If you’re navigating a job change right now, you’re not alone — an estimated 20 million Brits considered changing jobs in 2023.
But despite all that movement, the UK labour market remains sluggish.
The total number of job vacancies (now at 989,000) has been falling steadily since mid-2022. Meanwhile, inflation has offset pay gains in many industries — despite the Office of National Statistics recording annual pay growth at 7.8%, the highest rate since comparable records began.
Amidst the economic uncertainty, it’s important to understand what the outlook is for your occupation before you commit to a career change.
In this article, we explore 15 of the UK’s fastest-growing jobs, measured by their pay growth and estimated job openings in the coming years.
- We used the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE) to compare salaries between 2021 and 2022, allowing us to create a longlist of the UK occupations with the fastest recent pay growth.
- We then used the National Careers Service (NCS) to find additional information about occupations, including predicted new job growth and the number of vacancies. These findings allowed us to create a list of occupations that are experiencing fast salary growth and positive job growth.
- NCS provides an estimate for the number of new jobs in each occupation and the number of additional vacancies that will open up as current workers retire and leave the workforce. We totalled these two numbers to find our Vacancies by 2027 estimate.
- ASHE is compiled using a 1% sample taken from income tax records. While the survey is one of the most comprehensive sources for understanding British pay, it only considers full-time salaries. Bonuses and other forms of compensation are not factored in, nor are self-employed occupations such as ‘Entrepreneur’.
- The UK job market is still normalising after the COVID-19 pandemic and this influences the current data. For example, at the start of 2021, thousands of UK workers were still furloughed on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, which will affect data on job vacancies and salary changes.
Top 15 fastest-growing jobs in the UK (by salary)
From senior police officers to IT professionals, below are the UK occupations that have experienced the most significant growth since 2021, along with a description of each role:
|Job||2021 Salary (£)||2022 Salary (£)||Change (%)||Vacancies by 2027|
|Senior police officers||31,025||59,141||90.62||10,100|
|Specialist medical practitioners||44,468||68,614||54.30||183,800|
|Pest control officers||17,922||27,123||51.34||6,800|
|Public relations and communications directors||47,092||66,510||41.23||32,800|
|Produce, clothing, and interior designers||26,977||35,450||31.41||50,400|
|Sales accounts and business development managers||37,040||46,747||26.21||276,800|
|Web design professionals||31,215||38,732||24.08||33,200|
|Pub landlords and managers of licensed premises||22,994||28,119||22.29||30,500|
|Garage managers and proprietors||35,917||43,541||21.23||25,000|
|Chartered architectural technologists, planning officers and consultants||28,234||33,948||20.24||16,900|
|IT network professionals||33,490||39,539||18.06||85,500|
1. Senior police officers: 10,100 vacancies by 2027
Median earnings in 2022: £59,141
Pay growth 2021–2022: 90.62%
Job growth: +6.2% (1,100 new jobs by 2027, with 9,000 additional openings by 2027)
Associated job titles: Chief inspector, Commander, Commissioner, Assistant chief constable, Deputy chief constable: Chief constable
Entry route: Apply for a fast-track programme as an existing constable
Senior police officers manage specific police stations or specialised departments such as investigations, operations, or community policing. They play a key role in setting strategic priorities, allocating resources, and ensuring that their force operates effectively and in compliance with the law.
2. Architects: 40,600 vacancies by 2027
Median earnings in 2022: £43,486
Pay growth 2021–2022: 57.56%
Job growth: +4.3% (2,900 new jobs, with 37,700 additional openings by 2027)
Associated job titles: Chartered architect, Project architect, Formwork designer, Structural designer, Landscape craftsman, Landscape designer
Architects are responsible for the design and development of buildings, land sites, and similar projects. They create plans and blueprints, outlining the project’s appearance and functionality. Architecture offers a platform to express your artistic vision if you have a passion for design and creativity.
3. Specialist medical practitioners: 183,800 vacancies by 2027
Median earnings in 2022: £68,614
Pay growth 2021–2022: 54.30%
Job growth: +6.9% (21,300 new jobs, with 162,500 additional openings by 2027)
Associated job titles: Anaesthetist, Cardiologist, Consultant, Paediatric doctor, Speciality doctor, Forensic medical examiner, Clinical fellow, Neurologist, Surgeon
Entry route: Complete a degree in medicine recognised by the General Medical Council, a foundational course of general training, plus 5–8 years of specialist training
A specialist medical practitioner is a diverse occupation that includes most specialist medical job titles. Given the current pressures on the NHS and initiatives to boost the number of UK health workers (like England’s NHS Long Term Workforce Plan), it’s unsurprising that the number of medical jobs is likely to multiply in the coming years.
4. Pest control officers: 6,800 vacancies by 2027
Median earnings in 2022: £27,123
Pay growth 2021–2022: 51.34%
Job growth: +9.7% (1,000 new jobs, with 5,800 additional openings by 2027).
Associated job titles: Pest controller, Disinfector, Infestation inspector, Pest control technician
Entry route: No set requirements, but you may be required to complete a relevant qualification, such as a Level 2 qualification in pest management.
This year’s bedbug outbreak has underscored the increasing importance of pest control in the UK. Pest control officers help in controlling and eliminating invasive animals like termites, mice, and rats that infest human-occupied spaces, ensuring that they don’t pose a threat to public health.
Working in pest control requires a good understanding of pest biology, behaviour, and habitats — as well as confidence in using various pest control tools and equipment.
5. Public relations and communications directors: 32,800 vacancies by 2027
Median earnings in 2022: £66,510
Pay growth 2021–2022: 41.23%
Job growth: +4.3% (2,300 new jobs, with 30,500 additional openings by 2027).
Associated job titles: Communications director, Policy and communications director, Director of communications, Head of public affairs, Head of public relations
Entry route: Obtain a BA/BSc degree in most subjects (a specialist degree or postgraduate award recognised by the Chartered Institute of Public Relations is helpful).
An increasing shift towards online, mobile-first news is driving growth in the PR sector. The PR market size was roughly £3.6 billion in 2022, an increase of 10.2% from the previous year.
Being successful as a PR professional depends on your ability to effectively manage communication between organisations or individuals and their target audiences. Strong storytelling and networking skills are a must — and will need to be evident in your PR CV and PR cover letter.
6. Physical scientists: 13,300 vacancies by 2027
Median earnings in 2022: £43,257
Pay growth 2021–2022: 34.02%
Job growth: +4.2% (1,300 new jobs, with 12,000 additional openings by 2027).
Associated job titles: Astronaut, Astronomer, Climate scientist, Geoscientist, Hydrologist, Medical physicist, Meteorologist, Palaeontologist, Physicist, Seismologist
Entry route: Complete a degree in physics, applied physics, or a related science — or complete a Level 7 research scientist degree apprenticeship. You may also need a relevant postgraduate degree.
Physical scientists (also known as natural scientists) study the physical world and natural phenomena to understand how they work.
Strong growth in physics-based sectors, like green energy and data science has boosted demand for physical science skills in the UK. The market for physical scientists has shot up 40% since 2010, while demand for scientists with physics expertise has risen 24%.
7. Product, clothing and related designers: 50,400 vacancies by 2027
Median earnings in 2022: £35,450
Pay growth 2021–2022: 31.41%
Job growth: +0.9% (800 new jobs, with 49,600 additional openings by 2027).
Associated job titles: Ceramics designer-maker, Costume designer, Fashion design assistant, Fashion designer, Furniture designer, Interior designer, Jewellery designer-maker, Product designer, Set designer, Textile designer
Entry route: There’s no set route. Consider a relevant foundation diploma in art or design or a university degree. You can also work towards the role.
Interior designers, fashion designers, and costume designers are included in this creative occupation category, which has experienced rapid salary growth over the past few years. Wales, Yorkshire and the Humber, and England’s North East and North West had the fastest-growing design economies in recent years, employing around 390,000 designers in 2020.
8. Sales accounts and business development managers: 276,800 vacancies by 2027
Median earnings in 2022: £46,747
Pay growth 2021–2022: 26.21%
Job growth: 5% (25,500 new jobs, with 251,300 additional openings by 2027).
Associated job titles: Account manager, Sales support manager, Product manager, Business development manager
Entry route: Get a degree in a relevant field (e.g., business management or economics), before pursuing a business management graduate training programme. Alternatively, you can obtain a relevant diploma (e.g., Level 3 Award in Business Development Skills).
Jobs within this occupation group support businesses’ overall sales and customer satisfaction efforts. Sales occupations have been experiencing robust growth in the UK over the past couple of years, both in terms of salary and job vacancies.
According to National Careers Service data, the wholesale and retail sectors are the two biggest employers of this occupation group, employing a total of 63,856 and 46,596 workers, respectively.
9. Web design professionals: 33,200 vacancies by 2027
Median earnings in 2022: £38,732
Pay growth 2021–2022: 24.08%
Job growth: 4.2% (3,200 new jobs, with 30,000 additional job openings by 2027).
Associated job titles: App designer, New Media designer, UX designer, Visual designer, Web designer
Entry route: Obtain a BA/BSc degree in a relevant field (e.g., multimedia design) or a similar diploma (e.g, Level 4 Diploma in IT Web Design)
As more businesses take their operations online, there’s rising demand for professionals with the design skills to optimise a company’s online presence, brand image, and customer engagement.
According to the National Careers Service, the top industries for web design professionals include computer programming (18,470 jobs), retail trade (11,058 jobs), head offices (7,016 jobs), and advertising (6,421 jobs).
Though web design industry reports predict a slight dip in overall revenue for the sector by 2024, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, accelerated trends towards online shopping are supporting robust growth in the coming years.
10. Data analysts: 54,800 vacancies by 2027
Median earnings in 2022: £31,193
Pay growth 2021–2022: 22.75%
Job growth: 4.2% for IT business analysts, architects and systems designers (5,200 new jobs, with 49,600 additional openings by 2027).
Associated job titles: Data analyst, Forecast analyst, Logistics analyst, Market analyst
Entry route: Complete a BA/BSc degree with honours in a relevant field (e.g., statistics or mathematics) or a similar Level 6 NVQ.
Data analysts identify trends and create models to help inform business decisions and improve operational efficiencies. The UK has a significant digital skills gap right now, with almost half of companies hiring for data roles in 2021 reporting difficulty filling vacancies.
11. Pub landlords and managers of licensed premises: 30,500 vacancies by 2027
Median earnings in 2022: £28,119
Pay growth 2021–2022: 22.29%
Job growth: 3.6% (1,500 new jobs, with 29,000 additional openings by 2027).
Associated job titles: Pub landlord, Bar manager, Club owner
Entry route: Start by working in a junior role or by undertaking a hospitality manager higher apprenticeship. Then work towards a management role.
Despite the pressures of the pandemic, food and drink retail grew by 5.5% between 2020 and 2021, according to government-industry statistics. However, the rapidly rising cost of food and drink in the UK (over 10% between April 2022 and 2023) is likely to challenge the long-term growth of this sector.
12. Garage managers and proprietors: 25,000 vacancies by 2027
Median earnings in 2022: £43,541
Pay growth 2021–2022: 21.23%
Job growth: +3.6% (1,200 new jobs, with 23,800 additional openings by 2027).
Associated job titles: Principal dealer, Garage director, Body shop manager, Branch manager, Garage manager
Entry route: Complete an advanced apprenticeship, relevant college course (Level 3 Diploma in Light Vehicle Maintenance and Repair), or build relevant work experience.
Garage managers and proprietors organise and plan car repair and maintenance business operations — which is big business. According to the National Careers Service data, the motor vehicles industry currently employs over 29,500 garage workers.
13. Communication operators: 21,800 vacancies by 2027
Median earnings in 2022: £27,380
Pay growth 2021–2022: 20.60%
Job growth: 6.9% (2,900 new jobs, with 18,900 additional openings by 2027).
Associated job titles: Emergency medical adviser, Dispatcher, Communications assistant, Air traffic assistant, Taxi controller, Telecommunications officer
Entry route: Complete a relevant college course (e.g., Level 2 ICDL award in IT user skills) or apprenticeship.
Communications operators are a broad occupation group of professionals who operate equipment to transmit signals and messages and work in a number of industries. According to the National Careers Service, the largest employers of this job group are public admin (9,207 jobs), health (5,940 jobs), and land transport (5,255 jobs).
14. Chartered architectural technologists, planning officers and consultants: 16,900 vacancies by 2027
Median earnings in 2022: £33,948
Pay growth 2021–2022: 20.24%
Job growth: 4.3% for town planning officers (1,200 new jobs, with 15,700 openings by 2027).
Associated job titles: Town planner, Construction planner, Architectural planner
Entry route (for a town planner role): You’ll need a degree or a postgraduate qualification accredited by the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI).
Town planners, architectural planners, and planning officers shape urban landscapes by managing land use, infrastructure, policy development, and community engagement.
With the UK currently grappling to address complex challenges like climate change, housing shortages, and updating infrastructure, town planners are essential for developing British cities.
Most planning professionals work within the architecture industry (13,211), while advertising and public admin employ a further 5,801 and 3,244 planning professionals respectively.
According to the Royal Town Planning Institute, the majority of town planners work in the public sector, but planning jobs are expected to trend towards the private sector in the coming years.
15. IT network professionals: 85,500 vacancies by 2027
Median earnings in 2022: £39,539
Pay growth 2021–2022: 18.06%
Job growth: 4.2% (8,100 new jobs, with 77,400 additional openings by 2027).
Associated job titles: Network planner, Network specialists
Entry route: Obtain a relevant degree in physics, maths or electrical engineering or a diploma in a similar field (e.g., network engineering and computer science).
With the rise of modern technology, such as rapidly approaching 6G networks and the shift towards automation, demand for professionals who can manage and maintain complex networks is set to advance quickly in the UK.
The National Careers Service cites the computer programming industry as the largest employer of network planners and specialists, 69,584 jobs. Other industries that hire a significant number of network professionals include Legal and Accounting (21,187 jobs), Head Offices (17,664 jobs), and Telecommunications (12,516 jobs).
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