Now that you’ve settled on moving to the second largest island in Europe, Ireland, the next question is whether the employers can match your salary expectations. What is decent pay for an employee? What salary should you expect and negotiate while working in Ireland?
A monthly gross salary of 4,100 EUR (3,068 EUR net) is considered decent in Ireland. This translates to annual gross pay of 49,200 EUR. As of 2023, the national minimum wage is 11.30 EUR hourly; thus, 4,100 EUR monthly is good. Yet, you should aim for at least 50,000 EUR when working in Dublin.
Thanks to the seamless immigration process and an overall healthy working environment, Dublin has been a magnet for foreigners. The rise of multinational headquarters in Ireland has also contributed to the influx. Read on to find out if the salaries offered in Ireland are worth the move.
Read about salaries in Dublin in the dedicated article.
What is a decent salary in Ireland?
A good salary in Ireland starts at 45,000 EUR across the country and at 50,000 EUR in Dublin. This translates to 2,887 EUR and 3,102 EUR monthly income after tax, respectively.
Ireland is home to over 1,000 multinationals, and as such, it’s easy for foreigners to get working opportunities.
The average salary in Ireland stands at 44,160 EUR before taxes a year or 3,680 EUR per month. It’s considered a decent amount, given the cost of living on the island.
You should aim and negotiate for something close to 4,000 EUR to afford a good life there. With that income, you can afford to rent an apartment and a decent above average lifestyle, even going out a few times a month.
Your estimated expenses will determine the decency of the salary. For instance, two adults can survive on the 4,000 EUR figure, but it ceases to be decent when children come into the picture. A recommended income for a family is at least 5,000 EUR after taxes.
In that case, you and your partner will have to earn at least 90,000 EUR combined.
You will need a decent income in Ireland to afford your children’s education or caregivers. Although school is free in all public schools in Ireland, you still have to part with some amount to cater for school trips and uniforms.
Nonetheless, the 4,000 EUR before taxes gives you about 3,000 EUR in take-home income. It will allow you a more than average lifestyle as a single person. Every month you can easily afford the following:
|Cost item||Monthly expense (EUR)|
|Rent for a one-bedroom apartment (excluding Dublin)||855|
|Utilities incl. water, electricity, and garbage collection||153|
|Cable TV (the most affordable option)||34|
|Household help (2 days per week)||381|
|Transport (unlimited bus pass around town)||153|
|Total monthly expenses||2,545|
Read our guide on rents in Ireland.
Assuming you get a net pay of 3,000 EUR per month after tax. It would mean you will have 455 EUR to save and invest. You could also treat yourself to a getaway once per month on budget.
You could even choose to finance a car with the surplus saving consistently for two years.
An individual earning between 30,000 EUR and 35,000 EUR before taxes can live in Ireland, but the lifestyle will be far from extravagant.
A couple or family needs to aim for anything above 50,000 EUR to live comfortably in Ireland.
Example of a good salary in Ireland
A good salary should be able to sustain your preferred lifestyle and still have enough to save and invest. Anything that can’t afford to cater for your bills will have you merely surviving paycheck to paycheck.
For instance, when living in Ireland, anything below the declared minimum wage of 11.30 EUR per hour will have you not being able to live comfortably or anywhere near town.
In Dublin, where most foreigners work, the living cost is high, and you need to be properly remunerated to survive in the city.
Housing in Dublin is expensive; one-bedroom apartment rents at 1,700 EUR, while outside the city, you can get a fair value of 1,400 EUR monthly. However, adding the daily commute to and from the city adds to the same figure.
If you live in the city, aim to earn nothing less than 3,000 EUR. Ideally, you should not spend more than 30% of your income on accommodation. So, with 3,000 EUR, you should look for an apartment going for 1,000 EUR.
For example, making 50,000 EUR is a good number for Dublin. Your take-home income will be 3,102 EUR per month. Here is a breakdown of the cost of living in Dublin with this salary:
- Rent – 1,700 EUR for one-bedroom apartment
- Electricity and gas – 155 EUR
- Internet and cable – 80 EUR
- Transport – 165 EUR public transport
- Mobile – 20 EUR
- Groceries – 500 EUR
- Insurance – 65 EUR
- Entertainment – 200 EUR
- Total: 2,885 EUR
With 30,000 EUR after-tax pay (37,000 gross), you can only afford a shared apartment in Dublin or choose to live in the suburbs or even a different town. In the latter, you can comfortably afford a 1,000 EUR one-bedroom apartment.
If you secure a job offering you 4,000 EUR monthly or 48,000 EUR annually in Ireland (3,016 EUR net), what would your life look like? Here is an example of the average cost of living:
- Rent – 1,000 EUR for one-bedroom apartment
- Utilities – 137 EUR
- Internet – 44 EUR
- Transport – 118 EUR for a monthly ticket
- Groceries – 500 EUR
- Insurance – 65 EUR
- Entertainment and personal expenses – 300 EUR
- Total: 2,164 EUR
That would come down to 2,164 EUR, leaving you with over 800 EUR to spend, save or invest. This shows that you should negotiate for a salary above the average of 3,680 EUR.
The high housing and living cost calls for either living frugally or negotiating better remuneration.
When negotiating a salary, consider the unwritten rule of the 50/30/20/. It suggests that 50% of your paycheck goes to bills while 30% is discretionary stuff and 20% is saving. Steer clear an offer that can’t afford you that as the bare minimum.
Taxes in Ireland
As an employee, taxes in Ireland are deducted at the source by the employer on a pay as you earn basis and remitted to the authorities. Self-employed individuals file their returns through the Self-assessment System.
Taxes for the employed are classified into three categories:
- Pay Related Social Insurance (PRSI)
- Income tax
- Universal Social Charge (USC)
Each of these taxes paid on these parameters is influenced by an individual’s existing conditions and the salary amount.
Individual prevailing circumstances predominantly influence taxes in Ireland. For instance, as a resident but not domiciled, you can pay income tax and foreign employment income tax for money earned while working in the country.
However, if you are a non-resident, you are only eligible to pay tax on your Irish income.
A distinct feature of taxes in Ireland is that 20% is charged on the first specified bracket amount, and a different percentage is charged on the balance.
Here is an example of how the tax charges are distributed in Ireland:
|Individuals’ Status||First 20% (EUR)||At 40% (EUR)|
|Single and widowed individuals without dependants||Income up to 36,800||Amount above 36,800|
|A married couple with a single income||Income up to 45,800||Amount above 45,800|
|A married couple with two incomes||Income up to 73,600||Amount above 73,600|
In Ireland, you are exempted from paying tax if you are above 65 years and your income is below 18,000 EUR. Further exemptions are extended if you have dependants at that age. The same applies to single and widowed individuals with kids.
Bonuses, holiday pay and remuneration packages
The rule of the land is that all employees are eligible for a paid holiday in every industry. A full-time worker is entitled to 20 days of paid annual leave or an equivalent of 4 workweeks.
The annual leave is compensated at the same rate as your regular pay. The same case applies if you work in an industry that receives bonuses and commissions. During your annual leave, you only receive regular pay.
If you don’t go on your annual leave during a calendar year, the policy differs from one company to the other. It may be paid as an addition at the end of the year or deferred to the following year.
Salaries in Ireland
In Ireland, the average salary is between 30,000 EUR and 45,000 EUR annually.
For an individual above 20 years, the expected average weekly wage is 850 EUR as of January 2023, according to the Central Statistics Office (CSO).
If you earn 85,000 EUR in Ireland, you are considered among the rich. Only 5% of employees make it to that point, while a meager 3% make above 100,000 EUR.
What you need to know about salaries in Ireland:
- The average monthly salary as of January 2023 is 3,683 EUR monthly
- Overall, wages will increase by above 5% in Ireland in 2023
- The gender pay gap in Ireland is lower than elsewhere in the EU. Full-time male employees average 3,424 EUR while their female counterparts make 2,801 EUR
- Between ages 45 and 54 are the top Ireland earners averaging close to the prestigious 80,000 EUR
Skilled workers earn more as Ireland seeks to attract top talent across most industries. Interns, first-time workers, and fresh graduates start at the entry-level, making minimum wage.
Minimum wage in Ireland in 2023
As declared in January 2023, the minimum wage in Ireland is 11,30 EUR per hour for adults above 20 years.
Average salaries across different professions:
|Job||Average gross salary (year)|
Minimum salary for the residence and work permit
Here is what you need to know when applying for a residence and work permit in Ireland:
- For a General Employment Permit(GEP), your annual salary should not be less than 30,000 EUR.
- If applying for a Critical Skills Employment Permit (CSEP), your salary should be between 30,000 EUR and 80,000 EUR going by the specialty.
- The company hiring you should have 50%, or above Irish nationals or people from the EU/EEA.
- To qualify for any other work permit in Ireland, you must meet the permissible national minimum wage.
Before you apply for the permit, ensure you have a job offer or a contract to prove that the offer still stands.
Your future employer must also have passed a government test showing that you are the best-fitted candidate for the opportunity.
Average salary in Ireland in 2023
Going by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) reports released in January on the Earnings and Labor cost amounts, the expected weekly average wage for 2023 is 850 EUR.
The average monthly gross salary stands at 3,683 EUR in 2023, translating to 44,202 EUR per year. This can be considered a good salary for an individual given that from 30,000 EUR you can live comfortably.
Average salaries are higher in Dublin due to the higher cost of living.
Highest paying jobs in Ireland
There is a differential in pay across the various industries and job sectors. Among the best-paying jobs in Ireland include:
|Industry/Career||Average annual salary (EUR)|
|Secondary School Teacher||56,735|
|Lecturer at university||73,647|
Best paid jobs among craftsmen:
|Career||Average annual salary (EUR)|
These areas have seen significant growth in recent years, and they continue to thrive. Technology-based careers are the most promising as Ireland seeks to attract top talent.
Specialized consultants with unique skills also have a great entry point at 40,000 EUR with potential for growth in the future.
As you accept the appointment letter evaluate the potential for your industry’s growth in your area. For instance, the Ireland government has been keen on education and technology, with the areas attracting heavy allocations recently.
Is 40,000 EUR a good salary in Ireland?
40,000 EUR before taxes in Ireland is under the average salary. Depending on where you are, it can be a decent income. You will have about 2,673 EUR per month left after taxes.
This will provide a good life in small Irish towns or the countryside, while you will struggle to pay the bills in Dublin.
At the same time, with 40,000 EUR, you can afford to save for a rainy day, invest, and travel at least twice in the year, assuming you are living outside of the major cities.
Moreover, as an individual without dependents with 40,000 EUR, you can afford to eat out several times a week and take your loved one on a date twice a month on budget.
At 40,000 EUR, you may aim to keep your expenses under 20,000 EUR and spend 10,000 EUR on yourself, including treats, travels, part-time courses, and personal development. Invest and save the rest.
What is a good salary to live comfortably in Ireland?
To live comfortably in Ireland, aim for at least 4,000 EUR in a monthly salary; you can live a good life, eliminating the constant worry of being unable to afford your preferred lifestyle.
In 2021, Ireland was ranked 13th most expensive country to live in. The research was based on essential expenses.
Going by the cost of essential goods and services, Ireland qualifies to be among the top 15 most expensive countries.
However, the cost of living varies depending on the area. For example, living in Dublin is 33% more pricey than in Cork and 47% more than in Belfast.
Below are the approximate expenses while living in Ireland:
Rent will range depending on where you are in Ireland, with Dublin as the most expensive place to live. In 2021, the average monthly rent nationwide was 1,516 EUR. The lowest prices are in Leitrim – 742 EUR per month.
In major Irish cities, you can expect to pay the following prices for monthly rent:
- 1,528 EUR for one-bedroom in the city center
- 1,270 EUR for one-bedroom in the suburbs
- 2,562 EUR for three bedrooms in the city center
- 1,983 EUR for three bedrooms in the suburbs
Nonetheless, 1,000 EUR will afford you a room in Dublin and a one-bedroom flat anywhere else in Ireland.
Read the full article on Irish rent prices.
According to research carried out by Numbeo, the monthly estimated cost of food in Ireland is 239 EUR (the minimum amount).
Here is the breakdown of prices for everyday food items:
Transport in Ireland is quite efficient and pocket-friendly. A monthly pass for public transport will set you back about 180 EUR. However, if you choose to drive, budget at least 100 EUR for fuel.
Health insurance in Ireland
For expats in Ireland, we recommend private health insurance from international provider Cigna Global. Their coverage is comprehensive and inexpensive compared to many public insurances.