Irish wages still lag behind other European countries

The 'Celtic Tiger' continues to roar with economic growth figures of 10% set to slow down to a still healthy 5-6 % a year.

The "Celtic Tiger" continues to roar with economic growth figures of 10% set to slow down to a still healthy 5-6% a year.

Inward investment continues to fuel this growth, with Microsoft and others making Ireland a potential Silicon Valley of Europe.

However, the Irish Examiner recently reported that Irish wages still lagged behind others in Europe. Skilled workers fleeing to better paid Britain and Germany were putting the booming economy at risk, but if Irish wages caught up with Europe's best, it would put the country's competitive edge at risk, it reported.

And they might, growing much faster than Ireland's 4% inflation. Skilled workers wages rose 7.9% over the past year, with service sector wages growing by 14 %.

Skill shortages are growing and Intel and others have reduced their employment criteria, taking any graduate, not just engineers.

The Irish government also recently offered 100,000 work permits to help end labour shortages in IT, construction, nursing and architecture.

Dublin-based IT recruiters Rescon says in-demand skills at present include experienced project managers, ecommerce, RDBMS, telecomms, Unix, C++/Java, S/W Testers and localisation engineers.

Rescon specialises in senior appointments, software development, technical support, localisation/testing and sales and marketing.

It has just issued a salary survey based on 1000 people in its database, full details of which can be found on www.rescon.ie or at www.finfacts.com.

While wages are relatively high, it should be pointed out the Irish pound or punt is tied to the sickly European Single Currency - the Euro - so in dollar terms are not as high as they should be. A punt is worth $2.65, while a British pound is worth $3.60.

Newly-qualified certificate, diploma or degree level mainframe operators can earn £13-16,000, with client server software developers earning about £3000 more.

A mainframe programmer with a year's experience can expect £15-18,000 and analyst programmers with similar experience can earn £18-25,000.

Software enginners with one to two years' experience earn £18-25,000, with higher wages likely for RDBMS, reaching £31-36,000 for RDBMS operators after three to five years. Systems analysts with two to three years' experience earn £26-32,000.

Project managers with three years' experience start at £29,000, while those with five years working on client servers could get £59,000.

Web work shows a wide variation, with designers starting at £14-20,000, rising to £18-30,000 after two to four years. Web developers start on £18-30,000, rising to £24-38,000 after two to four years. C++/Java brings £18-26,000 in the first two years, rising to £26-38,000 after two to four years. Webmasters start on £16-24,000, rising to £25-30,000 after two to four years. Internet architects with five to seven years' experience earn £40-70,000 pounds.

Senior roles include program managers on £55-65,000, operations managers on £45-65,000, IT managers on £35-55,000, IT directors on £50-75,000, chief technology officer on £60-100,000 and chief operating officers on £75-100,000. Many jobs also offer perks like private healthcare, cars, share options, etc, with the more senior roles gaining more perks.

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