Irish salaries expected to rise 5% to 10% in 2022

80% of people considering career moves in next 6-to-12 months, says Morgan McKinley.

The Morgan McKinley 2022 Irish Salary Guide anticipates that salary increases this year are likely to be in the region of 5-10% in certain sectors, rising up to 15%-to-20% increase for certain niche skills in demand.

The report indicates that upward pressure on salaries has been driven by the reduction in mobility of international talent and the corresponding demand for individuals already in location.

“We’re currently seeing the most demanding employment markets of our time”

Morgan McKinley said it expects normal inflationary figures (2%-to-5%) to come back into play in a post pandemic world as countries open up and the flow of external candidates into Ireland takes pressure out of an overheated employment market.

Realigning in the face of the Great Resignation

Graphic showing people considering a career move.

“We’re currently seeing the most demanding employment markets of our time,” said Trayc Keevans, global FDI director at Morgan McKinley Ireland. “The Great Resignation of the past year appears to be still in full swing.

“As a means of attracting talent, many employers are either adjusting their working models to hybrid or fully remote or offering higher wages in response”

“The experience of the sustained public health emergency has prompted countless workers to re-evaluate their work options, fine-tuning a better work-life balance and making deliberate choices as to where their careers are heading next. They’re looking for opportunities that give them the right pay, benefits, and work arrangements in the longer term. New opportunities opened up by remote work means workers can now access roles that previously were geographically off-limits.

Graphic showing importance of flexible working for people.

“As a result, there is a constant misalignment between the supply and demand for employees in the market. We’re experiencing the return of counter offers because there is a strong demand to fill roles. For some organisations, the Great Resignation is an unparalleled threat, creating organisational challenges around skillsets and resources, and affecting everything from quality of work and time-to-completion to bottom-line revenue.

“For others, it’s a golden opportunity to secure accomplished talent that will add value for years to come. Consequently, organisations are under incredible pressure to adapt their leadership, management, and work practices. As a means of attracting talent, many employers are either adjusting their working models to hybrid or fully remote or offering higher wages in response.”

Keevans added: “Other additional supports take the form of paid relocation assistance, offering transparent career paths, strong learning and development plans to support their progression, and flexibility in where talent can work from, including an openness to facilitating people working from their native country. Most importantly companies need to consider the building of a company culture that fosters inclusion and connection, where hybrid or remote working is part of their way of working.”

Sector HR highlights for Ireland

Accountancy & Finance

The future is bright for the careers of accountancy and finance professionals in Ireland across all levels in 2022. The areas of interest to candidates where there is a marked and continued growth are those that overlap with supply chain and logistics, and roles that are created as a result the implementation of BEPS 2.0. Newly qualified talent in the Big 4 continue to be sought after.

Further growth in financial transformation roles will continue throughout 2022 with Accountancy and Finance professionals who have project management skills and transformation experience highly sought after. Global drivers to make sustainability a key organisational requirement in 2022, will generate demand for accountants with experience in developing financial models to support businesses to achieve these new strategic priorities while ensuring the long-term viability of the businesses themselves.


The buoyancy of the legal sector is expected to continue throughout 2022 after a particularly strong year in 2021. There has been a particular demand for roles like corporate lawyers, which have been very popular during the pandemic for mergers and acquisitions. An emerging trend is the growing popularity of financial services, data privacy and regulatory work, however, there is a shortage of talent in these areas.

It has become challenging to fill certain roles in the legal sector as many qualified solicitors and barristers have traveled abroad. They have travelled to work for large companies and gain more experience, settling in places such as London and Sydney.


Technology advancements are not resulting in the displacement of jobs, rather they are creating more jobs as the drive for developing capability in AI, Robotics, Machine Learning requires human input. We predict for 2022 the most in demand positions for IT will be in Data Analytics, namely Data Analysts, Data Engineers and Data Scientists. There is strong demand for DevOps talent also, with requirements for companies to flex on the experience level required to enable them to hire at the pace they wish to. Demand for Software engineers continues unabated with the core development languages .Net, Java and Python most in demand, while Ruby on Rails and PHP having somewhat of a resurgence on the market. There has also been a growth in demand for cloud engineers, not specific to front or back end engineering, with full stack engineers combining a knowledge of cloud engineering proving most popular in today’s market.


The Irish pharma talent are at the coalface for opportunities resulting from emerging trends in Cell & Gene Therapy (CGT), Advanced Therapy Medicinal Products (ATMPs), novel vaccines, and medtech, as well as the opportunities for Ireland to retain its place as a global leader in biopharmaceutical manufacturing. Advanced Therapeutics represents the next opportunity for Ireland. Skillsets within Biopharmaceuticals are going to remain in strong demand as this is where most of the investment has been made over the last few in Ireland, more recently in Biologics. The demand for Gene therapy specialist talent is going to continue to rise. It is not surprising with more than 1,000 Clinical Trials taking place across the globe, that the need for related talent is getting busier.


The best performing sectors presenting opportunities for engineering talent through 2022 continue to be data centres, pharma, energy, medical devices, automotive and food production. There will be a number of opportunities for engineering talent to embrace as companies are fast re-developing their Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance (ESG) policies. In an engineering context, these opportunities are best reflected in the growth in demand for sustainability engineers, primarily within the energy sector which provides the easiest way to get your foot in the door to working with a career in sustainability. Energy engineers are a critical part of the ESG field tasked with designing, developing, and in many cases helping to implement energy efficiency programs, typically during the planning and construction stage of development. The greatest demand is for energy engineers to work with green construction, HVAC planning, energy procurement, air quality, or even a combination.

Furthermore, the impact of the Covid pandemic has seen a growth in the number of pharmaceutical companies manufacturing anti-viral tablet manufacturing in Ireland. This has had an impact on demand for process engineers, maintenance engineers, continuous improvement specialists and mechanical engineers.

Financial services

There has been an ongoing growth in demand for talent in this sector that is expected to continue into 2022 and beyond. While Brexit may have been the catalyst for a number of ManCo’s and SuperManco’s setting up operations in Ireland, the rise of Irish management companies (Mancos) shows few signs of abating, with assets under management continuing to grow. This, coupled with an expected increase in surveillance of these companies’ adherence to CP86 by the Central Bank of Ireland through 2022, is resulting in a very high demand for Designated Person roles and other Pre-Approval Control Function (PCF) talent, particularly in areas of Risk and Compliance.

In addition to the PCF roles, there is also a continuing demand for talent with technical insurance experience for the insurance sector. In the broader financial services sector, the most in demand skills required and strongest performing sectors for 2022 are across Financial Planning, Mortgage Underwriting, Digital Banking and Payments. We are also seeing an emerging number of new digital roles within banking because of the regulatory demand and digitalisation such as underwriting governance roles in insurance/reinsurance and Digital Customer Journey Managers.

The Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) space is beginning to take shape and is growing in significance, with brand new roles being created across the global banks and government bodies for ESG Analysts, ESG Consultants, ESG Portfolio Managers, ESG Programme Leads etc.


Senior marketing talent has been in strong demand because of the recent trend to demerge the previously joined market and communications teams separating within companies. Communication departments and roles are experiencing a growth in demand as they are becoming an integral part of business function. The demand for communications talent within business has increased since lockdown because of communication requirements for digital brand awareness as well as the need to better develop internal communications strategies to deal with the new more remote world of working. Digital marketing roles are expanding like strategy advisor consultancy, CRM specialist (marketing), product marketing management, product analytics, marketing and performance specialist and digital marketing analyst. UI and UX are tech roles that have become increasingly popular in this industry.


The HR market, like most other disciplines, was full of activity across 2021 entering 2022. Given the changing dynamic of the employment market as a consequence of Covid, it is no surprise that HR professionals who are at the coalface of hiring, setting policies and procedures for employees, learning and development and onboarding etc., have been in high demand to counter the challenges posed for employers. Reimagining the workplace and its culture in a new hybrid and remote working world has been particularly challenging to meet the standards required to retain talent in what has been one of the busiest employment markets in recent years. Talent Acquisition Specialists are one of the most in demand positions to hire in today’s market and have one of the most significant increases in salary, growing by up to 20%.

2022 will see the introduction of a number of employment law changes around the introduction of a Statutory Sick Pay Scheme for the first time, the introduction of the statutory right of employees to request remote working, changes to the current whistleblowing regime, as well as navigating the impacts to employers of the enactment of IORP II / The European Union (Occupational Pension Schemes) Regulations 2021. Such changes will require agile and adept HR Business Partners and HR Generalists who are also in strong demand going into 2022.  There is growing demand for this talent with the professional services firms and external consultancies that will pervade throughout 2022.


Demand for construction talent is global as local countries and economies begin to recover and grow, meaning the gap between available skills to meet the delivery of committed projects such as NBI, Data Centres, residential construction etc. is likely to grow in 2022, putting further inflationary salary pressures on the market. We do not have the same talent pool of workers from Eastern Europe as previously, so the emphasis needs to be on further growing our talent pool, opening ourselves up more to international talent further afield than before, increasing the awareness and credibility, we well as numbers taking up trade apprenticeships and creating meaningful career paths for those that chose to work here.

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