Top scarce skills in South Africa in 2024 according to the DHA

Top scarce skills in South Africa in 2024 according to the DHA

The Department of Home Affairs (DHA) is a South African government agency tasked with numerous responsibilities, including civic services and immigration. The department regularly updates the list of skills considered critical skills. These are skills the department deems critical to the South African economy. Check out some of these scarce skills in South Africa today.

Men at work
There are various skills spread across wide-ranging fields such as health, engineering and business. Photo:, @Harold Granados, @Tima Miroshnichenko (modified by author)
Source: UGC


These scarce skills form the basis for the critical skills work visa given to foreigners looking to get into and work in South Africa. The primary list covers skills that are deemed scarce within the South African economy by the government.

Scarce skills meaning

A scarce skill refers to an occupation in which there is a scarcity of qualified and experienced people, currently or anticipated in the future. This could be because such skilled people are not available or are available but do not meet the current employment criteria.

Read also

List of Universities that offer pharmacy in South Africa in 2024

The top scarce skills in South Africa in 2024

The DHA updated the critical skills list, removing some that are no longer considered critical and adding new ones. The current list has various skills spread across wide-ranging fields. Here is a list of scarce skills in South Africa in 2024.

  • Zoologist
  • Veterinary nurse
  • Veterinarian
  • Urology
  • Urban and regional planner
  • University lecturer
  • Transportation electrician
  • Town planning technician
  • Tax professional
  • Surgery
  • Supply and distribution manager
  • Software developer
  • Senior phase schoolteacher (grades 8 - 9)
  • Research and development manager
  • Radiation oncology
  • Quantity surveyor
  • Quality systems manager
  • Public health
  • Psychiatry
  • Prosthodontics dentist
a software developer
Top scarce skills in South Africa have competitive salaries. Photo:, @Lukas
Source: UGC
  • Programmer analyst
  • Programme or project manager
  • Policy and planning manager
  • Policy analyst
  • Plastic and reconstructive surgery
  • Physicist
  • Perioperative nursing
  • Pediatrics
  • Pathology (Virology)
  • Pathology (Hematological)
  • Pathology (Forensic)
  • Pathology (Clinical)
  • Pathology (Chemical)
  • Pathology (Anatomical)
  • Outbound contact centre consultant
  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Orthopedics
  • Organizational risk manager
  • Oral medicine and periodontics dentist
  • Ophthalmology
  • Oceanographer
  • Occupational instructor (air-traffic space)
  • Obstetrics and gynecology
  • Nurse educator
  • Neurosurgery
  • Neurology
  • Network analyst
  • Naval architect
  • Multimedia specialist
  • Multimedia designer
  • Mining engineer
  • Mineralogist
  • Millwright
  • Midwife specialist
  • Microbiologist
  • Metallurgist
  • Metal machinist
  • Mental health (Psychiatric) nursing
  • Medicine
  • Mechatronics technician

Read also

Highest-paying jobs with Maths Literacy in South Africa (2024)

Male metallurgist working with metal in workshop
Scare skills jobs are in high demand in South Africa. Photo:, @Andrea Piacquadio
Source: UGC
  • Mechanical engineering technologist
  • Mechanical engineering technician
  • Mechanical engineer
  • Maxillofacial and oral surgery dentist
  • Maxillofacial and oral pathology dentist
  • Materials scientist
  • Market research analyst
  • Manufacturing operations manager
  • Lift mechanic
  • Investment manager
  • Investment analyst
  • Investment advisor
  • Internal auditor
  • Intensive/Critical care nursing
  • Instrument technician
  • Industrial pharmacists
  • Industrial engineering technologist
  • Industrial engineer
  • Inbound contact centre consultant
  • ICT systems analyst
  • ICT security specialist
  • Hydrologist
  • Geophysicist
  • Geologist
  • General biologist
  • Forensic accountant
  • Food and beverage scientist
  • FET phase schoolteacher (grades 10-12)
  • External auditor
  • Environmental scientist
  • Environmental manager
  • Engineering manager
  • Energy engineering technologist
  • Energy engineer
  • Emergency nursing
  • Emergency medicine
  • Electronics engineer
  • Electronic engineering technician
  • Electrical equipment mechanic
  • Electrical engineering technologist
A woman in a pharmacy
Professionals in scarce skills areas may find more opportunities for career advancement. Photo:, @Jose Ismael Espinola
Source: UGC
  • Economist
  • Draughtsperson
  • Director of Enterprise (medium enterprises or larger)
  • Diagnostic radiology
  • Developer programmer
  • Dermatology
  • Data scientist
  • Data management manager
  • Customer service manager (business process outsourcing sector)
  • Corporate treasurer
  • Corporate general manager (medium enterprises or larger)
  • Conservation scientist
  • Computers quality assurance analyst
  • Computer network and systems engineer
  • Community dentist
  • Clinical pharmacology
  • Climate change scientist
  • Civil engineering technologist
  • Civil engineer
  • Child nursing
  • Chief information officer
  • Chemistry technician
  • Chemist
  • Chemical engineering technologist
  • Chemical engineer
  • Cardiothoracic Surgery
  • Call centre manager
  • Business development officer
  • Biotechnologist
  • Biomedical engineer
  • Architect
  • Applications programmer
  • Air-conditioning and refrigeration mechanic
  • Air traffic controller
  • Agricultural scientist
  • Agricultural engineering technologist
  • Agricultural engineer
  • Aeronautical engineering technologist
  • Aeronautical engineer
  • Actuary

Read also

10+ list of recruitment agencies in Cape Town in 2024

What is the scarce job in South Africa?

These are occupations or professions that are in high demand but face a shortage of qualified individuals to fill those positions. These jobs are considered essential or critical for the country.

What are the skills shortage in South Africa?

A person holding a grinder
There are numerous top scarce skills in South Africa today. Photo:, @Anamul Rezwan
Source: UGC

According to the Matric website, some of the career fields with skill shortages in South Africa include aeronautical engineering, farm management, architecture, actuarial science, and civil engineering.

What are the top 10 scarce skills in South Africa?

Some of the most saturated career fields include accountancy, driving, security management, retail services, call centre manager, corporate treasurer, external auditor, hydrologist, lift mechanic, metallurgist and oceanographer.

What are the benefits of pursuing a scarce skills job?

A scarce skills job makes it extremely easy for one to get employment, recognition, promotions, and good pay.

Which skill is in demand in South Africa?

Read also

MANCOSA’s courses, fees, connect, application, prospectus, contact details

According to Skills Academy, some of the South African university courses in high demand include project management, occupational health and safety, medicine, beauty courses, computer technology & informatics, and engineering.

What are the three scarce skills jobs?

Some of the top scarce skills jobs in South Africa include information technology, busines techs and health sector.

What are rare careers in South Africa?

Some of the rarest careers in SA include Java developer, financial accountant, PHP developer, technologist, coordinator, planneer, quantity surveyor and bookkeeper.

There are numerous scarce skills in South Africa today. These skills vary in educational requirements, industries, and average pay. Still, all of them are incredibly attractive to both locals and foreigners. recently published an article about high-demand products in South Africa. Before getting into any income-generating venture, one of the critical aspects to consider is the gap in the market. The gap will determine the possibility of your business succeeding.

Your ability to meet the demand in the market will equally dictate the viability of your business. Getting to know some of the high-demand products in South Africa is a measure of business success. Which are the most in-demand products today?

Source: Briefly News

Jedidah Tabalia avatar

Jedidah Tabalia Jedi is a journalist with over 5 years working experience in the media industry. She has a BSc. in Human Resource Management from Moi University (graduated in 2014) and a working in progress MBA in Strategic Management. Having joined Genesis in 2017, Jedi is a passionate Facts and Life Hacks, Fitness, and Health content creator who sees beauty in everything. She loves traveling and checking out new restaurants. Her email address is

Jackline Wangare avatar

Jackline Wangare (Lifestyle writer) Jackline Simwa is a content writer at, where she has worked since mid-2021. She tackles diverse topics, including finance, entertainment, sports, and lifestyle. Previously, she worked at The Campanile by Kenyatta University. She has more than five years in writing. Jackline graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Economics (2019) and a Diploma in Marketing (2015) from Kenyatta University. In 2023, Jackline finished the AFP course on Digital Investigation Techniques and Google News Initiative course in 2024. Email:

Online view pixel