With Dublin being one of Europe’s most exciting cities, it’s no surprise why many people choose to make it their home. And if you’re one of those considering a move, you might be wondering, how much money should I make to live a decent life there?
And it’s great that you’ve raised that question early on, because, while Dublin has a lot to offer in terms of the quality of life and lifestyle, it sure is expensive as diamonds!
In this article, we’ll answer some of the most frequently asked questions when moving to Dublin. If you’re ready to learn more, read on!
What is a good salary to live with in Dublin?
If you’re living alone, a good salary to live with in Dublin would be at least €50,000 per year (€4,167 per month) before taxes.
If you’re the sole breadwinner of a family of three, a good salary would be twice that amount, around €90,000 – €100,000 annually (€7,500 – €8,333 per month).
Luckily, you’ll be pleased to know that there are many job opportunities in Dublin that can provide you with that salary.
Job Opportunities in Dublin That Pay Well
There are a variety of job opportunities in Dublin that will help you pay your financial obligations. You can find these opportunities mostly in these growing industries:
- Science and Pharma
- Human Resources
- Accountancy and Finance
- Media and Marketing
To give you an idea, we’ve created a list of some of the common job roles in each industry along with their average annual pay.
|Profession||Estimated Annual Salary|
|Cloud Engineer||€60,000 - €90,000|
|Data Scientist||€50,000 - €90,000|
|Full Stack Engineer||€70,000 - €110,000|
|Senior Structural Engineer||€60,000 - €70,000|
|Mechanical and Electrical Project Manager||€75,000 - €90,000|
|Managing Quantity Surveyor||€85,000 - €100,000|
|Senior Occupational Therapist||€54,677 - €64,380|
|Senior Clinical Psychologist||€84,271 - €93,059|
|Clinical Specialist Radiographer||€54,097 - €63,899|
|Science and Pharma|
|Pharmaceutical Quality Director||€90,000 - €130,000|
|Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) Manager||€80,000 - €90,000|
|Analytical Chemist||€75,000 - €90,000|
|Principal Research and Development (R&D) Engineer||€75,000 - €85,000|
|HR Manager||€65,000 - €110,000|
|Recruitment Manager||€60,000 - €80,000|
|Head of Talend & Organizational Development||€95,000 - €135,000|
|Accountancy and Finance|
|Internal Audit Manager||€80,000 - €100,000|
|Senior Financial Analyst||€65,000 - €85,000|
|Payroll Manager||€65,000 - €75,000|
|Media and Marketing|
|Senior marketing manager||€75,000 - €90,000|
|Consumer/Insights Manager||€60,000 - €90,000|
|Senior Brand Manager||€55,000 - €80,000|
Source: Irish Jobs
Is the average Dublin salary enough to live comfortably?
Unfortunately, the average Dublin salary is not enough to live comfortably.
According to data from Glassdoor, the average salary in Dublin is €36,279 per annum (€3,023 per month). Obviously, this is nowhere near our ideal annual salary of €50,000, falling short by a whooping €13,721.
This means that you’ll need to make some big changes and sacrifices in your spending habits. For example, you might need to tighten up your budget for leisure activities, consider a cheaper rental to stay in, or cut back on buying unnecessary grocery items.
Still, it’s a significant step forward compared to earning the minimum wage.
Can I still have a comfortable life while earning Dublin’s minimum wage?
Unfortunately, it’s difficult to have a comfortable life just earning the minimum wage in Dublin.
As of writing, the minimum wage in Dublin and the rest of Ireland is €11.30 per hour. Given a 40-hour work week, this translates to €452 per week or €23,504 annually (€1,959 per month) only.
Apparently, this is way lower than what we consider to be the ideal salary for decent living in Dublin. So, you might want to consider looking for a higher paying job or picking up a second job to make ends meet.
Why is Dublin, Ireland so expensive to live in?
Dublin can be a pretty expensive place to live in, mainly because of the high cost of living in the city. In fact, according to livingcost.org, Dublin belongs in the top 2% of the most expensive cities in the world!
Let’s find out what the cost of living is.
What is the cost of living in Dublin?
The cost of living in Dublin for a single person is around €4,167 a month. On the other hand, for a person who’s solely earning for a family of three, the cost of living can reach up to twice the former, around €8,333 monthly.
Assuming you have those amounts in your bank, you should be able to comfortably cover the basic costs of living, including rent, utility bills, goods and services, healthcare, transportation, leisure and income tax.
In the tables below is our breakdown of how one’s salary could be allocated to cover various expenses:
Salary Allocation for a Single Person
|Expenses||Cost allocation per month|
|Rent (one-bedroom apartment)||€1,423|
|Utility bills (water, electricity, gas, etc.)||€174|
|Health insurance||€94 (for an entry level plan of €1,126 annually)|
|Monthly public transport||€101|
|Taxes||€1,065 (26% of €4,167 monthly income)|
|Emergency funds (for dentist and doctor appointments, savings, etc.)||€500 (12% of €4,167 monthly income)*|
|Leisure (entertainment, eat-outs, drinks, etc.)||€480 (12% of €4,167 monthly income)|
|Total monthly expenses||€4,167|
Salary Allocation for a Person Earning for a Family of Three
|Expenses||Cost allocation per month|
|Rent (two-bedroom apartment)||€2,251|
|Utility bills (water, electricity, gas, etc.)||€229|
|Groceries||€627 (assuming €209 per person)|
|Health insurance (family)||€212 (for an entry-level plan of €2,544 annually)|
|Monthly public transport ticket||€202**|
|Taxes||€3,173 (38% of €8,333 monthly income)|
|Emergency funds (for dentist and doctor appointments, savings, etc.)||€833 (10% of €8,333 monthly income)*|
|Leisure (entertainment, eat-outs, drinks, etc.)||€756 (9% of €8,333 monthly income)|
|Total monthly expenses||€8,333|
*It’s recommended to allocate at least 20% of your monthly income for emergencies/savings, but at least 10% is a good start.
**The cost applies for two adults and a child below five years of age (children below five years old can use the public transport free of charge).
Note that the figures above are only estimates. This is meant to give you an idea of how you could allocate your income if you were earning the ideal salaries for comfortable living.*
Ultimately, the term ‘‘good salary’ is subjective and greatly varies depending on one’s circumstances and lifestyle. For example, one might be content with a one bedroom apartment in the city, while another might prefer a home in the suburbs.
To help you understand and appreciate more why we suggest aiming for our ideal livable salary, let’s take a closer look at how each expenditure actually costs.
Cost of Rent in Dublin
The cost of rent depends on several factors like the location, the size, and the type of accommodation (and its amenities). As a rule of thumb, the nearer you are towards the city center, the more expensive your rent is going to be.
That’s why a lot of people resort to the more affordable alternative – living in the suburbs, where the cost of rent is relatively lower.
Below are some estimated costs for rent in Dublin:
|Type of Accommodation||Monthly rent|
|City Center||Outside City Center|
|One-Bedroom Apartment||€1,600 - €2,400||€1,200 - €1,800|
|Three-Bedroom Apartment||€3,000 - €4,500||€2,000 - €3,000|
Best to take some time searching for apartments in Dublin that best suit your needs and budget.
Of course, there are still other costs associated with rent such as utility bills and home repairs. Below are the estimated costs for utility bills and home repairs in Dublin.
|Type of Expense||Average Monthly Cost|
|Utility bills (electricity, heating, cooling, water, garbage) for an 85 sq. m. apartment||€228, more or less|
|Internet Connection||€40 - €60|
Remember that you also have to anticipate home repair costs and maintenance if these are not included in the rental terms. To give you a rough idea, small home repairs could range from €40 to €500, depending on the type of repair and complexity of the issue.
Just a tip!
- Set aside 30% – 40% of your income for rent right off the bat, so you don’t have to stress about it later on.
- Share the rental with people you trust so you can split the cost and save money.
Cost of Buying a House in Dublin
We thought that you might be considering buying a house instead of renting, so we added this section here.
When buying a house, keep in mind that you won’t be paying for the property itself only, but you also need to account for other costs like legal fees, stamp duties, and home insurance.
Here are some estimated costs for buying a house in Dublin.
|Type of expense||Estimated cost|
|Legal fees||1% - 2% of the property price|
|Stamp duty||1% - 2% of the property price|
|Home insurance||€160 - €700 per year (may be higher, depending on the house’s needs and conditions)|
Cost of Goods and Services in Dublin
Man does not live by bread alone. Sure, but we do need it everyday to stay full, healthy and alive!
Grocery items, like food, personal care products, and other household items are necessary for everyday living. To give you an idea of how much it would cost you, we have some estimated prices for some of the common grocery items below.
However, remember that the cost of these items can vary depending on their brand, quality, and the store where you’ll be buying them.
|Type of Item||Average Cost|
|Eggs (1 dozen)||€3.40|
|Bread (500 g)||€1.90|
|Milk (1 liter)||€1.30|
|Chicken breast (1 kg)||€11.00|
|Beef round (1 kg)||€10.80|
|White Rice (1 kg)||€1.40|
|Tissue (4 rolls)||€2.80|
|Toothpaste (1 tube)||€2.50|
|Shampoo (1 bottle)||€6.60|
Just a tip!
Save some money by shopping at discount stores and buying in bulk!
Personal care services, such as haircuts and salon services, are also common expenses in Dublin, as these are essential for one’s health and wellbeing. Below are some estimated price ranges.
|Type of Service||Average Cost|
|Haircut (Men)||€21 - €25|
|Haircut (Women)||€40 - €80|
|Manicure||€15 - €40|
|Pedicure||€20 - €50|
Cost of Healthcare in Dublin
As the saying goes, Health is wealth. And so, healthcare may probably be on the top of your priority list.
Below are our estimated values for common healthcare expenses, including doctor’s appointments, dentist visits and other medical needs.
|Doctor's Appointment||€45 - €65|
|Cold medicine (1 week)||€6.00 - €7.00|
|Dental Cleaning||€50.00 - €100.00|
|Private Health Insurance||€16.00 - €932.00 per month|
Although you can avail of public healthcare in Dublin, it’s worth considering setting aside some funds for private hospital visits and investing in private health insurance. This way, you may be able to bypass long waiting times and receive treatment more quickly.
Indeed, healthcare costs can be daunting, but it’s better to have a safety net than to be caught off guard and end up with a huge bill. Take care of your health and avoid those expensive hospital visits!
Just a tip!
Eat well, get enough rest, and go to the gym! Prioritize preventive care by living a healthy lifestyle. This way, you can prevent health issues that break the bank.
Cost of Transportation in Dublin
Getting around the city is a must for errands like grocery shopping and withdrawing cash. Here are some estimated costs for common transportation expenses in Dublin:
|Bus Fare (Single)||€2.00 - €3.00|
|Train Fare (Single)||€2.50 - €5.00|
|Taxi Fare (5 km trip)||€8.00 - €10.00|
|Daily car rental (small car)||€20.00 - €70.00|
|Fuel (per liter)||€1.50 - €1.80|
Bus, trains and taxis are the most common ways of getting around, but if you’d rather cycle around the city (Dublin is very cycle-friendly!), you can visit one of the many bike shops in Dublin. There, you can rent or buy a bicycle with varying costs based on the bike’s features.
Just a tip!
- Use public transport, as they are way cheaper than taking a taxi or renting a car. Luckily, Dublin’s public transport is reliable, so you won’t break a sweat getting around the city.
- Walk or cycle! Not only do you get to save some cash but you get to exercise and stay healthy.
Cost of Leisure in Dublin
If you’re staying for good or for the long-term, you better make the most of your time in Dublin. We’re talking about unwinding and enjoying yourself in the city, with great drinks and delicious food!
With that said, you definitely have to set aside some cash for your leisure expenses.
How much is a meal in Dublin?
Meals in Dublin can cost you from as low as €3.00 to as high as €100.00 or more, depending on the type of food, and the level of luxury the place offers. Of course, decent restaurants (not to mention Michelin Star restaurants) are the most expensive options, while fast food meals tend to be the cheapest.
|Fast food meal||€3.00 - €10.00|
|Meal at inexpensive restaurant (good for one)||€16.00 - €20.00|
|Meal at decent restaurants (good for two)||€30.00 - €100.00|
How much are drinks at pubs and bars in Dublin?
Of course, with Ireland’s pub culture, no one ever forgets about drinks! Here are some estimates on how much you can expect to spend on drinks.
|Pint of beer at a pub||€5.00 - €7.00|
|Glass of wine at a bar||€6.00 - €10.00|
|Cup of coffee in a cafe||€3.20 - €3.80|
Take note that the above are just estimates. How much you’ll actually spend for enjoying a night out drinking or dining out depends on the location and level of luxury, and of course, how hard you party!
Cost of Taxes in Dublin
Just like anywhere else, you’ll have to pay taxes as a worker in Ireland (and it’s quite a bill!). The amount you’ll pay varies, depending mainly on how much you are earning.
We’ve rounded up a list of tax-related fees that apply to you, including their rates, to give you an idea of what to expect.
|Income Tax||20% - 40% (varies depending on income bracket)|
|Universal Social Charge (USC)||0.5% - 8% (Varies depending on income)|
|Pay-Related Social Insurance (PRSI)||0.9% - 4% (Varies depending on weekly income band/PRSI class)|
Now that you have an understanding of what a good salary is in Dublin and how much you need to pay your bills, you can make better decisions when it comes to your spending habits and lifestyle. This way, you can continue living comfortably without going broke.
Is Dublin more expensive than London?
In general, Dublin is more expensive than London, United Kingdom, with the overall cost of living being 8% higher.
Statistics from Expatistan show that Dublin leads in the majority of the basic expenses, such as food, clothes, personal care and entertainment, except for housing and transportation.
- Food is 19% more expensive in Dublin than in London.
- Personal Care is 15% more expensive in Dublin than in London.
- Clothes are 8% more expensive in Dublin than in London.
- Entertainment is 10% more expensive in Dublin than in London.
- Housing is 3% cheaper in Dublin than in London.
- Transportation is 43% cheaper in Dublin than in London.
So, as someone looking to move to the Irish capital, you must be aware of these differences and prepare accordingly.