Average Wage in Ireland

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In November 2018 official figures revealed that the average wage in Ireland had increased by €1,188 over the past year. This brought the average wage in Ireland up to €38,878 per year and indicates that wages have increased by 8% in the last five years. The €38,878 figure is also the highest recorded average wage since the 'Earnings and Labour Costs' survey began in 2008. After reading comments and feedback from the public in Ireland, it became apparent that some people did not agree that the wages in Ireland had increased, and some thinking the average wage was skewed by the high paying salaries in Dublin.

With many people wondering who was getting their extra €1,188 per year, we decided to ask the FRS recruiters how they felt about the average wage increasing and if it related to the industry in which they recruit for.

Miriam O’Hara who recruits primarily in Construction said that in her industry for example, wages from graduates have rose from €25-€35k currently for most construction related professions. Site Engineers are now starting on at least €32k in most areas in Ireland. Construction Project Manager wages have risen from €60-€85k and some higher instances depending on the project spend and the contractor size. M&E Data Centre roles are the highest paying Quantity Surveyor and Project Management roles open at present.

Tom Owens who recruits temps in Dublin had a different view and said that from a light industrial/entry level wage job stance, the only increase he’s seen in minimum wage-type jobs (pickers, packers, production ops etc) is the yearly minimum wage increases by the state. However, this isn’t exactly in line with inflation of house rental prices in Dublin.

Niamh Kavanagh is our head of temporary division and specialises in temporary and contract roles across the country. She stated that this year in certain parts of the Country where candidate shortages prevail especially within the unskilled Manufacturing /Industrial sectors , some of our clients had to increase the minimum hourly pay rate an average of between 10 -13% in order to attract and retain a continuous work force in line with their production demands.

John Miller recruits for all jobs within the Agriculture sector and says that in his sector the average starting wage for Agricultural Science graduates would be in the region of 27 to 28k in 2018 which is a slight increase from the year previous. The Agri food sector which employs 8.6% of Irelands total working population does lag slightly behind other sectors like IT & Engineering in salary terms but the last 12 months has seen a gradual increase. This can be measured for in the increased demand for college places for Agricultural Science courses where college CAO points have increased by 20% in some cases in the last 1-2 years. 2017 saw 2300 newly created jobs in the Agri food sector which is primarily driven by the increase in dairy exports. Middle management salary ranges can be anywhere from 40-55k and the senior level / management roles earning anywhere from 70-80K.

Brian Mahon specialises in recruiting for Pharmacists and he says that Pharmacist salaries have increased over the last year by about €5,000.  The average salary for a Support Pharmacist has increased from about €60K to €65K in the last year. Indeed has listed the average salary at €64,179. Pharmacy Technician hourly rates have increased by about €1 from €13.50 to €14.50, city based and €13 to €14 in rural areas.

Shannon Toohey who recruits for the I.T sector indicated that wages for graduate software developers are between 25k-30k, across most of the country, being a little higher in Dublin, between 28k-32k. For mid-level software developers, wages are between 45-55k, and for senior software developers, wages range from 60k-75k, depending on the location and the company. For graduates entering software test roles, salaries usually range from 24-27k. Mid-levels testers typically earn 40k, with wages raising to 50k+ for senior software testers.

Donal Broderick recruits across all industry sectors in the south west region. His view is that Ireland’s average industrial wage is higher that most EU countries (UK, France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Poland etc) except for Germany, Belgium, Denmark and Luxembourg. This should keep Ireland an attractive place to come and work. However, the cost of housing / rents especially in the cities will mitigate against this attractiveness. So, it’s important that new FDIs are located in more affordable places to live where there still availability of accommodation.

So there it is, a view of the recent average wage announcement from our very own recruitment specialists who have been recruiting in Construction, Agriculture, Pharmacy, I.T and Industry over the past year. While most agreed that there has been increases in wages across their sectors, Tom and Donal believe that there is still room for improvement in Irish cities.

Still wondering where your extra €1,188 is per year? Check out our latest job offers HERE

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