Ireland’s top tech companies: who pays the most?

Google employees in the UK may be paid double what their Irish colleagues are entitled to, but other tech employers pay their Irish employees handsomely

There was some scratching of heads over the weekend when The Guardian showed that the average employee of Google in the UK is being paid twice as much as their colleagues across the Irish Sea.

Figures from the tech giant's latest UK accounts, revealed ahead of a UK Parliament Public Accounts Committee meeting this week, show that it paid wages of about £160,000 (€207,000) per head on its 2,500 staff.

Here in Ireland however, the company’s 2,577 staff in Silicon Docks drew wages of €244 million in 2014, indicating an average wage of just €94,590, or €113,957 when stock based compensation is included. So are Irish employees being treated unfairly?

Well it may be wise to avoid drawing too many conclusions from the information divulged in the tech giant’s accounts. Such accounts aren’t always a completely accurate reflection of a company’s employee base - Google for example actually employs closer to 5,000 people in Ireland, despite what it says in its accounts. Another reason may be because of how its workforce is constituted. Indeed most of Google’s Irish employees don’t work in the potentially more lucrative engineering end of the business; according to its Irish accounts, 70 per cent of its Irish workforce work in sales and marketing, with a further 17 per cent in administration; and just 13 per cent in engineering.

Irish tech salaries

In any event, a six-figure remuneration package is unlikely to displease many. So how do other Irish based tech companies compare?

We took a look at average earnings among Ireland's top ten tech companies, based on turnover, according to Some caveats apply; companies like Apple and Intel are not included, as they don't publish financial information on their Irish operations; and the figures are based on accounts for the most recent financial year filed with the Companies Registration Office, and so may underestimate total headcount, as is the case with Google; and the figures in the table above also include stock compensation, which most of the publicly listed top tech companies also offer their Irish employees.

Nonetheless, they do offer an insight into the level of salaries paid to employees at the Irish outposts of global tech companies.

Best of the bunch is Microsoft, which paid its Irish employees an average of €145,271 each in 2014, according to its accounts, with Adobe employees not far behind, at an average of €134,022.

Facebook is another generous employer, with the average salary of its Irish workforce also in the six figures, due in part to share based compensation. Irish employees received € 20,493 each in share payments on average in 2014.

Fiona Reddan

Fiona Reddan

Fiona Reddan is a writer specialising in personal finance and is the Home & Design Editor of The Irish Times