Top Most Common Jobs in the UK

The UK job market has shifted over the last few years. Since the start of the pandemic, many have changed careers, and some companies have moved to remote work. Some jobs are more in demand than ever, and some common jobs reflect our continued evolution into more digital times.

The most common jobs in The UK are:

  1. Project Manager
  2. Business Analyst
  3. Software Engineer
  4. Data Scientist
  5. Graphic Designer
  6. Mechanical Engineer
  7. Accountant
  8. Software Developer
  9. Data Analyst
  10. Delivery driver
  11. Executive Assistant

While some of these jobs are frequently in high demand in the UK, others reflect the current job climate in this region. In this article, we will take a closer look at what each of these popular jobs requires, how much they pay and how many job vacancies each job has in the UK today.

Besides, you can move to the UK even if you don’t have a job. Read this guide to learn more.

What are the most popular jobs in the UK in 2022?

Firstly let’s break down the most common sectors where people work in the UK. Services take by far a leading position in the UK’s economy. With that said, four out of five people work in service industries. It includes everything from bank workers to plumbers and restaurant staff.

From the statistical data of ONS, we can see that services are the most common sector to work in in the UK:

Service typeShare
Public admin, education, health30%
Retail, hotels & restaurants19%
Finance and business17%
Transport and communications 9%
Other services6%

These service sector jobs have grown over time, where the most significant growth since then has been in public administration, education, and health.

Other common areas to work include:

  • Manufacturing
  • Construction
  • Agriculture and energy

Moreover, the top common industries to work in the UK are:

  • accounting, banking and finance
  • education
  • engineering
  • healthcare
  • marketing
  • recruitment and HR

Other important sectors include metals, chemicals, aerospace, shipbuilding, motor vehicles, food processing, textiles and clothing, design, the arts, and electronic and communications equipment.

In percentages, 11,4% of all workers are managers, directors, and senior officials, 10,2% work in trade, and 7,3% are employed in sales and customer service. The biggest share among all jobs is occupied by professionals – 21,4%.

Nonetheless, in this article, we present the most common positions among professionals and casual workers with the highest number of employed at the moment.

Also read: What is a good salary in the UK?

1. Project Manager

As a project manager, you are essentially in charge of running (and sometimes compiling) a team in order to complete a project successfully. The project manager is in charge of ensuring the work is on budget, on time, and meets the proper specifications as laid out by the planners.

A project manager normally requires professional communication and organizational skills to properly fulfill the job duties. Project managers also often act as the spokesperson on the project. There is no specific way to become a project manager.

A proven track record of organizational leadership and many on-the-job skills can be beneficial in landing a project manager job. Having knowledge of IT, business and communication are all valuable skills. There are many junior project manager positions for those still growing.

Average Base Salary: £42,000

Open Positions on Glassdoor: 10,546

Also read: Most in-demand jobs in London.

2. Business Analyst 

Business Analysts are needed more and more as the UK market continues to expand and new business needs manifest. A business analyst is responsible for both gathering and understanding data and then making predictions or recommendations.

A business analyst can be in charge of finding ways to make businesses run more profitably or even entirely new business opportunities. Some business analysts lead large projects and investigations and might be responsible for communication with important shareholders.

This position is often experience-based in the UK and requires an average minimum experience of two to four years in the field. There are many ways to work your way up, like starting as an associate business analyst. Knowledge of business, numbers, and communication is needed.

Average Base Salary: £42,768

Open Positions on Glassdoor: 6,056

3. Software Engineer

Software engineers are in high demand in the UK and all over the world. A software engineer’s main job is to create, maintain and fix computer software. This includes writing code and programs that can perform tasks needed by businesses.

Software engineers need to be highly savvy in writing computer code. The knowledge of programs like Java and C++ are all needed. Software engineers are needed to fill all types of roles, but strong IT, software and code writing abilities are critical.

Average Base Salary: £44,851

Open Positions On Glassdoor: 22,162

What jobs are highest-paying in London, UK?

4. Data Scientist

The central role of a data scientist in the UK is to gather important data and then collect, interpret, and use that data to fulfill business needs. A data scientist should have a strong interest in and working knowledge of mathematics and economics.

Many data scientists in the UK have a degree or background in statistics, economics, math, or even computer science. A data scientist can fulfill many different needs for a company but will almost always rely heavily on procuring, understanding, and utilizing data.

Average Base Salary: £46,953

Open Positions on Glassdoor: 2,128

5. Graphic Designer 

Graphic designer positions in the UK are an excellent role to seek for the skilled and creative types living in the UK. This popular job often relies heavily on design and aesthetics in order to get a business’s point across.

Graphic designers in the UK are used heavily for marketing, advertising, and web design. Working knowledge of design software and website building software is a good way to help stand out among other applicants, but no specific degree is required.

Average Base Salary: £27,771

Open Positions on Glassdoor: 1,265

6. Mechanical Engineer

Mechanical engineers in the UK almost always work with machines. A mechanical engineer is often responsible for designing and creating new machine technology for companies. A mechanical engineer can also be responsible for maintaining or improving these machines.

There is a wide array of possible job opportunities that fall under the mechanical engineering umbrella. Some involve creating robotic machines, while many other mechanical engineer jobs in the UK involve research and development of new technology. 

Typically to land a job as a mechanical engineer, you need a bachelor’s and possibly a master’s degree in mechanical engineering or a very similar field.

Average Base Salary: £35,491

Open Positions on Glassdoor: 5,351

7. Accountant 

There are many types of accountants in the UK, and thus there are many ways to become a qualified accountant in the UK as well. Usually, the minimum level qualification expected of an accountant is an AAT qualification.

In order to become an official chartered accountant, you will have to achieve additional qualifications, like the ACCA, CIMA, or ACA. These requirements will vary based on the exact accounting work you are looking to do.

While you do not need a specific degree in accounting in order to earn these qualifications, it is a popular route in the UK to get a degree in accounting or a similar field.

Average Base Salary: £37,956

Open Positions on Glassdoor: 13,700

8. Software developer

Careers in software development continue to grow in popularity in the UK. As a part of a software development team, the software developer is often in charge of innovation. Software developers must create new programs and software in order to fit the needs of their company.

To be a software developer, you should be very tech-savvy, as most of the positions are found in the tech world. You will work with coders and other developers, so a strong knowledge of code is encouraged. An eye for innovation and understanding the client’s needs are also critical to success.

Average Base Salary: £39,943 

Open Positions on Glassdoor: 22,145

9. Data Analyst

While a data scientist creates data, a data analyst in the UK researches and utilizes the data. Data analysts are needed in many fields, from science to business to tech. The key role of a data analyst in the UK is to both research and understand data for a company.

Many data analysts have a postgraduate degree in data science, especially as this field becomes more popular. Still, there are no specific degree qualifications for this job. It is also entirely possible to earn a different degree and work your way up through career skills and placements.

Average Base Salary: £32,899

Job Openings On Glassdoor: 8,029

10. Delivery driver

In the post-pandemic world, contactless payment and delivery have skyrocketed. Even as many restrictions have been lifted, many citizens in the UK continue to use online services to purchase everything from home furnishings to groceries and even fancy meals.

Delivery drivers of all sorts are in higher demand than ever. The positions range from delivery truck drivers to fast food bicycle delivery drivers. The position requires only the skills needed to operate whatever mode of transport you use to deliver.

Average Base Salary: £23,475

Open Positions On Glassdoor: 6,399

11. Executive Assistant

Executive assistant positions have not only increased in popularity in the UK, but also many have, interestingly enough, become remote positions. To become an executive assistant, you don’t need a reticular degree, but more and more tend to have bachelor’s degrees.

With many executive assistant roles going remote, there is added opportunity and interest. In order to become an executive assistant, it’s possible to start at a lower-level assistant position. 

Understanding project management, all administrative roles, and any computer programs needed to organize and communicate with your superior – are all helpful when pursuing a role in this field.

Average Base Salary: £37,883

Open Positions on Glassdoor: 1,286

Skills shortages in the UK

Most common jobs don’t show your chances of employment in the UK. In fact, getting a job in a trending sector can be challenging as a foreigner due to the higher competition and higher number of graduates.

Jobs with skill shortages usually experience a significant lack of applicants. Therefore, immigrants and foreign talents typically have a great chance of success in getting employment in the UK.

Here are some of the in-demand British industries with a lack of labor:

IndustryJob title
Business servicesAnalysts, market researchers, HR officers
ConstructionSurveyors, planners, and project managers
Education Primary and secondary school teachers (particularly maths teachers)
Engineering Electrical, mechanical, and chemical engineers, civil engineers, and product and process engineers
HealthcareNurses, medical radiographers, and pediatricians
ITCyber security analysts, SEO marketers, software developers, and systems engineers
Social care Counsellors, social workers

What is the most common job in London?

The list above shows the most popular jobs in all of the UK. You might wonder if the most common jobs in London, the biggest city in the UK, are any different. While you will undoubtedly see a wider variety of typical professions in London, project managers are still the most common job in the UK’s capital.

Project managers are needed in most types of companies in London, which is why they are pretty popular. Business analysts are also top-rated on all job boards in London, just as they are in all of the UK. 

The average base pay for a project manager in London is £49,109, versus £42,000 in the UK as a whole. The reasons for this are the need for project managers in London and the much higher cost of living in London versus other parts of the UK.

Also read: What is a good salary in London?

Anna

Anna is an enthusiastic expatriate with experience of living in Germany, Austria and Greece. She shares her passion for living abroad on this website.

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