Salary Guide 2019

Collins McNicholas 2019 Salary Guide is a comprehensive survey reviewing a range of salaries across various employment sectors in Ireland. This Salary Guide includes over 250 job titles across 9 sectors and 8 regions: Dublin, South, South East, Midlands, Midwest, West, North West and North East



Compilation of the data involves a review of the salary levels provided by our clients who are recruiting in the sectors listed and following discussions with our candidates currently working in these sectors. We have reviewed current salary data from a sample of over 5,000 candidates, with 3-5 years’ experience, who were registered on our database between January and March 2019. We further benchmark this data by reviewing actual salary figures provided by our clients for over 500 jobs that we recruited for between January and March 2019. The results presented in this survey provides a current and accurate list of salary ranges across the regions of Ireland.


Labour Market Trends

2018 was another strong year for the Irish economy with continued momentum in employment and an expanding construction sector. However, as with the previous year, headline GDP figures remained influenced by the activities of multinational companies. We have seen an increase in employment spread across most sectors, supporting private consumption.

Salary Guide in Numbers

GDP is estimated to have grown by 6.8% in 2018 which was slightly below projections. This reflects weaker-than-expected growth in the third quarter and downward revisions to GDP statistics for the first half of 2019. Ireland’s GDP growth is forecasted to moderate to 4.1% in 2019 and 3.7% in 2020. Consumer price inflation was low in 2018 at 0.7% and headline inflation is to remain low at 0.9% in 2019. The domestic economy is expected to expand at an average rate of 4% in 2019 and 2020. Robust employment developments, stronger wage growth and weak inflation are set to further support this.

In January 2019 the IDA announced that employment levels in its client companies have reached a record high of 229,057. FDI’s performance has exceeded targets set by Government contained in IDA Ireland’s Strategy – Winning: Foreign Direct Investment 2015-2019. 58% of those employed in IDA companies in 2018 were outside of Dublin, which is the highest number of people in the history of the organisation.


During 2018 we have seen salaries increase again slightly across some key roles in the ICT and life sciences sectors. We continue to see a growing demand for software development skills and a range of engineering skills in the life sciences sector including quality, validation and regulatory affairs.


Outside of the slight increases in these areas, we are confident that Ireland is still in a strong position to provide the necessary numbers of skilled professionals, whether through the steadily increasing output from higher education in STEM courses or due to our ability to attract high-quality international talent to the country. We certainly feel there will be sustained continued employment growth in high-tech industries such as Biopharma, MedTech, ICT and professional services over the next few years. We expect that this employment growth, however, will see an increase in the regions with some companies already considering second site options due to the pressures felt in Dublin around housing and traffic. But as with previous years, we see Dublin being hugely attractive due to the growing clusters of talent in ICT, global business services and financial services.



Encouraging for 2019, employee turnover continued to remain low in regional locations last year, but as with other years, we see a slight rise in the larger cities as unemployment is at an all-time low. There remains strong competition for the best talent in the larger urban centres. Attrition should remain low in the regions as we find that talent, when moving into the regions or relocating home, are more likely to settle there on a longer-term basis. In the regions, there are fewer opportunities for individuals to change jobs frequently.

As the regions experience greater economic growth over the next few years, we feel there will be a draw to taking up employment outside of the larger urban centres and we already see the formation of clusters of certain skill sets particularly in ICT and shared services. The urban centres such as Dublin, Cork, Galway and Limerick continue to see higher rates of attrition, which has been the case as our economy has improved exponentially year-on-year but are still not high relative to their European counterparts.

Employees Working Together


Assessing Soft Skills and Workplace Flexibility

The ‘LinkedIn 2019 Global Talent Trends Survey’ presents some interesting stats around trends that are transforming the workplace and certainly gives food for thought as to how companies review their recruiting process to ensure they are attracting the right fit for their organisation. 5,000 people were surveyed across 35 countries and they identified four top trends including soft skills, work flexibility, anti-harassment and pay transparency.


Employee - Employer Agreement

The report highlighted that companies are still struggling to accurately assess the soft skills needed by new hires. Identifying poor soft skills is much harder which is why they’re often discovered too late after a hire has been made. We are seeing more and more companies utilising a variety of techniques to more accurately gauge the suitability of candidates. Psychometric tests, personality profiling and ability assessments are becoming standard practice in the recruitment process. These techniques bring greater standardisation to the process and provide employers with greater certainty regarding their final hiring decisions. These processes can lead to reduced attrition among new hires. As unemployment continues to fall and competition for talent increases, companies must differentiate themselves from their competitors in the minds of professionals by offering a variety of benefits and other supplementary perks to attract the best talent.


The LinkedIn survey also highlighted that ‘workplace flexibility’ is of major importance in this environment, so it is about empowering employees to work when and where they want. Employees today expect to reclaim their work-life balance through flexibility; the freedom to work around their own needs, within reason! Flexibility can improve productivity and retention but brings a new set of challenges e.g. difficulty in collaboration and team bonding. However, we see that more companies are adapting to this flexible workplace culture with platforms such as Slack, GoToMeeting, Webex and Skype for Business.


Employee Value Proposition

Team Learning

Compared to just a few years ago, candidates now have far more power during the job search process and the workforce of today, especially with the emergence of millennials, seek meaningful positions that help them grow professionally, and as individuals. This all contributes to the perception of a company, which is crucial in this environment as jobseekers consider an employer’s brand before they consider applying for a job. Many companies are reviewing their Employee Value Proposition (EVP), setting out what they as an employer, offer to their employees, which becomes a magnet for attracting new hires. Employer brand is an increasingly powerful tool for creating a competitive advantage in today’s marketplace. Delivering a consistent and positive candidate experience as an integral part of the EVP will help companies remain one step ahead in attracting the strongest talent and creating a robust talent pipeline for the future.



Collins McNicholas continues to gauge the labour market to review trends and changes so we can share our insight with our clients, customers and key stakeholders. We feel our national footprint with offices in Cork, Galway, Sligo, Athlone, Limerick and Dublin gives us the ability to review such changes and allows us to make insightful commentary across the regions. The purpose of this salary guide is to provide a detailed and accurate account of salaries available across every region of Ireland and a broad range of sectors. We are confident that this salary guide will prove a useful tool for both companies and professionals in Ireland.

Download Salary Guide


If you have any queries regarding the information provided, please contact me at:

Niall Murray

Managing Director

Collins McNicholas Recruitment & HR Services