2018 Science Salary Guide

Stephen O'Brien 11.01.2018

Science salary ranges and benefits in Ireland for 2018 including laboratory roles, technical services, quality & regulatory, MS&T, food, clinical trials.

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Commentary on Science Roles and Remuneration in Ireland for 2018

The life science sector; which includes medical devices, pharma and bio-pharmaceutical is estimated to be worth more than €45 billion annually. 

2017 saw several companies expanding their portfolio of products; be it through product transfers to Ireland or within Ireland, building new plants on existing green field sites or investing through mergers and acquisitions. Ireland has now established itself as a real centre of excellence within this space. This also can be seen in the number of professionals willing to relocate from various European countries to Ireland to work with some of the world’s leading brands in life sciences.

With an estimate of 50,000 employed in the life science sector in Ireland, it is very quickly becoming very competitive for businesses to recruit the best talent. Professional job seekers have numerous opportunities and factors influencing their decisions can be; product type, option to work days or shift, contract or permanent contracts, location, commuting time, career opportunities and longevity. 

Over the last 12 months we have seen companies react positively to the surge in recruitment through speedier hiring processes. More fixed term contract (FTC) and permanent opportunities are being offered than ever before. Open positions tend to be new opportunities due to expansion and growth, not just backfills or contract cover. 

Ireland is recognised the world over for the quality of its graduates. During the downturn, a significant number of professionals continued their education up to Masters and PhD level. Individuals with this higher level of education combined with two to three years' experience are now highly sought after. This is particularly evident across specialised functions within the technical services space in pharmaceuticals and in the MSAT space in biologics including cell culture and purification.  

Just recently the Irish government have launched their commitment to a decade-long STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) strategy where they are committing to increasing the number of students taking on STEM subjects. They are also setting a target of increasing female students taking on STEM subjects for their leaving certificate by 40%. Encouraging students to take on STEM subjects will significantly contribute to the growth of the Irish economy and will support the demand for qualified professionals within the science space. 

The gender balance continues to be 50:50 across all levels and there appears to have been no change over the last 12 months. 

In 2018, salaries are expected to remain in line with the average market increase of 3-4%. Within the technical services and MSAT space, skilled professionals are in short supply so significant increases of 10-12% can be expected for professionals with strong experience in these areas who looking to make a career move in 2018.

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