Dublin is Ireland’s capital and one of the most attractive places in the country to look for a career boost and also do business. It is a global, entrepreneurial city with a dynamic and diverse economy and a bright future at that. Dublin’s expat population is increasing with each passing year and it’s easy to understand why. It offers one of the highest standards of living among Western European capitals. Secondly, being an English-speaking city and country at large, it is an ideal destination for many expats who don’t have to learn another local language. There are many more reasons why a move to Dublin might be the best decision you ever make. Let’s see whether you will be able to afford to live in this great city though.
What is the average salary in Dublin? Expect to make an average gross salary of 14,400 EUR per month or 83 EUR an hour. Given that these figures are gross, the take-home pay after tax and other deductions will come to a significantly lower amount. Keep in mind that salaries will differ depending on an individual’s occupation, level of education, working experience, employer, industry/sector, and so on.
Working in Dublin places you in the country’s economic centre. Considering 42% of Ireland’s GDP is contributed by Dublin, it’s not surprising that many locals and foreigners choose to move here. The favourable corporate tax situation in Ireland brings many international companies to its capital, including internet giants. As a result, people are flocking to this city to share in its success. If you are already one of them or are planning to relocate and work here, this quick guide will take you through the basics of setting up in the Dublin job market for a more smooth transition. Let’s get right into it:
AVERAGE SALARY IN DUBLIN
Employees in this city generally receive competitive salaries, although everyone doesn’t make the same amount of money. As mentioned earlier, several factors that are both fair and competitive play into determining an individual’s salary. A few common ones include:
Some careers pay higher than others. For starters, highly skilled employers tend to make more money than unskilled employees. Skills that are in high demand will also attract bigger pay. That being said, workers in the same professions still earn differently depending on their job title/position in the company. Obviously, those in top managerial positions earn the highest salaries while entry-level jobs attract the least possible income an employer is willing to offer. Here’s a list of popular occupations and job titles in Dublin, together with their average gross monthly income:
- Assistant accountant – 8,890 EUR
- Accountant – 9,540 EUR
- Accounting manager – 18,600 EUR
- Assistant administrator – 7,560 EUR
- Office manager – 9,750 EUR
- Graphic designer – 9,790 EUR
- Creative director – 13,900 EUR
- Architect – 12,500 EUR
- Mechanic – 7,040 EUR
- Teacher – 10,800 EUR
- Nanny – 8,440 EUR
- Teller – 9,570 EUR
- Bank branch manager – 21,100 EUR
- Engineer – 12,500 EUR
- General Manager – 23,800 EUR
- CEO – 30,200 EUR
- Chef – 11,000 EUR
- Wait staff – 8,410 EUR
- Hotel manager – 20,300 EUR
- Dentist – 32,500 EUR
- Nurse – 10,600 EUR
- Developer/programmer – 12,100 EUR
- Attorney – 20,700 EUR
- Cashier – 8,170 EUR
This list is not in any way exhaustive as there are countless occupations and job titles in Dublin. Hopefully, it will help you gauge what your salary might look like working in Dublin.
LEVEL OF EDUCATION
Workers in the same profession but with different levels of education will also earn differently. Generally, higher education equals higher pay as Bachelor’s degree holders make 24% more than diploma holders. PhD holders earn the highest at about 23% more than those with a Masters’ degree.
YEARS OF EXPERIENCE
An employee who has proven himself/herself over the years is going to make much more than a newbie who has never worked before. The more experience you have, the better you’ll be at your job. Employees in Dublin having 2-5 years of working experience will earn about 32% more than freshers. Top earners will typically have 10+ years of experience. Along with experience comes reputation. As you gain a good reputation, more and more clients and employers will be willing to pay handsomely for your services.
Women often find themselves on the lower end of the pay scale. Male employees in Dublin earn 5% more than their female counterparts, despite doing the same job.
Companies offer different salaries, even for the same job description, depending on their financial status. Larger companies and multinational companies with more resources can afford to offer more pay and benefits compared to a smaller organisation. Additionally, companies often structure the responsibilities of a position differently. Therefore, if you have more decision-making responsibilities, chances are your salary will be higher.
AVERAGE INCOME PER PERSON
Workers in Dublin city enjoy the highest salaries in Ireland, earning an average of 17% more than their counterparts in the rest of the country. According to the Central Statistics Office (CSO), Dublin also has the highest average disposable income per person. In 2017, it was recorded at €23,864, which was 110% of the State average. The disposable income gap between Ireland’s capital and the state was 8% in 2010 and grew to 22.1% by 2017. These estimates forecast an increasing disposable income figure.
MINIMUM WAGE IN DUBLIN
The salary package you receive for working is normally an agreement between you and your employer. Although most types of works in Dublin pay well, a statutory national minimum wage has been put into place to protect employees from unscrupulous employers.
The minimum wage in Ireland was set at €10.10 per hour as of February 1st 2020. This figure is applicable countrywide, including the capital city Dublin. The current NMW is an increase of 30 cents from last year’s figure. This has placed Ireland in the third position for the highest minimum wages across the EU, which is why it continues to be one of the major destinations for EU immigrants.
Minimum wages in Ireland are solely based on age. The national minimum wage applies only to employees aged 20 years and above, meaning there are sub-minimum rates that apply to those below 20 years as stated below:
- Aged 19 years: €9.09/hour
- Aged 18 years: €8.08/hour
- Below 18 years: €7.07/hour
Despite having one of the highest minimum wages in the EU, social campaigners argue that the level of earnings required to provide a basic standard of living is €12.30 an hour. As you can see, Ireland’s living wage is higher than its minimum wage. Some companies are already paying the living wage, or even higher, but smaller companies say they can’t afford to and therefore only pay the minimum wage.
Following the increase in the national minimum wage, employees on a minimum wage and working the full 39 hours a week will receive an extra €11.70/week or €608.40 gross per year.
The employer PRSI threshold was also increased to €395 from the previous value of €386, so as to keep employers from attracting a higher PRSI charge solely due to this increase in NMW.
DUBLIN INCOME DISTRIBUTION
Judged by international standards, Dublin is a high-income city. While overall average salaries are interesting, income is not so evenly spread across the population. Salaries here generally range from a minimum average gross of 1,950 EUR per month to a maximum average gross of 63,800 EUR per month. This alone is enough to show you how income is unevenly distributed in Dublin.
The median salary, which divides the income distribution into two equal groups, is 15,000 EUR per month. Needless to say, half of the city’s working population is earning more than the median salary while the other half is earning more than that amount. Generally speaking, you want to ensure your salary is on the right side of the graph; that is, with the group earning more than the median and the average salaries. If that’s the case, you can rest assured that you’ll be able to afford a comfortable lifestyle with all the basic needs. On the other hand, if your salary is below the median and the average, it means that a lot of people are earning more than you do, which leaves you with a lower purchasing power.
Closely related to these values are the percentiles. Statistics show that 20% of Dublin top’s earners earn about 4.5 times more than the bottom 20% income earners. Only 25% is earning an average gross salary of 41,000 EUR per month while another quarter of the population makes less than 7,620 EUR per month.
That being said, the government is working towards bridging the gap between the poor and the rich. It has come up with a policy of redistributing wealth to create a more equal society by collecting taxes and paying welfare.
DUBLIN JOB MARKET
Statistics show that 30% of all the jobs in Ireland originate in Dublin. The city also offers a lot of scope for progression in your chosen area of work. With many great opportunities up for grabs, the capital city has become a popular destination for foreign professionals.
Working in Ireland’s capital offers an experience similar to working in other major cities across the globe. It does, however, carry the distinct features of high globalisation. Several key players in the international market, including international businesses and global communications giants, have made a point of moving their European headquarters in Dublin. This provides plenty of job opportunities for foreign job seekers in multinational companies such as Google, Amazon, eBay, Microsoft, and so on.
Your best bet for working in Dublin and securing high wages is having qualifications in occupations that the city lacks specialists in. This includes engineers, healthcare professionals, researchers, scientists, accountants, IT experts, and ICT specialists. The city also experiences a constant flow of tourists who are keen on getting a glimpse of Ireland. As a result, those looking for jobs in the tourism industry should be able to find their fit.
FINDING A JOB IN DUBLIN
Despite having many employment opportunities, the job market in this city is tough and quite competitive. Expats will need patience when searching for attractive job prospects. The easiest way to find a job in Dublin as a foreigner is through an inter-company transfer from your home company if they have an office here. But, you can also find work through online sources and recruitment agencies.
Citizens of EU/EEA member states and Switzerland nationals enjoy the same rights and privileges as the Irish nationals, meaning they are free to live and work in Dublin without any requirements or restrictions. As for non-EEA nationals, a work permit is required to live and work in Dublin. An employer is only allowed to consider foreign applicants if there’s nobody from Ireland or the European Economic Area fit for the job.
About the author: Marta Kovachek is the author of this article. She graduated from the University of Chicago with a master’s degree in Economics. Marta enjoys writing about the current economic situation and loves helping our readers to find their next "destination". From places to live to complex social and economic topics, we always enjoy Marta's work. Please contact us in case of any questions.