How to Work in Ireland

Beautiful scenery, friendly people and great beer, is there anything else you could possibly need in life? What if I tell you, that you could easily find an amazing job in a country that has all of this? 

In the previous centuries, Ireland was a land of migrants where citizens had to emigrate abroad to survive the famine. However, after decades of extremely fast economic growth, Ireland is now one of the richest countries in the world! This enormous growth didn’t only give Ireland the nickname of Celtic Tiger, but also created an enormous amount of jobs!

The Job market in Ireland

Let’s start with the easy one, the language.

You might have heard about the Irish language, but don’t forget, Ireland is an English speaking country. This means that there will be no language barrier between you and the Irish job market, provided that you speak proficient English… and do not worry about the accent, you will get used to it!

How difficult is to find a job in Ireland?

Thanks to an extremely business friendly environment, many multinational companies put their European (EU) headquarters in the Republic of Ireland, creating a real economic boom. This fast growth created the need for infrastructure, houses (read more about how to find a house in Dublin), hotels, bars, restaurants etc. If you are not looking for a job in a multinational company stay tuned, Ireland has jobs to offer in any sector!

Let’s crunch some numbers:

Unemployment is around 4.5%, the economy is growing at the fastest speed in the developed world (6.7% in 2018) and the average wage, adjusted by purchasing power, is close to 48,000$…. the opportunities are endless with these numbers

Where to work in Ireland

You might have noticed that above in this article I named the country as “The Republic of Ireland”. The reason for this is that Ireland is split in two, the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland (part of the United Kingdom). The economy and job opportunities in the two parts of Ireland are really different. This article is about the biggest and wealthiest part of the island, the Republic of Ireland.

Not surprisingly, most jobs in Ireland are in the two main cities, Dublin and Cork. If you’re looking for a job in Ireland, these two cities have great job opportunities for everyone!

Jobs in Dublin 

Dublin is the capital and biggest city in Ireland. Dublin is a prosperous city that offers many jobs in any sector (and also great opportunities for day trips). However, the sectors offering the best employment conditions are tech, pharma, online business and finance. In particular the tech sector is so big that Dublin is often considered to be the European detachment of the Silicon Valley. Big companies often allow their employees to work from home, and that’s a factor to consider when selecting an employer. If you are looking for jobs in Dublin, these are the main employers:

  • Tech: Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Intel, Indeed, Linkedin, Airbnb and many more
  • Pharma and Biomedical: Roche, Allergan, Novartis, AbbVie
  • Banking: Bank of Ireland, AIB, 
  • Industry: Smurfit Kappa, 
  • Food and Beverages: Guinness, DCC
  • Aviation: Ryanair, Aer Lingus

Note that there are also a lot of catering and restaurant jobs in Dublin. With the right experience finding a job in this sector will only take you a few days.

Jobs in Cork

Cork is the second biggest city in Ireland and the home of many pharmaceutical companies. 

If you want to work in the (bio) pharmaceutical or biomedical industry, Cork has a lot of opportunities for you. Main employers in this field offering jobs in Cork are: Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, Novartis, MSV and GlaxoSmithKline.

Apple’s EU headquarters are based in Cork. They employ 6,000 people and offer a lot of jobs, from manufacturing to administration. If you cannot live without an iPhone, Cork is the place to be!

Ireland work visa

Wow, Ireland is a great country to work in, but am I actually allowed to work there? Citizens from EU/EEA countries or Switzerland are the lucky ones, they do not need any permit to work in Ireland. If you are not from one of these lucky countries, you will need a work permit to work in Ireland. 

Can I apply for jobs in Ireland without a work permit?

If a job offer is only for people with the right nationality or work permit, the vacancy usually clearly states it. If this is not stated, everyone can apply, regardless of their visa situation.

Often employers prefer to hire people from the EU/EEA or Switzerland and they have a good reason for it, Irish law is quite strict on this. Companies must have at least 50% of their employees from the EU/EEA or Switzerland. In addition to be able to offer a job via work permit, you need to have skills that are scarce in ireland and be paid enough to be considered high skilled. This might sound discouraging, however the job market is currently so tight that companies often hire people that need a work permit in Ireland. If you find a good vacancy just apply, if you will be selected your future employer will take care of your work visa. For more information on Ireland Work Visa, I invite you to visit the Irish government’s website.

Ireland, the Emerald Island, beautiful cliffs, landscapes and pints of Guinness, but not only that. We’ve just seen that the Irish territory is not only beautiful, but also fertile from a working perspective. Picking the right country is not an easy task, but if you’re considering Ireland as your next destination, go deep with your research and don’t forget that the Green Country won’t let you down! Just, give it a go!