Shortage Occupation List 2021: Top Jobs in the UK for Overseas Workers

To work as a non-UK resident for a UK business, you require a Certificate of Sponsor from an employer with a sponsor licence. Unfortunately, not all jobs qualify for a skilled worker visa.

If you are looking for a job in the UK from overseas, it is essential that you know which jobs are in high demand before you apply for a skilled worker visa. As experts in helping foreign workers secure employment in the UK, we have selected the top jobs that sponsor visas in the UK.

Before we begin, it is worth you knowing about the Shortage Occupation List (SOL).

What is the Shortage Occupation List?

The SOL is a list of roles in the UK that, according to the British government, are deemed to be in short supply.

Under the new points-based immigration system, all non-UK resident workers must apply for a visa to come to the UK to work. The primary route is through a skilled worker visa, which replaces the Tier 2 (General) visa, and requires applicants to attain 50 mandatory points and 20 tradeable points.

For more information on how to make a skilled worker visa application, take a look at our dedicated page.

The Shortage Occupation List

There is a wide range of roles that are in shortage in the UK. Take a look at the current list below:

Engineering and Construction

Job Type England Wales Scotland N.Ireland
Physical scientists in the construction-relation ground engineering industry: Engineering geologist, hydrogeologist, geophysicist Yes Yes Yes Yes
Civil engineers - all jobs Yes Yes Yes Yes
Mechanical engineers - all jobs Yes Yes Yes Yes
Electrical engineers - all jobs Yes Yes Yes Yes
Electronics engineers - all jobs Yes Yes Yes Yes
Design and development engineers - all jobs Yes Yes Yes Yes
Production and process engineers - all jobs Yes Yes Yes Yes
Engineering professionals not elsewhere classified Yes Yes Yes Yes
Architects - all jobs Yes Yes Yes Yes
Quality control and planning engineers - all jobs Yes Yes Yes Yes
Welding trades - only high-integrity pipe welders where the job requires three or more years' related on-the-job experience Yes Yes Yes Yes

Financial Services

Job Type England Wales Scotland N.Ireland
Actuaries, economists and statisticians - only bioinformaticians and informaticians Yes Yes Yes Yes

Hospitality and Leisure

Job Type England Wales Scotland N.Ireland

Chefs - only skilled chefs where all of the following requirements are met:

  • The pay for which points are awarded is at least £29,570 per year
  • The job requires five or more years' relevant experience in a role of at least equivalent status
  • The job is not in either fast food or standard fare outlet
  • The job is in one of the following roles:
    • Executive chef - limited to one per establishment
    • Head chef - limited to one per establishment
    • Sous chef - limited to one for every four kitchen staff per establishment
    • Specialist chef - limited to one per speciality per establishment
- - Yes -

Media and Entertainment

Job Type England Wales Scotland N.Ireland
Artists - all jobs Yes Yes Yes Yes
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 Yes Yes Yes Yes
Musicians - only skilled orchestral musicians who are leaders, principals, sub-principals or numbered string positions, and meet the standard required by internationally recognised UK orchestras Yes Yes Yes Yes
Arts officers, producers and directors - all jobs Yes Yes Yes Yes
Graphic designer - all jobs Yes Yes Yes Yes

Oil and Gas

Job Type England Wales Scotland N.Ireland

Physical scientists in the oil and gas industry:

  • Geophysicist
  • Geoscientist
  • Geologist
  • Geochemist
  • Technical services manager in the decommissioning and waste areas of the nuclear industry
  • Senior resource geologist and staff geologist in the mining sector
Yes Yes Yes Yes

Pharmaceutical and Life Sciences

Job Type England Wales Scotland N.Ireland
Biological scientists and biochemists - all jobs Yes Yes Yes Yes
Social and humanities scientists - all jobs Yes Yes Yes Yes
Veterinarians - all jobs Yes Yes Yes Yes

Power and Utilities

Job Type England Wales Scotland N.Ireland
Chemical scientists - only jobs in the nuclear industry - - Yes -

Technology

Job Type England Wales Scotland N.Ireland
IT business analysts, architects and systems designers - all jobs Yes Yes Yes Yes
Programmers and software development professionals - all jobs Yes Yes Yes Yes
Web design and development professionals - all jobs Yes Yes Yes Yes
Information technology and communications professionals not elsewhere classified - only cyber security specialists Yes Yes Yes Yes

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