Here are 10 of the highest paying jobs in Ireland… Maybe it’s time for a change of career? 



(Salaries displayed are annual)

10. Accountant – €109,756 (£95,340)

Responsibilities: Accountants deal with all types of financial activities within a company. From payroll to keeping track of a company’s income and expenses to paying taxes an accountant can have a broad set of responsibilities. But they all revolve around financial activities.

Education:  Since there are various rules, regulations and laws a degree in accounting is necessary to be employed in the field. Most countries further require special licenses or certificates to be able to work.

Key skills/traits: This is a job that revolves around figures. So a propensity for maths, calculations and keeping records is immensely important. Highly developed organisational skills are also extremely important to be a successful accountant. Although this already a very lucrative job – the tenth highest paid job in Ireland – you have the potential to make much more.

9. VP of Engineering – €110,000 – €140,000 (£95,561 – £121,622)

Responsibilities: The reason this profession is so highly compensated is primarily due to its many responsibilities. Often the person directly below the CEO, the VP engineer is in charge of not only the supervision of technical aspects but also the administrative activities. Beyond that a VP of engineering might be tasked with leading a technical project, adding the stress of a tight deadline to an already extremely demanding position.

Education:  An engineering degree is usually necessary since a large part of a VP of Engineering’s job is overseeing extremely technical activities and projects. But, a related technical degree might be sufficient with adequate experience in the field.

Key skills/traits: Beyond technical know-how relevant to your industry, experience and ambition is important, as you must progress through the ranks to be hired as a VP of engineering. Highly developed communication skills are also extremely important as you will need to coordinate and lead your team.

8. CEO – Chief Executive Officer – €150,000 – €250,000 (£129,979 – £216,632)

Responsibilities: The CEO is responsible for all the activities of an organisation. This means that they are responsible for a company’s success and the one that has to answer if it fails. The CEO will also oversee all other executives’ performance and strategies to ensure that they are meeting requirements.

Education: Although a degree isn’t necessary (especially if you are the founder of the company like Richard Branson), it’s strongly recommended. A degree specific to the industry you are interested in is extremely beneficial and to make you even more competitive, you can bolster your education and experience with an MBA (a Master’s in business administration).

Key skills/traits: Work ethic, to climb the ranks of the corporate hierarchy to become the head of a company takes persistence, an ironclad work ethic and a thirst to progress. Organisational skills and a proven track record in the industry will also bolster your chances of sitting at the head of the corporate table.

7. Head of Compliance/Risk Management – €160,000 (£139,000)

Responsibilities: A Compliance Officer ensures that a company and its activities comply with legal regulations to avoid unnecessary fines and other costly sanctions.

Risk Management deals with assessing, avoiding and consulting companies on potential threats to their profitability. Often Risk Management officers will have contingency plans to help them minimise the impact a threat has on a company’s assets. They are also usually in charge of enacting these plans.

Education: There isn’t a specific degree to become Head of Compliance or Risk Management. But usually individuals with degrees in finance/economics or law are preferred. However, to enter the profession in the first place, it is generally necessary to get certified. The Association of Compliance Officers in Ireland offers a wide range of certifications in both compliance and risk management.

Key skills/traits: Of course a mind for numbers is helpful since the bulk of both professions’ activity deals with calculations. Beyond that strong interpersonal skills and an eye for detail are extremely beneficial.

6. CTO Chief Technical Officer – €101,300 (£76,400)

Responsibilities: Similar to or even overlapping with a VP of Engineering’s responsibilities but with significantly more authority (and responsibility). The Chief Technical Officer is the big picture thinker who not only implements technology but also plans for future scalability. Due to the highly technical nature of certain applications (such as data management), the CTO bridges the gap between Human Resource Management and Information Technology Management.

Education: For this position, a bachelor’s or a master’s degree is required, preferably in information technology or any subject relevant to the company’s industry. An MBA might also be beneficial, but an advanced degree in IT can be equally valuable. The best way to get a position as a CTO is experience and a very impressive track-record.

Key skills/traits: This role is ideal for people who can supervise and build teams, assign responsibility, maintain and implement new technology which is fiscally beneficial to your company. You will also be charged with managing the teams that must have the technical know-how to implement your plans.

5. COO Chief Operating Officer – €150,000 – €250,000 (£130,000 – £216,862)

Responsibilities: The COO is the second person in a company’s hierarchal chain. The CEO leads the charge with a long-term plan. While the Chief Operating Officer ensures that the daily operations are executed in such a way that the end goals are met. This can include day to day finances, human resource management and even quality control.

Education: Although there is no specific degree for a COO, a degree that is relevant to the field you would like to enter is extremely beneficial. A Master’s of Business Administration can also help increase your employability.

Key skills/traits: Highly developed organisational and interpersonal skills are a must in this position. You are the bridge between an organisation’s executive branch and the employees, subcontractors and other executives.


4. CFO Chief Financial Officer – €180,000 – €250,000 (£157,000 – £218,000)

Responsibilities: A CFO is the top tier of a company’s financial department or departments. All financial activities the company commits to, beneficial or not are a result of the CFO’s decisions and plans.

Education: Considering that a CFO’s duties are primarily financial in nature a degree in economics, finance or accounting are likely the most applicable. Of course, other fields of study that are number intensive can also be useful such mathematics and statistics.

Key skills/traits: Anything financial goes through the CFO. This means that organisational skills are a must, knowledge of finance and mathematics are essential. Interpersonal skills although redundant are always necessary on the executive level, considering you must also convey, report and delegate within the corporate structure.

3. Law/Accounting Firm Partner – €250,000 (£217,000)

Responsibilities: Partners are senior members of a company that are considered so valuable they are given vested interests in the firm. Not only do they have more power when making decisions, but they may also get a share of the profits.

Education: If you want to become a partner in an accounting firm then a degree in finance, accounting or mathematics is necessary. In a legal firm, a law degree and possibly a specialisation is required.  As I mentioned above experience and an invaluable contribution to the firm is one of the primary requisites to become a partner.

Key skills/traits: Ambition, a strong work ethic and fantastic interpersonal skills are necessary to reach the uppermost echelons of any firm.

2. Head of Legal – €150,000 (£140,000)

Responsibilities: The Head of legal might also be referred to as Chief Legal Officer. Much like an actuary estimates the risk associated with financial activity the Head of Legal is in charge of helping the company avoid legal problems.

Education: Unlike other executive positions on this list which allow for a wide spectrum of degrees, the Head of Legal or the Chief Legal Officer must hold a law degree and advanced education is a valuable asset.

Key skills/traits: Highly developed interpersonal skills, excellent communication skills and of course a good work ethic are all things someone needs to become a Chief Legal Officer.



1. Actuary – €300,000 (£262,500)

Responsibilities: Actuaries are primarily are involved in the assessment of risk or risk management. Using calculations and projections, these professionals advise companies on financial actions and their estimated outcomes to mitigate costs. Using a plethora of tools including mathematics, statistics and financial market analysis actuaries fill an important role in corporations or companies that move significant amounts of capital. They are generally employed in the financial industry.

Education: There are specialised degrees such as Actuarial sciences or statistics. However, anyone with a related degree and experience can be employed as an actuary. Science, mathematics and engineering are all relevant fields of study.

Key skills/traits: A person interested in being an actuary must enjoy mathematics, figures and especially statistics. Beyond the hard skills required, you must also have relatively well-developed communication skills. This is because you might need to convey complex ideas to clients or supervisors who aren’t as number savvy as you.

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