Working in Ireland | All you need to know before you go

Working in Ireland | All you need to know before you go

Charlotte Koks
Charlotte Koks

Ireland offers excellent work opportunities in different fields. Therefore, working in Ireland is what many adventure-driven hearts desire. Is this your case?

If your answer is yes, you’ve come to the right place! In this article, you’ll find everything you need to know about working in Ireland. We’ll tell you the steps to follow, requirements to work as a foreigner, salaries, and  the best tips to search for employment on Irish soil.

Find out all you need in this complete guide for working in Ireland!

Working in Ireland | How to start working in Ireland

As a member country of the European Union, Ireland’s economy is strong. It has been constantly growing since the eighties, ensuring an unemployment rate of 5,5% on average, one of the lowest rates in the EU. This means more and better work opportunities, good salaries and great work conditions.

You’re probably already planning strategies to join the Irish workforce. To get you on your way, here’s what you’ve got to do to work in Ireland as a foreigner.

Define your goal for traveling and working in Ireland

Guía para trabajar en Irlanda

The first thing you need to decide is the purpose of your journey. Going to Ireland to travel and learn English is one thing; searching for better work opportunities is quite another. Therefore, you must decide what will have priority during your journey.

Once you’ve decided this, you’ll be able to start with your visa process and gathering all the required documentation. If you’d like to study as well, you can get a Student Visa. With that permit, you can work part-time while studying and full time during vacations.

Choose the right city for you

Choose the city you'd like to work in

Each Irish city offers unique experiences. Will you choose Dublin, the country’s modern capital? Or perhaps Limerick with its medieval architecture? Could it be Cork?

We can’t stress enough the value of evaluating the options and lifestyle in every Irish city. Otherwise, your cosmopolitan soul might end up in a tiny city or your peaceful heart could end up stuck in a huge metropolis.

To help you out with this, we have prepared a whole article about cities in Ireland. You’ll make up your mind in no time!

Check the documents you’ll need for working in Ireland

Make sure you have all the documents

One of the main reasons why people choose to immigrate to Ireland is that, as members of the EU, they don’t need additional documents. But that is not the case for young people in other parts of the world. If you don’t have a UE nationality, you’ll have to obtain a work or student visa.

Besides the work visa, you’ll need to take care of other paperwork such as opening a bank account or getting your social security number. Later on, we will go through all the requirements for working in Ireland.

Travel to Ireland

Travel to Ireland to start working

The time has finally come. You must buy your plane tickets ahead of time so you can find the best prices. You should also book some nights at a hostel or Airbnb where you can stay for the first days.

Once in Ireland, you can resolve the matter of definite accommodation and manage your job search.

Prepare an Irish CV

Prepare an Irish CV

A successful CV adjusts to the job and the country where you want to apply. We suggest that you don’t send the same CV to every job offer you see.

It may be hard to believe, but employers can tell when a CV is generic. Make a good impression and make sure it is tailored to the position. Also, do your homework and check out specific templates for the job market. Keep in mind that Irish recruiters prefer simple ones; for example, only one page long. Here are some tips:

  • Next to your name, you can add a title (“Marketing expert” or “Engineering student looking for new professional challenges).
  • Picture and date of birth are not necessary.
  • Highlight your relevant professional experiences.
  • Include your LinkedIn profile.

 Write a Cover Letter to work in Ireland

A good cover letter is important to find Work In Ireland

A cover letter is a one page document where you explain who you are, why you are interested in the position and what makes you the ideal candidate.

Remember to write your CV in English. Also, pay lots of attention to grammar and spelling. Above all, remember to show your personality and communicate your enthusiasm for this job.

Improve your English

Ireland is the best place to perfect your English

Although you can work in Ireland without speaking English, doing so will open the doors for better employment opportunities. So, you must be prepared for possible interviews in English. Practice answering the most common questions and take advantage of your stay to upgrade your English skills.

Remember that not knowing the language is not a limitation for working in Ireland. For example, there are multilingual call centers or multicultural shops. But, since you’ll already be there, why not learn a new language?

Requirements for working in Ireland

The requirements you must fulfill are not too many and they are not complicated. Let’s see:

  • A visa that allows you to work in Ireland.
  • IRP (Irish Resident Permit) Certificate
  • PPS (Personal Public Service)

We’ll go into detail about each one of them.

Visa for studying and working in Ireland

Make sure you have te righ permits for working in Ireland

The visa is the most important document on this list of requirements for working in Ireland. However, you must know that the visa is only necessary if your country does not belong to the European Union. Otherwise, if you have European citizenship, you won’t need this permit. Your passport will do the trick.

Ireland has 9 working visa categories. We’ll explain 3 of the most used by young foreigners.

Work and Study Visa (Stamp 2)

This one is for students who travel to Ireland to study English, a vocational course, or to receive any kind of education for at least 25 weeks. The Visa Stamp 2 lets you work for 20 hours per week during school periods and 40 hours a week during holidays. It is valid for eight months, but you can renew it two more times. So, you can have it for two years.

The main requirement to request this visa is to be enrolled in a program offered by institutions approved by the Irish government. Then, you have to comply with these requirements:

  • Letter of acceptance of the school
  • Current passport
  • Fees
  • International health insurance
  • 3000 euros in your bank account (or 7000 depending on your particular situation)
  • Proof of accommodation
  • Pay 300 euros for the Irish Residence Permit (IRP)


Working Holiday Visa

The Working Holiday Visa is a permit that allows you to remain in Ireland for a year studying for six months and working for another six. Sadly, there’s no chance to extend your stay, and there are only 200 spots per year.

This type of Visa is only available for Chileans and Argentinians (no other Latinamerican countries are included). So, if you are not from any of those countries, you’ll have to explore other options.

If you are Chilean or Argentinian, you must fulfill these other requirements:

  • Have a current and valid passport
  • Be between 18 or 35 years old for Argentina and between 18 and 35 years old for Chile
  • Travel alone, without any dependent family members, unless they have their visa
  • You can’t have participated previously in the Program
  • You must be clear of criminal records
  • Have 3000 euros in your bank account to cover your stay expenses
  • Have an international medical insurance
  • Cover the visa’s costs

General Employment Permit

The General Employment Permit is designed to attract candidates with experience or skills in all areas, except those described on the Ineligible Lists of Occupations.

This visa has an initial duration of two years, renewable for up to three more years. After five years of working with this permit, you can request a resident visa to remain in the country.

The Irish government deploys a series of specific requirements to request the General Employment Permit:

  • Have a job offering and provide a full description of the position.
  • Make sure that the job you have been given is not on the ineligible list.
  • Gather documentation that certifies you have the skills or experience required for the position.
  • The minimum yearly pay for the position must be 30,000 euros, with a few exceptions.

Critical Skills Employment Permit

The  Skills Employment Permit is aimed to encourage highly qualified people in establishing their home in Ireland.

The Critical Skills Occupation List details the critically important jobs for economic growth in Ireland. Professionals at these jobs are usually scarce in the job market. The requirements for this visa are:

  • Have a job offer included on the list.
  • Fill out an application form detailing the job proposal, start date, annual remuneration, and required skills for the position.
  • The job offer must have a minimum yearly pay of 32,000 euros.
  • Having certifications showing you have the skills to occupy the position.

After selecting the visa that’s your best fit, it’s time to move on to the next requirements for working in Ireland.

Irish Residence Permit Certificate

Welcome to Ireland

The Irish Residence Permit (IRP) certificate, formerly known as the GNIB card, is a document that allows you to live in Ireland. Also, and it’s useful to renew your visa if you are not a European citizen. To request the IRP, you need:

  • Current passport
  • Student card with your school information
  • Letter from your school stating start date, schedule, and price of your course
  • Have 3,000 euros in your Irish bank account
  • >Medical insurance in Ireland with a minimum of 30.000€ coverage
  • 300€ for fees

Get a Personal Public Service (PPS) number

PPS number is important for working in Ireland

To work in Ireland, you’ll have to get a Personal Public Service Number. It’s a seven number reference followed by one or two letters that will be useful to get access to:

  • Social welfare
  • Public health services.
  • >Government aids such as scholarships.
  • Tax payment.
  • Driving licenses.

To request your number you have to go to the Social Services Center with your passport, proof of residence in Ireland, a valid job offer, and an explanation of why you want to get it. Here you can read more about PPS.

Open a bank account

Opening a bank account will make working in Ireland a lot easier

Although it is not mandatory, opening a bank account it’s an advantage if a company wants to hire you.

Some of the main Irish banks are Allied Irish BanksBank of Ireland, and Ulster Bank. To open your bank account, you’ll need to go to an office with your passport, proof of residence, and a letter from your current employer. The process won’t take too long and it will open the door to many government formalities like registering for Social Security.

Get an Irish phone number

A phone number is essential to find a job in Ireland

Having a phone number from Ireland will make it easier for recruiters to get in touch. You will save them the trouble of calling you to an international number. Besides, by having an Irish phone number, you’ll show your intentions of remaining in the country for a long time.

The three main mobile companies in Ireland are Eir MobileThree, and Vodafone. However, there are smaller operators that may offer better prices for a quality service. For example, Tesco MobileVirgin, or Lycamobile offer internet access, calls, and messages from 10 or 15 euros per month.

Salaries in Ireland

Use websites to find jobs in Ireland

If you are thinking about working in Ireland, you’ll certainly be glad to hear that the country’s minimum wage is one of the highest in all the EU.

Minimum wage in Ireland

For 2020, the minimum wage was 10,10 € per hour and 1706,90 € per month, before taxes. Subtract 20% of the value and you’ll get your final wage. However, you can ask for a tax return before you leave the country with a P50 or P60 form.  

The minimum wage is enough for a young foreigner. Keep in mind that if you certify your knowledge or improve your English skills, you’ll have access to better work opportunities and a better salary.

Average salary in Ireland

For 2019, the average salary was 3,300 € per month, which is almost twice the minimum wage.

Professional salaries

Now, let’s check some examples of the salaries received by the most popular professions among young people:

  • Caretakers: 19.894 €
  • Cleaners: 20.249 €<
  • Cashiers: 24.490 €
  • Painters: 24.658 €
  • Delivery man (or women): 25.159 €
  • Builder: 31.180 €
  • Nurse: 32.518 €
  • Physiotherapist: 34.858 €
  • Mechanical engineer: 35.079 €

For more information, visit PayScale.

Most In-Demand  Jobs in Ireland

Most popular jobs for working in ireland

As we said before, the Irish government publishes a list with jobs that are fundamental for the country’s economic growth. For example:

  • Information technologies professionals: app development, software testing, data analysis, tech support, systems administration.
  • Science: chemists, scientists, microbiologists.
  • Engineers.
  • Health professionals: doctors, pharmaceutics, nurses, radiologists.
  • Professors with Ph.D
  • Accountants.
  • Builders.
  • Financial services professionals: banking, finances and insurance.
  • Art directors and designers.
  • Commercial: sales representatives.
  • Hospitality professionals: chefs, waiters, receptionists, cleaners, etc.
  • Customer support: telemarketers with knowledge of more than one language and call center experience.

How to find a job in Ireland

Best ways to find a job in Ireland

Ireland’s job market is dynamic, so finding a job should not be difficult. However, check out our recommendations to make your search easier.

Ask your acquaintances about jobs in Ireland

One of the easiest ways to find job opportunities is talking to your acquaintances in Ireland and ask if they know about any offers. We suggest that you share with them that you are looking for a job and ask to be recommended if they hear about an opening.

Although it is an old fashioned method, we assure you that it still works like a charm.

Use websites

The advantage of the employment platforms you will be able to apply search filters that fit your profile and expectations.

Some of the best job search websites to find work in Ireland are:

Employment agencies (Find the whole listing here

Job openings for Spanish speakers:

Skilled jobs openings:

Use Ireland’s Public Employment Service

Ireland’s Public Employment Service is an excellent alternative to start your job search. Through an organism called Intreo, you can receive information about working in Ireland and job opportunities. You can access their website to start your search or head to their physical locations distributed throughout the country.

Social Networking

Your best bet is LinkedIn, the social networking site for professionals. Here you can detail your professional career and build an attractive profile. Also, you can apply to job openings through the platform or, if your profile is attractive enough, be contacted by recruiters directly in your inbox.

Ask around

The classic method of going into the streets and handing out your CV to businesses and stores is still effective. Keep in mind that businesses like restaurants, bars and stores will always need an extra hand to help customers. Prepare your most charming smile, optimize your CV, print many copies and hand them around.

Working in Ireland with GrowPro Experience

international students in an Irish bar

Paperwork isn’t your thing? Not to worry! We can take care of everything here at GrowPro. Leave it to us while you spend your time enjoying your adventure.

We have more than 5 years of experience accompanying those dreamers who would love to work and study in Ireland.

Have a look at the experiences we have for you in Ireland, choose one and fill out the form. One of your Students Advisors will contact you to help throughout the process. What a re you waiting for?

Check out the possibilities we have for working and studying in Ireland:

About the author

Charlotte Koks
Charlotte Koks

Hey there! My name is Charlotte, and I'm working as an International Project Manager at GrowPro Experience. My goal is to help students all around the world to live the experiences of a lifetime 🙌🏽. I'm trying to inspire students by means of telling the story of former growers, showing what we are doing at each destination and writing about our cities and tips on our blogs. I got a big passion for adventures, doing sports in the park, learning new languages and seeing new places 🌏. That's one of the reasons why I studied European Studies and why I currently work for GrowPro, to expand my horizons. Hopefully, I can inspire you to do the same!

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