You are visiting this website from:

Morgan McKinley's 2016 Irish Salary and Benefits Guide

Morgan McKinley's 2016 Irish Salary and Benefits Guide

Submitted by global_admin on Tue, 01/12/2016 - 07:06
Read time: 8 mins mins read
Read Time
Translation Language
Contracting Jobs
Executive Service Article
Press Releases

Job market strengthens in 2015 but employers warned against excessive salary increases


• Salaries – Average salary increases in 2016 will be in the range of 10%, rising to 15-20% for specialist positions in sectors where there are skills shortages, including Life Sciences, IT, Accounting & Finance, Science and Engineering. 

• Salaries - Employers warned against excessive salary hikes despite robust job market.

• Top 5 paying Jobs by sector in Ireland – 

  • Banking and Stockbroking - Head of Compliance 
  • Professional Services - Risk Advisory 
  • IT -Chief Technical Officer 
  • Financial Director 
  • Multilingual - Inside Sales Team Lead 

• Talent - IT, Finance, Risk, Life Sciences, Pharma and Engineering professionals will be most in demand in 2016.

• Retention and reward strategies - Attracting and retaining staff was a key concern of employers in 2015 and will remain so this year.  In order to minimise attrition levels, companies are focused on providing comprehensive career pathways for employees including training and career development, as well as ensuring their reward structures remain competitive.

• Returning emigrants - More Irish emigrants are expected to return home in 2016, primarily from Australia, Canada and UAE.  The record jobs growth last year has increased the confidence of those considering a return, particularly those with young families.  The strength of the regional jobs market is also driving interest from Irish considering a return, they are attracted by the lower living costs outside of the urban centres of Dublin and Cork.

• Inward Investment – The IDA’s focus on digital media/content, ICT, international financial services, life sciences and business services sectors has delivered clear results. Following record years from the IDA and Enterprise Ireland in job creation we note the importance of remaining cost competitive into 2016. 

General Trends

• Gender – The traditional gender quota is shifting in certain sectors. In 2015, the HR profession attracted more male graduates than previously. A higher proportion of women applied for roles in life sciences, engineering and legal.

• Technology – Technology is impacting every job sector and an aptitude for technology is becoming a pre-requisite for many non IT roles, including roles in HR, Finance and Marketing.

• “C” suite Executives – High proportion of Irish based Vice President and other “C” suite executive roles are being sourced internationally.

The guide includes data for average salary ranges across all sectors. 

4950 graphs ire 1 1

4950 graphs ire 2 1

4950 graphs ire 3

Monday 11 January 2016: The Morgan McKinley 2016 Irish Salary & Benefits Guide - Ireland’s most comprehensive analysis of pay and benefits across a range of professions and sectors, anticipates that professional talent will be most in-demand  in Life Science, Engineering, ICT and Financial Services sectors - Risk, Tax and Funds. 

In addition, supporting services such as Accounting, Human Resources and Customer Service & Sales with multilingual experience will continue to be sought after in 2016.

Salary increases this year are likely to be in the region of 10% on average, rising to 15-20% for specialist positions where there are skills shortages. The annual salary guide published today also provides an average outline of benefits by sector. 

Chief Operations Officer with Morgan McKinley, Karen O’Flaherty said:

“We are anticipating on average a 10% increase in salary levels this year and would caution restraint in this area.  Inward investment is dependent on the ability to attract top talent and to be cost competitive.

Where demand for talent is high we continue to trend a much lower salary differential between Dublin and the regions, particularly in the areas of Life Science, Pharmaceutical, Engineering and ICT.

More generally, candidates with strong technical skills across all disciplines are becoming the norm as technology infiltrates all sectors.

We are also seeing a narrowing of gender gaps, especially in the area of HR, where more males are entering the profession and in the Life Science and Engineering areas as more females are qualifying and securing roles.

We expect to see the continued return of ex-patriots this year as professionals who left return with young families and are more confident of securing employment.

We are optimistic for 2016 with all indicators suggesting it will be another strong year for job creation and growth.”

Sector highlights

Life Sciences

  • Of strategic importance to the Irish economy and accounting for €65billion in exports, the Science sector remains on track for continued growth and expansion in 2016.
  • In 2015 the sector was responsible for attracting a growing number of returning Irish nationals, along with European scientists to Ireland and we expect this trend to continue in 2016. 
  • As a key target for investment under the Government’s Action Plan for Jobs, the sector is helping to drive balanced growth outside of the major urban centres.
  • Professionals are in demand across R&D; Quality Assurance; manufacturing and regulatory affairs.

Accounting & Finance

  • Accounting and Finance professionals experienced a buoyant jobs market in 2015 as the economy moved from stability to growth.
  • There will be high demand for newly qualified accountants nationally this year.
  • It is expected that in 2016 there will be marginal increases in base salaries, balanced with higher bonus payments and improvements in benefits.

Financial Services & Treasury

  • International regulatory changes have put a spotlight on risk management.
  • A scarcity of talent in this area has put upward pressure on salaries, with increases in the range of 15-30% .
  • A moderate uplift in salary at senior levels is expected this year, while there has been the return of bonuses and greater opportunities for internal progression.


  • 40% of the world’s hedge funds are administered in Ireland, making it Europe’s leading centre of excellence for the funds industry.
  • Regulatory changes have driven increases in staff levels in recent years and will continue to do so.
  • During the downturn, funds recruitment shifted to contract and temporary positions but this  trend has since reversed.
  • Annual increases for candidates staying in their current roles will be in the region of 5%. Generous pension benefits and a high level of job security also add to the attractiveness of these roles.


  • Recruitment across the insurance industry in 2015 was primarily in the areas of claims, anti-fraud, investigations, risk and compliance.
  • A rise in activity over the last 12 months within the sector generally has led to an under supply of talent in some specialist areas, including marine and environmental risk.
  • Significant salary increases are unlikely in 2016.

Tax and Practice

  • Will remain a highly candidate driven market in 2016.
  • Professionals with expertise in global mobility, personal tax, employment tax , capital taxes and corporate tax will be most sought after this year.
  • Technology, pharmaceutical and FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods) sectors are increasingly hiring internal Tax experts adding to retention issues in traditional practices.
  • Corporate finance and transactional services functions will be growth areas in 2016 and professionals with expertise in these areas will be in demand.
  • The requirement for candidates in the areas of insolvency and corporate recovery has lessened for the second year in a row.
  • Practices will be paying salary increases in the range of 5-10%.


  • Big data and data analytics will remain areas of major growth as companies seek to exploit their information assets. Professionals with more than five years’ experience are primarily sourced internationally.
  • The increase in high profile cyber-attacks continues to drive demand for security specialists.
  • There will be continued demand for web and mobile developers in 2016.
  • C#, Java and Python were the most in demand programming languages in 2015.
  • Upward pressure on salaries was a feature of the IT sector in 2015 and is expected to continue this year.


  • This was an extremely buoyant market in 2015 driven by the needs of companies that run their European or global operations out of Ireland.
  • High demand for German, Dutch and Nordic speakers will continue in 2016 across a number of sectors - technology, online retail, outsourcing, social media and management consultancy.
  • Salaries have increased over the last 12 months for the in-demand languages.

Supply Chain 

  • Ireland is now seen as an established centre of excellence for global supply chain operations with many corporate procurement and planning functions based here.
  • Mid-level managers remain the most in demand in this sector.
  • Salary increases in the range of 10% are anticipated in 2016.

Sales & Marketing

  • Blended skill sets combining creativity and analytical competence were in high demand in 2015 and will continue to be so in 2016.
  • Brand management, channel marketing, communications and advertising, in particular digital and on-line advertising will experience continued growth this year.
  • The majority of marketing roles remain Dublin centric
  • No significant growth in salaries forecast for 2016


  • Data protection, intellectual property and corporate transactions are anticipated to be the key areas driving growth in the legal sector in 2015.
  • Litigation related to enforcement and debt collection has reduced.
  • Salaries are expected to increase by 8-10% in 2016.

Office Support

  • Demand for customer service professionals was high in 2015 and is set to continue this year, with salaries for senior roles expected to rise by 10% this year.


Further press information:
Rachel Graham, MKC Communications, 01 703 8600 / 086 8488092

Notes to editors:

Survey methodology

Irish owned Morgan McKinley carried out an analysis of a sample of over 40,000 placements using internal data gathered in 2015. Additionally trends, market intelligence and market sentiment were obtained from a large cross section of employers. This research, combined with the publication of our monthly employment monitor, has allowed us to predict current and future skills and talent requirements and to obtain benchmarking analysis for professionals seeking new roles and hiring companies alike. Evidence points to a stronger employment market in 2016 across a wide range of industries, sectors and locations in both the permanent and contract recruitment market. 

About Morgan McKinley

Irish owned Morgan McKinley is a global professional recruitment consultancy connecting specialist talent with leading employers across multiple industries and disciplines.
With offices across Ireland, the UK, EMEA, Asia and Australia, its specialist professional recruitment expertise spans a wide range of divisions including but not limited to Accountancy & Finance, Financial Services, IT,  Supply Chain, Science, Engineering, Multilingual, Sales and Marketing, HR , Customer Service, Office Support and Managed Services. 
Morgan McKinley is a preferred supplier to many of the major employers and thousands of smaller local firms in its specialist sectors. 

2021 Salary Guide Calculator

Compare salaries across different locations, industries and areas of expertise.

Find Salaries Find Salaries

Helping Your Business Adapt

Resources to help your business quickly react during challenging times.

Boost Agility
Get In Touch
Fill in your details in the form below and we will be in touch to discuss your hiring needs!
Submit your Healthcare Staffing Request
- Request a Free Consultation Today -
This is a required field
Enter First name
Enter Last name
Enter Your Email
Enter Phone number
Enter valid phone number