The Shortage Occupation List

Are you considering working in the United Kingdom? If so, you'll be glad to know that the UK has a list of jobs with a shortage of skilled professionals, and if you can fill one of these roles, it can make your journey to working in the UK easier and more accessible under the new points-based immigration system. Here's what you need to know about the Shortage Occupation List (SOL) and the top job opportunities it offers to international applicants.

Advantages of Shortage Occupation List Roles

Getting a job on the Shortage Occupation List comes with several benefits:

  1. Lower Visa Application Fees: If your profession is on the SOL, you may be eligible for reduced visa application fees, making the process more affordable.
  2. Permission for Second Jobs: SOL workers have the advantage of being allowed to take up a second job, helping you make the most of your time and skills.
  3. Salary Discounts for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR): If you plan to settle in the UK, SOL workers may receive certain salary concessions when applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR), which can lead to permanent residency.

Top Jobs on the UK Shortage Occupation Lists

The UK has two shortage occupation lists, and they cover a wide range of fields, ensuring there are opportunities for professionals from diverse backgrounds. Here's a glimpse of the types of roles you might find on these lists:

1. Healthcare and Education: The first list focuses on professions in healthcare and education that urgently need more skilled personnel. This includes roles such as doctors, nurses, and teachers in certain subjects.

2. Various Fields: The second list comprises shortage occupations across various fields, including the arts, sciences, and IT. This includes roles like scientists, engineers, and IT specialists.

Current Shortage Occupation List Professions

Occupation codeJob types included on the shortage occupations list
1181Health services and public health managers and directors – all jobs
1242Residential, day and domiciliary care managers and proprietors – all jobs
2111Chemical scientists – only jobs in the nuclear industry
2112Biological scientists and biochemists – all jobs
2113Physical scientists – only the following jobs in the construction-related ground engineering industry:
engineering geologist
2113Physical scientists – only the following jobs in the oil and gas industry:
technical services manager in the decommissioning and waste areas of the nuclear industry
senior resource geologist and staff geologist in the mining sector
2114Social and humanities scientists – only archaeologists
2121Civil engineers – all jobs
2122Mechanical engineers – all jobs
2123Electrical engineers – all jobs
2124Electronics engineers – all jobs
2126Design and development engineers – all jobs
2127Production and process engineers – all jobs
2129Engineering professionals not elsewhere classified – all jobs
2135IT business analysts, architects and systems designers – all jobs
2136Programmers and software development professionals – all jobs
2137Web design and development professionals – all jobs
2139  Information technology and communications professionals not elsewhere classified – only cyber security specialists
2216Veterinarians – all jobs
2425Actuaries, economists and statisticians – only bio-informaticians and informaticians
2431Architects – all jobs
2461Quality control and planning engineers – all jobs
3111Laboratory technicians – all jobs
3411Artists – all jobs
3414  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.
The company must be endorsed as being internationally recognised by a UK industry body such as the Arts Councils (of England, Scotland or Wales).
3415Musicians – 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.
The orchestra must a full member of the Association of British Orchestras.
3416Arts officers, producers and directors – all jobs
3421Graphic designers – all jobs
5119Agriculture and fishing trades not elsewhere classified – only jobs in the fishing industry
5215Welding trades – only high integrity pipe welders, where the job requires 3 or more years’ related on-the-job experience. This experience must not have been gained through illegal working.
5312Bricklayers and masons – all jobs
5313  Roofers, roof tilers and slaters – all jobs
5315Carpenters and joiners – all jobs
5319Construction and building trades not elsewhere classified – all jobs
5321Plasterers – all jobs
6145Care workers and home carers - private households or individuals (other than sole traders sponsoring someone to work for their business) cannot sponsor Skilled Worker applicants
6146Senior care workers – all jobs
9119Fishing and other elementary agriculture occupations not elsewhere classified – only deckhands on large fishing vessel (9 metres and above).  The job must require 3 or more years’ full-time experience.  This experience must not have been gained through illegal working.

Please note that the list of professions can change, so always check the Home Office website for the most up-to-date information:

If you're considering working in the UK, exploring jobs on the Shortage Occupation List can provide you with a smoother path to obtaining a work visa and advancing your career.

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Ruslan Kosarenko

Ruslan Kosarenko

Senior Partner