The top 10 construction jobs in Ireland in 2024 revealed
With a series of government mandates in place that include stepping up renewable energy, infrastructure development and meeting building targets on new residential homes, the construction industry in Ireland is expected to continue to make heavy demands on the labour market in 2024. There are currently almost 170,000 working in construction, according to the Construction Industry Federation, but far more are needed.
A report by Global Data predicts industry growth of 2% year on year until 2027. Further, the government’s new Careers in Construction Action Plan estimates that 50,831 new entrants will have to be recruited into the construction sector to fill these jobs.
Major infrastructure projects such as the DART + Fleet and West, Dublin Metro, the N6 Galway City Ring Road, and the M20 Cork-Limerick motorway will require engineers, quantity surveyors, project managers and health and safety advisors with civils experience.
Salaries in sought-after construction roles are also expected to rise in 2024 by an inflation-busting 15 per cent, reports the Irish Independent, which is well above the inflationary 3%.
These are the top 10 jobs across Ireland that construction companies are looking to fill in 2024, sourced from NexVentur’s wide range of construction clients:
1. Quantity surveyors
From graduates to highly experienced professionals, quantity surveyors are in high demand country wide. Some companies are offering graduates fresh out of university starting salaries in the region of €36,000 to €38,000 a year, with these increasing exponentially in line with years of experience to around €65,000 on average. A senior QS with relevant experience will earn around €90,000 in 2024. Projects on the go and in the pipeline include QS’s with civil, building mechanical and electrical experience.
2. Site engineers
Engineering has recovered strongly in Ireland since the pandemic. Engineers Ireland predicted around 8,000 new jobs in the industry in 2023, however this growth was hampered by a lack of experienced engineers to fill all these roles. Engineers with three- to five-years’ experience are the most highly sought-after and can expect to earn salaries between €30,000 to €55,000 in 2024, which escalates to around €75,000 for a senior civil site engineer. Experience with civil and building projects is frequently requested by employers.
3. Project engineers
The Irish government’s commitment to climate action change in Project Ireland 2040 requires a ready supply of talented engineers in all disciplines, not least project engineers. The 2024 salary range for these roles is between €50,000 and €75,000.
Demand for foremen is directly influenced by the dire need for residential housing construction, although other industries such as infrastructure and commercial construction are also vying for these workers. As an integral part of the construction process, the foreman oversees the on-site management of construction projects, supervising teams to ensure projects run smoothly and are completed within the set schedule. The average salary for foremen in 2024 will be €55,000 to €70,000.
5. Project managers
Project managers are critical to ensure the successful delivery of complex construction projects in both the public and private sectors. With demand comes highly competitive salaries and a PM can expect to earn between €68,000 to €85,000 and up to €100,000 a year at experienced senior level in 2024.
6. Health and safety
Every construction site needs at least one health and safety advisor, ensuring these professionals are in the pound seat when it comes to picking and choosing jobs. Salaries vary depending on experience with an entry-level position offering around €30,000 while a senior health and safety manager could earn up to €70,000 per year in 2024, usually with a company vehicle provided.
Residential construction is the fastest growing sector in the industry, which drives the need for both first-fix and second-fix workers. This tends to be seasonal, with first-fix installation of stud walls, roofing and other structural elements primarily outdoors. Specialist carpentry skills such as roofing and metal stud work is also in demand. Come wintertime, the work often moves indoors and there’s a rush on second-fix carpenters to finish off projects before the end of the year.
Carpenter wages are regulated, and minimum rate of pay is €21.40 per hour, until the annual increase on 5th August 2024.
White a quantity surveyor is out on site, estimators are office-based, calculating how much construction projects will cost, considering labour, material and equipment requirements. Salaries fall in line with those of quantity surveyors with juniors earning €36,000 to €38,000 and experienced estimators can expect around €65,000 a year in 2024.
9. Contract managers
Good people skills, many years’ construction expertise and a knowledge of contracts are essential requirements of a contracts manager. Consequently, these are senior roles, with years’ of experience required. Typical pathways to this role are via project manager, quantity surveyor or estimator. Salaries are in line with experience: €60,000 at the lower end of the scale to €110,000.
Reliable and skilled plumbers capable of producing quality work are like hens’ teeth in Ireland as they’re required for just about every construction project on the go. There is a specific need for commercial and industrial pipe fitters, plumbers, pipe welders and mechanical general operatives. This work is mostly on commercial and industrial construction sites right across Ireland. Wages will vary; however, the regulated minimum wage is €26.32 for a plumber with five years or more experience. This will increase from 5th August 2024.
Plenty of opportunities for construction workers in Ireland
“For Irish workers, the job market is flush with opportunity,” said NexVentur Director, Kenny Feeney. “It’s also attractive enough to entice construction professionals working abroad to return home to Ireland. And that’s where we step in.”
NexVentur is a specialist recruitment and relocation agency covering Ireland, the UK and Australia. The company helps place people in jobs, and its team of relocation experts and partners assist with every aspect of a move home or abroad.
NexVentur’s Returning Migrants Programme, in partnership with the Irish Australian Chamber of Commerce, is a response to the growing need for construction talent in Ireland and provides end-to-end support for Irish coming home. This includes flights packages with special perks and savings for people relocating, such as extra free luggage allowance, PPS numbers and Irish bank account, tax advice, Irish mortgages, furniture removals, pet relocation, visa assistance for non-Irish partners, money transfer, and more.
NexVentur offers a free careers and relocation consultation service, which can be booked online using the form below.
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