Here is the list of critical skills in South Africa

The South African government is working towards achieving the Key National Strategic Projects, Strategic Infrastructure Projects, and the National Infrastructure Projects.

For these projects to come to fruition, there is a need for an adequate supply of critical skills in South Africa. These skills vary depending on the demand versus supply dynamics, training needs, competitiveness and relevance.

In 2014, the Department of Home Affairs amended the Immigration Laws, thereby making room for the Critical Skills Work Visa (CSWV).

Apart from giving foreigners an advantage when applying to work or to live in South Africa, critical skills can help you increase your competitiveness in the job market.

This list clearly identifies the business and professions eligible for work permit irrespective of obtaining an offer of employment.

Critical skills list South Africa

What fields have scarce skills? The current critical skills list puts into consideration occupations or jobs in high demand and scarce list of skills provided by the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET). Therefore, the critical skills South Africa classified by subject matter include;

Agriculture and Agricultural Operations and Related Sciences

Within the agricultural field, the following skills/occupations are critical

  1. Agricultural Engineer
  2. Forestry Technician
  3. Agricultural Scientist
  4. Sheep Shearer

Architecture and Built Environment

The professions/ skills listed under this subject include:

  1. Urban and Regional Planner
  2. Quantity Surveyor
  3. Land Surveyor
  4. Construction Project Manager
  5. Architect

Business, Economics Actuaries and Risk Studies

In the business and finance field, knowledge and experience in the occupations below will give you an upper hand in South Africa.

  1. Financial Investment Advisor
  2. External Auditor
  3. Corporate General Manager
  4. Actuaries and Management Assessors

Information CISCO Solution Specialist Technology

Technology experts and enthusiasts the skills below are the most needed in South Africa.

  1. CISCO Solution Specialist
  2. Database Specialists
  3. CISCO Engineers
  4. Integrated Developers (PHP, Perl, Java )
  5. Solutions Architects in Telecommunications and ICT
  6. Network Analyst
  7. System Integration Specialist
  8. IT Security Specialist
  9. Enterprise Architecture
  10. Network Specialist (Security)
  11. Data Centre Operations
  12. Microsoft System Engineers
  13. Desktop Support Engineer
  14. Network Controllers
  15. AV Specialists (Anti-virus)


  1. Energy Engineer
  2. Chemical Engineer
  3. Metallurgical Engineer
  4. Civil Engineer
  5. Electrical Engineer
  6. Electronics Engineer
  7. Electrical Installation Inspector
  8. Geologist
  9. Manufacturing Managers
  10. Industrial and Production Engineers
  11. Materials Engineer
  12. Industrial Designer
  13. Mechanical Engineer
  14. Production/Operations Manager
  15. Mining Engineer
  16. Research and Development Manager
  17. Quality Systems Manager
  18. Electrical Engineering Technologist
  19. Ship’s Engineer
  20. Mining Engineering Technologist
  21. Telecommunications Engineers
  22. Mechanical Engineering Technologist
  23. Energy Engineering Technologist
  24. Metallurgical Engineering Technologist
  25. Materials Engineering Technologist
  26. Automotive Motor Mechanic
  27. Air Conditioning and Mechanical Services Plumber
  28. Boiler Maker
  29. Automotive Electrician
  30. Chemical Engineering Technologist
  31. Diesel Mechanic
  32. Fitter and Turner
  33. Civil Engineering Technologist
  34. Electronics Engineering Technologist
  35. Mechatronics Technician
  36. Metal Fabricator
  37. Pressure Welder
  38. Toolmaker
  39. Physical and Engineering Science Technicians
  40. Structural Plaster

Life and Earth Environmental Engineers

  1. Advanced Composites Engineering
  2. Environmental Engineers
  3. Aquatic Scientist
  4. Environmental Manager
  5. Archaeological / Paleontological Specialist
  6. Industrial Pharmacist
  7. Animal Scientist
  8. Botanical Scientist
  9. Bioeconomist
  10. Biological Scientist
  11. Bioinformatician
  12. Chemical Scientist
  13. Bioinformaticist
  14. Environmental Scientist
  15. Computational Biologist
  16. Food Scientist
  17. Ecological Scientist
  18. Geohazards Specialist
  19. Engineering Geologist
  20. Geochemist
  21. Water Resource Scientist
  22. Geologist
  23. Toxicology Scientist
  24. Geophysicist
  25. Soil Scientist
  26. Laboratory Technologist and Technician
  27. Seismologist
  28. Marine Bioscientist
  29. Protein Scientist
  30. Materials Scientist
  31. Polymer Scientist
  32. Metallurgical Scientist
  33. Microbiological Scientist
  34. Metrology

Health Professions Medical Superintendent and Related Clinical Sciences

  1. General and Specialist Medical Practitioner
  2. Medical Superintendent/ /Public Health Manager
  3. Nursing Professionals
  4. Public Health Physician
  5. Hospital Pharmacist
  6. Veterinarian
  7. Retail Pharmacist
  8. Registered Nurse (child and family health)

Professionals and Associate Professionals

  1. Mining Technician
  2. Land and engineering surveyors
  3. Organisation and Methods Analyst (incl. scheduler, estimator)
  4. Electronic Engineering Technician
  5. Chemical Engineering Technician
  6. Electrical Engineering Technician
  7. Mechanical Engineering Technician
  8. Draughtsperson
  9. Safety, Health, Environment and Quality Practitioner
  10. Materials Engineering Technician – Road materials
  11. Quantity Surveying Technician
  12. Materials Engineer Nondestructive Testing (NDT)
  13. Civil Engineering Technician
  14. Mining Technician
  15. Materials Tester
  16. Landscape Horticulturalist
  17. Construction Safety,
  18. Health, Environment and Quality (SHEQ) Agent/Manager/ Officer
  19. Architectural Technologist
  20. Aeronautical engineering
  21. Architectural Draughtsperson
  22. Architectural Senior Technologist
  23. Physicist (SKA)
  24. Astronomer
  25. Geomagnetic Physicist
  26. Plasma Physicist
  27. Solar Physicist
  28. Space Technologist
  29. Space Physicist
  30. Magnetic Technology Specialist
  31. Space Weather Specialist
  32. Radar Engineering
  33. Industrial Engineer
  34. Radio Frequency Engineering
  35. Industrial Engineering Technologist
  36. Environmental Technologist
  37. Landscape Contract Manager
  38. Industrial Engineering Technician
  39. Landscape Architect


  1. Moulder
  2. Millwright
  3. Boilermaker (for Strategic Infrastructure Projects)
  4. Rigger
  5. Industrial Machinery Mechanic
  6. Pipe Fitter
  7. Raise-bore Operators
  8. Raise-bore Foreman

Business Process Outsourcing (BPO)

  1. Customer Service Manager/Team Lead
  2. Software Development Outsourcing (BPO) Engineers and Managers
  3. Quality Assurance Specialist/Auditor
  4. Systems Architects, Engineers and Managers
  5. Quality Analyst
  6. Foreign Language speakers for specialist language support and technical or sales support (German, Swiss German, Flemish, Greek, Swedish, Danish, Italian, Dutch, Spanish, Mandarin and French)

Academics and Researchers Doctoral Graduates (Acquired abroad)

Research in any of the following areas:

  • Signal Processing for Radio Astronomy
  • Galaxy Formation and Evolution
  • VLBI Operations
  • Galaxy Structure and Dynamics
  • Dynamic and Transient Bursts
  • Pulsars and Black Holes
  • Deep Observations of the earliest Radio Galaxies
  • Pulsars and Gravitational Waves
  • Search for CO to investigate the role of Molecular Hydrogen
  • Observational Radio Astronomy in General
  • Deep Surveys of Neutral Hydrogen Gas in the Early Universe
  • Calibration and Imaging of Radio Interferometer data
  • Pulsars and Gravitational Waves
  • Cosmology and Dark Energy
  • Pulsars Research
  • Cosmic Magnetism
  • Algorithm for Radio Astronomy
  • Signal Processing
  • Observational Radio Astronomy in General
  • Supercomputing for Radio Astronomy
  • Receivers for Radio Astronomy Systems
  • Software Development for Radio Astronomy
  • Feeds for Radio Astronomy Systems
  • Data and Streaming -Real-Time Processing of Massive Data Amounts
  • Antenna Modelling
  • Green Computing – Extreme Performance at Minor Energy Costs
  • Performance at Minor Energy Costs
  • Beam Modelling
  • Signal Processing for Radio Astronomy
  • EMC and Spectrum Management
  • Energy Security
  • Nano-photonics – Data Transport Power
  • Global Change
  • Nanotechnology
  • Space Science and Technology
  • Palaeosciences
  • Advanced Manufacturing
  • Reduction over Short and Long Distances
  • RFI Shielded Buildings and Facilities
  • Antenna Design
  • Antenna Foundation Design
  • Information Communication Technology
  • Natural and Applied Sciences
  • Earth Observation

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