Vanishing Vets: Veterinary surgeon is the hardest job to fill in the UK

Veterinary surgeon jobs are the hardest to fill in the UK, according to a new analysis by Indeed, the world’s largest job site1.

Above half (52%) Veterinary vacancies posted on Indeed remain on the site for more than 60 days, which means that they are classified as “hard to fill”. In contrast, simple 16% all job postings on Indeed are rated “hard to fill”.

Top 10 hardest to fill jobs in the UK

rank Job title % of posts difficult to fill Average annual salary
1 vet 51.9% £ 46,300
2 optician 48.7% £ 52,300
3 Lead auditor 45.5% € 37,200
4th animator 45.1% £ 35,000
5 Truck technician 42.2% £ 33,700
6th Veterinary assistant 41.8% € 22,800
7th Senior software developer 40.2% £ 58,000
8th Real estate agent 40.0% € 26,700
9 programmer 36.5% € 34,300
10 Development Operations Engineer 35.2% £ 63,100

Many of the jobs in the top 10 are highly skilled positions that require many years of education, training and experience. Three of the most difficult positions to fill are technology jobs, which highlight the difficulty many employers face in finding candidates with innovative skills.

The fact that so many of these positions require years of training may also explain why many of the top 10 average salaries are well above the UK median salary of £ 31,2853.

One of the hardest positions to fill in 2021 is truck technician two out of five Job offers (42%) classified as difficult to fill.

The UK is experiencing a chronic shortage of skilled truck drivers this year, disrupting fuel and grocery deliveries to supermarkets. At the same time, there has long been a shortage of technicians in the industry as the aging workforce is retiring more and more, leaving a need for qualified personnel4.

Real estate agents are also included in the list, with 40% of their positions that are difficult to fill. The involvement of real estate agents comes in a year when the property market is booming and sales have hit record levels in the summer2. It suggests that some real estate agencies may not have been able to recruit fast enough during the busiest times of this year.

Bill Richards, UK Managing Director at global job site Indeed, comments:

“Our list shows that the personnel crisis for some employers did not arise overnight. The top positions in our ranking are all positions that have been difficult to fill for several years.

“These ‘common suspects’ typically require people with specialist knowledge and advanced qualifications – which in many cases take years to acquire. They all have one thing in common: there are not enough qualified candidates, so that filling up to half of the positions takes more than two months.

“While this long-term staff shortage rarely makes the headlines, the shortage of truck drivers is high on the news agenda this year. Also of concern is the shortage of truck technicians, who are just as important to the flow of deliveries.

“Both are specialized roles that are difficult to fill and create more problems for the logistics industry that so many other industries rely on.”