Top 13 Skilled Jobs needed in the UK for 2024

man and woman looking at blueprint UK

The United Kingdom like many countries around the world, is going all out to attract skilled workers to help fill vacancies in many industries. The UK is looking to fill jobs of the future such as computer science and artificial intelligence, these industries amongst others are expected to increase over the next five years. With demand for specialist skills high, and job market competition between countries to increase, skilled workers are in a strong position to choose which country they want to relocate to. Businesses are experiencing 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 2022 for long-term immigration visas alone, all of them filling jobs needed in the UK.

Top 13 jobs in-demand from overseas to the UK

Below are the most in-demand jobs in the UK right now which rely on immigration from overseas. This includes details of the Occupation Code, Minimum Salary, Visa Type and Occupation List.

The difference between an occupation listed on the Shortage Occupation List compared to others, is you can secure a job with a lower minimum salary threshold.

Nurses – Occupation Code 2231

The UK like many countries around the world is facing a nurse shortage and relies on skilled nurses from overseas to close the gap.

You can apply for a position on the NHS website even from outside the UK to start the process. If successful, nurses can apply through the Health and Care Worker visa.

The minimum salary threshold for nurses is £26,200 for a full time worker, but the starting salary for a band 5 nurse in England and Wales is £27,055 and in Scotland £28,384.

You can find more information about applying as a nurse on our article.

Care Workers (6145) and Senior Care Workers (6146)

Care Workers and Senior Care Workers are in high demand in the UK and employers are looking internationally to find staff. Over the past 12 months, the UK has recruited over 70,000 care workers from abroad.

You can apply for a position on the NHS website even from outside the UK to start the process. If successful, care workers can apply through the Health and Care Worker visa.

Care workers must earn at least £20,960 per year to qualify for the Health and Care Worker visa, this applies to all 4 nations of the United Kingdom. Senior care workers must earn at least £14,880 to qualify.

Care workers can expect to earn £25,000 on average depending on experience and region.

You can find more information about applying as a nurse on our article.

Chemical Scientists (2111)

There are currently around 300,000 chemistry roles in the UK and this is expected to increase in the coming years.

Chemical scientists appear on both the Skilled Worker Occupations List and Shortage Occupations List.

You can apply through the Skilled Worker visa.

The minimum salary threshold for chemical scientists is £26,200 for a full time worker, but the average salary for a chemical scientist is £35,000 depending on experience and region.

This occupation only requires a minimum salary of £22,800 in Scotland, where it appears on the Shortage Occupations List.

Biological Scientists (2112)

Biological scientists and biochemists having been on the shortage occupation list since 2019 and expected to stay for years to come.

Biological scientists appear on both the Skilled Worker Occupations List and Shortage Occupations List.

You can apply through the Skilled Worker visa.

As it appears on the Shortage Occupations List for all of the UK, the minimum salary threshold for biological scientists is £24,480 for a full time worker, but the average salary for a biological scientists is £35,000 depending on experience and region.

Civil Engineers (2121)

Civil Engineers design, build and manage a wide range of infrastructure which is essential to modern UK society. The occupation has long been on the shortage occupations list and this is expected to stay due to a worldwide demand.

You can apply on a Skilled Worker visa through the Shortage Occupations List.

As it appears on the Shortage Occupations List for all of the UK, the minimum salary threshold for civil engineers is £27,760 for a full time worker, but the average salary for a civil engineer is £45,000 depending on experience and region.

Mechanical Engineers (2122)

Mechanical Engineers are needed in the UK more than ever due an increasing shortage gap. Lack of training in the UK due to decreased apprenticeships and an ageing workforce are the main reasons that employers are looking abroad for skilled engineers.

You can apply on a Skilled Worker visa through the Shortage Occupations List.

As it appears on the Shortage Occupations List for all of the UK, the minimum salary threshold for mechanical engineers is £26,400 for a full time worker, but the average salary for a mechanical engineer is £38,000 depending on experience and region.

Electrical Engineers (2123)

Electrical Engineers are in high demand in the UK with the number rising each year. Employers are finding engineers from overseas to help fill vacancies with electrical being one of the most in-demand.

You can apply on a Skilled Worker visa through the Shortage Occupations List.

As it appears on the Shortage Occupations List for all of the UK, the minimum salary threshold for electrical engineers is £31,440 for a full time worker, but the average salary for a electrical engineer is £39,000 depending on experience and region.

Software Developers (2136) and Web Design (2137)

Only 1 in 10 UK businesses in a recent report from Gigged.AI shows they are satisfied with their current level of skilled IT workers. Software Developers were the biggest shortage with 37% of the companies surveyed looking for more staff.

You can apply on a Skilled Worker visa through the Shortage Occupations List.

As it appears on the Shortage Occupations List for all of the UK, the minimum salary threshold for software developers is £27,200 for a full time worker, but the average salary for a software developers is £35,000 depending on experience and region.

Graphic Designers (3421)

There is a increasing demand in Graphic Designers in the UK and demand is outpacing supply. Employers are increasingly searching overseas to find talent to help fill vacancies. Once established in the UK, it is common to go freelance and become your own business.

You can apply on a Skilled Worker visa through the Shortage Occupations List.

As it appears on the Shortage Occupations List for all of the UK, the minimum salary threshold for graphic designers is £18,400 for a full time worker, but the average salary for a graphic designers is £28,000 depending on experience and region.

Bricklayers (5312)

The UK government has set a target of 300,000 new homes per year by 2025, this is not possible without hiring skilled Bricklayers from overseas. More than 1,450 are needed to achieve this target according to the Construction Skills Network (CSN) 2023 report.

You can apply on a Skilled Worker visa through the Shortage Occupations List.

As it appears on the Shortage Occupations List for all of the UK, the minimum salary threshold for bricklayers is £18,640 for a full time worker, but the average salary for a bricklayers is £40,000 depending on experience and region.

Roofers (5313)

Roof Tilers and Slaters were added to the Shortage Occupations List in in 2023 due to an increasing vacancies and skills shortage. The UK has a housing shortage and house building is due to increase, this will intensify the need for more roofers in the coming years.

You can apply through the Skilled Worker visa.

As it appears on the Shortage Occupations List for all of the UK, the minimum salary threshold for roofers is £16,160 for a full time worker, but the average salary for a roofers is £32,000 depending on experience and region.

How to get a UK work visa

To apply for a work visa thats allows you to work in the UK, you must apply through the government website. You must pass all the eligibility criteria which will differ depending on which visa you apply for and personal circumstances.

Most popular visas

Below is a list of the most popular UK work visas with more information on eligibility, finances, how to apply and documentation required.

All of the occupations listed above are eligible for the work visas below.

How to find a job in the UK

Once you know your eligible for sponsorship by checking your occupation is on the relevant visa occupations list, the next step is to find an employer willing to sponsor you.

You can use websites such as HaysIndeed and NHS Recruitment to find jobs being advertised, you can also add “Sponsorship” into the search function to find employers currently sponsoring. Contact companies that interest you by sending them them your CV and asking them if they have any sponsorship opportunities available. Many employers have a “Career” section that allows you to submit your CV without a specific job advertisement, this allows them to check their database for suitable candidates when a suitable role becomes available.

Another way of finding an employer is searching for global companies that have offices in your home country and the UK. This would mean working for this company in your own country for a period of time then asking for a transfer opportunity in a UK city.

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