DUBLIN professionals are paid between 8pc and 15pc more than those in identical jobs in other regions, new research has found.
A detailed salary study of 25,000 Irish professionals showed stark differences in the pay packets earned by the same workers in different parts of the country.
Accountants with five years' experience working in Dublin earn €60,000 to €70,000 on average, it found – but the same people working in Waterford earn a full €10,000 less.
"There's a whole host of reasons for this," said Morgan McKinley's Karen O'Flaherty, who worked on the survey. "There are simply more employers in cities like Dublin and Cork, meaning there is more competition for staff. And foreign companies that locate outside of Dublin and Cork often do so on the basis that costs will be lower – they're there for that reason."
"This is compounded by people's own expectations. Living costs are higher in Dublin and Cork; professionals expect to be compensated for this. And often they are prepared to accept lower pay if it means they can live closer to home or in the countryside."
There was less regional difference in salary, however, for the most in-demand jobs.
These in-demand jobs mostly involved technology, like software development and data analytics. "There is a clear shortage of talent in this field," said Ms O'Flaherty. "It's definitely hiking up salaries, particularly for IT contractors, who are very much in demand at the moment."
Professionals in those jobs also received very rapid pay increases in comparison with other fields. In the software sector an entry level user experience (UX) consultant can expect to receive between €23,000 and €42,000 per annum in the first three years of their career – regardless of location – but this rises to between €65,000 and €80,000 after five years.
The hiring process for IT roles is also much quicker, because of the urgency of many IT projects. Future demand, Morgan McKinley said, will be in emerging disciplines like digital marketing and life sciences research.
The research also found big variances in annual leave, according to profession rather than location.
The average annual leave given to professionals, in line with the statutory minimum of four weeks, is 20 to 23 days. But those in finance and accounting, it said, receive an average of 27 days off a year.
"These jobs often involve very long hours – 14 and 15 hour days at busy periods for accountants – so employees are compensated with extra annual leave," explained Ms O'Flaherty.
"And many financial service companies offer days off per years of service, which senior people build up and expect to hold on to when they move jobs."
Bonuses also vary wildly from job to job, the research found. The average bonus for professionals is between 5pc and 10pc, but supply chain professionals receive up to 50pc bonuses.