-effects of the pandemic, this sector is currently under a lot of demand which can only be alleviated with more people in the associated roles. Senior and experienced decision makers are required to push the industry forward and establish structures that will maintain the NHS’s longevity and other local companies. 

Civil engineers

Available in all areas of the UK with an 80% average salary of £28,000 (£13.81 per hour)

Revenue within the civil engineering sector is predicted to be worth more than £65 billion in 2022. This positive incline is predicted to carry on rising with an annual growth rate of 8.33%. With an annual shortfall predicted to be at least 50,000 people per year, it is clear that the UK is crying out for support in this area of its infrastructure development plans. With lots of pressure on the government to improve the environment and hit green targets, civil engineers will be looked upon for support in many different forms over the coming years.  

Design and development engineers

Available in all areas of the UK with an 80% average salary of £27,280(£13.45 per hour)

UK business is also an area which needs additional support to keep up with the global advances that we are facing. Companies in the UK spent more than £26.96 billion on R&D costs in 2020. This indicates the importance of businesses being at the forefront of innovation in the UK. We have also chosen this sector as it covers many different industries, meaning there are many opportunities for skilled professionals to specialise in a sector that best suits their qualifications.   

Quality control and planning engineers

Available in all areas of the UK with an 80% average salary of £24,400(£12.03 per hour)

Like the importance placed on design engineers, the quality industry is also essential for ensuring companies can present products confidently to the market. In the UK, we are known for our prestigious seals of approval for products and services which is why this is such an important sector.

Dancers and choreographers

Available in all areas of the UK with an 80% average salary of £23,840(£11.76 per hour)

Across the UK, there is a shortage of performing artists. Whilst you may not think this is a major industry to fill, the arts industry accounts for more than £8.5 billion of the economy’s wealth. With the likes of the English National Ballet being a worldwide name, we have chosen this job sector as we wanted to showcase the importance of cultural and economical roles. 

Senior care workers

Available in all areas of the UK with an 80% average salary of £13,520 (£6.67 per hour)

As is apparent across all areas of the public sector, senior care is also a sector that has lots of vacancies. Some of the biggest rises can be found in the adult social care industry, which saw an increase in vacancies of 52% in the 2021-2022 financial year.  

Biological scientists and biochemists

Available in all areas of the UK with an 80% average salary of £23,760(£11.72 per hour)

The UK is known for its medical advances, with some of the biggest bio-chemical companies being based here. When this sector was added to the list, the UK pharma industry association stated it was because they need a “sustained supply of specialist scientific skills through access to global, as well as home-grown talent.” In order to continue supporting our NHS and the medical advances that the UK is known for, this is a sector which we predict will proliferate in its needs over the coming years.

IT Business analysts, architects, and systems designers

Available in all areas of the UK with an 80% average salary of £29,280(£14.44 per hour)

Just like the other business needs outlined, these vacancies are important as they are needed to support UK infrastructure. In fact, as many as 39% of companies say they found IT business analysts, architects, and designers the hardest positions to recruit for. These types of roles offer brilliant job retention, with many companies wanting to hold onto their talent as they also bring with them a wealth of intellectual property that is impossible to replace. 


Available in all areas of the UK with an 80% average salary of £26,000(£12.82 per hour)

The need for veterinarians in the UK is incredibly high, with the number of registrants coming to support the sector in the UK having fallen by 68% between 2019 – 2021. It is not a lie that the EU referendum in the UK has affected this industry greatly. As a nation of animal lovers, we only see the need for talent increasing, which is why it has made our list. The sector has also created adaptations to make it easier for overseas talent to work within the UK in the form of modifying entry requirements and making salaries more competitive. 

Graphic designers

Available in all areas of the UK with an 80% average salary of £18,800(£9.27 per hour)

Finally, is another job in the creative industry. The need for graphic design talent is further strengthened by the fact that 40% of the UK workforce says they lack digital skills. In a world where digital reach is so imperative to success, this is a job role that will continue to be in high demand. There is also a desire by many companies to bring this talent in-house as they release the importance of having access to talented designers that can operate reactively.

Are you a candidate looking to secure a UK skilled working visa?

The UK Shortage Occupation List highlights the various opportunities for work that the UK can offer. With things moving quickly, now is the time to make the jump if it is something you have been considering!

The opportunities are plentiful, so please do contact us to find out more about the support that we can offer you in securing your working visa today.

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