Tapping into the UK Job Market: An Overview of the Shortage Occupation List

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The UK job market is constantly evolving, and the demand for certain skills and occupations tends to fluctuate based on the country’s economic and social needs. For those considering relocating to the UK for work, being aware of the current shortage occupations can be beneficial. This article provides an overview of the job types currently listed on the UK’s shortage occupations list.

Understanding the Shortage Occupation List

The UK government maintains a shortage occupation list, which includes the roles that are in high demand in the country. These roles are typically hard to fill from the local workforce, and therefore, offer more opportunities for international professionals with the requisite skills.

Here are some of the roles currently in high demand:

Health and Care Services

  • Health services and public health managers and directors
  • Residential, day and domiciliary care managers and proprietors
  • Care workers and home carers
  • Senior care workers

Science and Engineering

  • Chemical scientists (only jobs in the nuclear industry)
  • Biological scientists and biochemists
  • Physical scientists (in the construction-related ground engineering and oil and gas industries)
  • Civil, mechanical, electrical, and electronics engineers
  • Design and development engineers
  • Production and process engineers
  • Engineering professionals not elsewhere classified
  • Quality control and planning engineers
  • Laboratory technicians

IT and Communications

  • IT business analysts, architects and systems designers
  • Programmers and software development professionals
  • Web design and development professionals
  • Information technology and communications professionals (only cyber security specialists)

Other Professional Occupations

  • Veterinarians
  • Actuaries, economists and statisticians (only bio-informaticians and informaticians)
  • Architects
  • Graphic designers
  • Social and humanities scientists (only archaeologists)

Arts and Culture

  • Artists
  • Dancers and choreographers (only skilled classical ballet dancers or skilled contemporary dancers who meet the standard required by internationally recognised UK ballet or contemporary dance companies)
  • Musicians (only skilled orchestral musicians who are leaders, principals, sub-principals or numbered string positions, and who meet the standard required by internationally recognised UK orchestras)
  • Arts officers, producers and directors

Skilled Trades

  • Welding trades (only high integrity pipe welders, where the job requires 3 or more years’ related on-the-job experience)


The shortage occupation list provides valuable insights into the most in-demand jobs in the UK. For international professionals with these skills, it could mean increased opportunities and a smoother path to relocation. At IR2UK, we can guide you through the process of securing a visa and relocating to the UK, making your career dreams a reality. Get in touch with us today to learn more about our services and how we can help you.

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