Shortage Occupation List UK – Skilled Worker Visa [2024]

Car manufacturing required on Shortage Occupation List UK

The Shortage Occupation List UK 2024 is a list that highlights job roles that there are in demand across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The United Kingdom is currently looking internationally to help fill vacancies in various roles such scientists, engineers, IT professionals and the construction trades.

The UK government announced in late 2023, there are to be changes to the list and requirements by summer 2024. The shortage occupations list UK is not to be confused with other lists such as the Skilled Worker Occupation List or Healthcare and Education Shortage Occupation List.

Depending on your occupation or Standard Occupational Classification (SOC), will decide which work visa is best for you. Most work visas can lead to permanent residence in the UK after five years and then on to citizenship.

UPDATE – The Immigration Salary List (ISL) replaced the Shortage Occupation List in April 2024.

What is Shortage Occupation List UK?

UK employers are currently looking overseas to hire skilled workers to help fill job vacancies across many sectors.

Companies experienced a shortage of workers in 2023 at an average of 9.7%. The UK has always been able to attract people from all over the world to live, work and study. Over 1.2 million skilled workers arrived in in the year ending June 2023 for long-term immigration visas alone, all of them helping to ease the labour shortage.

The UK Shortage Occupation List UK 2024 is designed to make it easier for employers to sponsor skilled workers in most demand, for certain job roles. Occupations are added or removed from the list annually. Although, the list will be replaced later in 2024 with the Immigration Salary List (ISL).

Occupations on the SOL list have advantages over other job roles. There is a smaller application fee, reduced salary threshold and in some cases the Immigration Health Surcharge is not required.

Once you find your job role on the list, take note of the SOC code as you will need this throughout the process of moving to the UK.

2024 Changes to the Shortage Occupation List UK

Minimum Salary Threshold Increase

On the 4th of April 2024, the minimum salary threshold for occupations was raised from £26,200 to £38,700. Current visa holders looking to extend or change sponsor are not affected.

Partners of the main applicant under the family visa have also seen the minimum income limit increased, from £18,600 to £29,000.

Immigration Health Surcharge Increase

On the 6th of February 2024, the Immigration Health Surcharge was increased from £624 to £1,035 per year.

Students and applicants aged under 18 also increased from £470 to £776 per year.

Applicants and their dependants under the Health and Care Worker visa are still exempt.

Immigration Salary List UK

The Immigration Salary List (ISL) replaced the Shortage Occupation List in April 2024.

What jobs are there a shortage of in the UK?

The skills shortage in the UK is across many industries, and employers are struggling to fill these vacancies from British people alone. The jobs most in demand in the UK were last updated in August 2023 from the table below. You can also read our recent article on the Top 13 Skilled Jobs Needed in the UK 2024.

Shortage Occupation List (SOL)

All occupations on this list can be applied through the Skilled Worker visa route.

SOC CodeJob RoleCountryAnnual salary (80% of going rate)
1181Health services and public health managers and directors – all jobsEngland, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland80% of going rate: £33,040
1242Residential, day and domiciliary care managers and proprietors – all jobsEngland, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland80% of going rate: £22,640
2111Chemical scientists – only jobs in the nuclear industryScotland only80% of going rate: £22,800
2112Biological scientists and biochemists – all jobsEngland, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland80% of going rate: £24,480
2113Physical scientists – only the following jobs in the construction-related ground engineering industry:
engineering geologist
hydrogeologist
geophysicist
England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland80% of going rate: £26,080
2113Physical scientists – only the following jobs 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
England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland80% of going rate: £26,080
2114Social and humanities scientists – only archaeologistsEngland, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland80% of going rate: £20,480
2121Civil engineers – all jobsEngland, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland80% of going rate: £27,760
2122Mechanical engineers – all jobsEngland, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland80% of going rate: £26,400
2123Electrical engineers – all jobsEngland, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland80% of going rate: £31,440
2124Electronics engineers – all jobsEngland, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland80% of going rate: £27,120
2126Design and development engineers – all jobsEngland, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland80% of going rate: £27,280
2127Production and process engineers – all jobsEngland, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland80% of going rate: £25,600
2129Engineering professionals not elsewhere classified – all jobsEngland, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland80% of going rate: £26,720
2135IT business analysts, architects and systems designers – all jobsEngland, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland80% of going rate: £30,080
2136Programmers and software development professionals – all jobsEngland, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland80% of going rate: £27,200
2137Web design and development professionals – all jobsEngland, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland80% of going rate: £21,440
2139Information technology and communications professionals not elsewhere classified – only cyber security specialistsEngland, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland80% of going rate: £25,680
2216Veterinarians – all jobsEngland, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland80% of going rate: £26,960
2425Actuaries, economists and statisticians – only bio-informaticians and informaticiansEngland, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland80% of going rate: £26,880
2431Architects – all jobsEngland, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland80% of going rate: £26,320
2461Quality control and planning engineers – all jobsEngland, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland80% of going rate: £25,280
3111Laboratory technicians – all jobsEngland, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland80% of going rate: £15,120
3411Artists – all jobsEngland, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland80% of going rate: £16,400
3414Dancers 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).
England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland80% of going rate: £16,960
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.
England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland80% of going rate: £24,960
3416Arts officers, producers and directors – all jobsEngland, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland80% of going rate: £23,360
3421Graphic designers – all jobsEngland, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland80% of going rate: £18,400
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.England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland80% of going rate: £18,480
6145Care workers and home carers – private households or individuals (other than sole traders sponsoring someone to work for their business) cannot sponsor Skilled Worker applicantsEngland, Scotland, Wales, Northern IrelandNo going rate – the salary must be at least £20,960 per year
6146Senior care workers – all jobsEngland, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland80% of going rate: £14,880

Other Skilled Occupation Lists

If your occupation is not listed in the most recent SOL to be published, you may still qualify for job sponsorship on another list. Similar to SOL, your occupation must be eligible and you must earn a salary above the “Going Rate”.

Skilled Worker Occupation List

There are 225 occupations currently on this list, you can find the list here.

The largest of all the occupation lists in the UK, there is wide range of job roles across many industries.

Occupations on this list can be applied for through the Skilled Worker visa.

Health and Education Occupation List

Doctors, nurses, social workers and teaching professionals will find their code through the Healthcare and Education Occupations List. The Health and Care worker visa is currently the most popular way to immigrate to the UK, 101,570 applicants moved here year ending March 2023.

CodeJob RoleCountry
2211Medical practitioners – all jobsEngland, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland
2212Psychologists – all jobsEngland, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland
2213Pharmacists – all jobsEngland, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland
2217Medical radiographers – all jobs (including radiotherapy practitioners / technologists)England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland
2219Health professionals not elsewhere classified – all jobsEngland, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland
2221Physiotherapists – all jobsEngland, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland
2222Occupational therapists – all jobsEngland, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland
2223Speech and language therapists – all jobsEngland, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland
2231Nurses – all jobsEngland, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland
2314Secondary education teaching professionals – only teachers in maths, physics, science (where an element of physics will be taught), computer science and modern foreign languagesEngland, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland
2314Secondary education teaching professionals – only teachers in GaelicScotland only
2315Primary and nursery education teaching professionals – only Gaelic medium teachersScotland only
2442Social workers – all jobsEngland, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland
3213Paramedics – all jobsEngland, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland
6141Nursing auxiliaries and assistants – all jobsEngland, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland

Unskilled Shortage Occupation List UK

There are no job sponsorship opportunities if your occupation is not listed in any of the three lists discussed above.

Although, some UK work visas do not require a job offer or job sponsorship at all. Check out the UK Work Visas without Job Offer section below.

UK work visa options

How to apply for UK Shortage Occupation List? Depending on your personal circumstances such as age, nationality, SOC code and education. Will decide which UK work visa is correct for you.

Eligibility varies depending on your circumstances and the type of visa, but there are some general rules. You will have to be on one of the occupations lists linked to that visa, for example to apply for the Scale-Up visa it must on the Scale-Up Occupation List.

To apply for a job in the National Health Service (NHS) or healthcare in general. You would apply through the Health and Care Worker visa as this would relate to your job role. You would find the SOC code for your role on the Healthcare and Education Occupations List.

UK Work Visas with Job Sponsorship

UK Work Visas without Job Offer

Can a job Through Shortage Occupation List UK lead to citizenship?

Yes, depending on the visa type and your length of stay. You need to accumulate five years of working in the UK before you can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR).

There are 3 main stages to being granted British citizenship.

  • Live and Work in the UK for 5 years on a work visa
  • Apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR)
  • Apply for Naturalisation/British citizenship

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