Salaries and benefits for new graduates

When you are looking for your first job after graduation, salary will be one consideration. The results of the gradireland Graduate Salary & Recruitment Trends Survey give the current benchmarks.

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gradireland carries out an annual survey of employers across Ireland looking at salaries, benefits and other trends in graduate recruitement. The results (published in the gradireland Graduate Salary & Graduate Recruitment Trends Survey) are primarily aimed at the recruiters themselves, but they also make useful reading for the graduate job-hunter.

Starting salaries

The survey showed that graduate salaries vary greatly both by sector and region. A significant amount of salaries are now through the €30,000 barrier as a starting salary, including banking, technology, engineering, retail and sales, logistics and transport and construction. Law is the best paid sector in this year's survey at €40,000 up from €30,000. The sector with the lowest mean starting salary is the food and drink industry, leusiure and tourism and even that is above the €20,000 mark coming in at €24,000.


Benefits additional to salary are an important part of a company’s attraction package. In virtually all cases, benefits such as golden handshakes have disappeared entirely, although pensions or health care contributions are still important attractors and can effectively add a considerable amount to a graduate’s income.

Salaries by sector and region

Northern Ireland (excluding Belfast) has the lowest median salary of €22,000, with the highest Irish salaries found in the ‘rest of Leinster’ region, with a median of €26,000, mainly due to the high volume of science and high skilled industrial investment.

Only 6.6 per cent of the opportunities provided by our surveyed graduate employers exist outside Ireland, but this appears to be where the higher salaries can be found, with a median salary for jobs in the ‘rest of the world’ category of €36,000 per annum.

Our survey shows that the best paid graduate jobs in 2019 were in law, with a mean starting salary of €40000, followed by retail and sales at €33,600. The highest percentage of graduate jobs created in 2019 are in the IT and Technology sector, which comprised 45% of the jobs, with a mean starting salary of €31,701.

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