5 things you need to know about salaries for trainee accountants

First things first, your starting salary isn’t everything. Right now, salary should be ‘a’ consideration, not ‘the’ consideration. It’s your earning potential after you qualify that will really count – not to mention how much you enjoy the work and the people you work with; you can’t put a value on that.

Graduate salaries range from about €21,000 to €28,000 in base salary. Why the big range? Should everyone not just expect the same salary? Well, there are a good few things that can affect your base salary such as:

  1. Location: larger cities attract larger base salaries (it costs more to live there, right?);
  2. Study support: some companies will pay for your exams and some will give you study leave. Expect the cost of exams/leave to be reflected in a lower base salary (there’s no such thing as a free lunch!);
  3. Academics: the better your results (masters/undergrad/Leaving Certificate), the higher your base salary is likely to be. This isn’t always the case but it makes sense that a company will pay more for ‘better’ grades;
  4. Expectations: the more demanding the job and the longer the working hours, the higher the base salary is likely to be. But beware, sometimes companies pay more because the job is harder; and
  5. Difficulty: sometimes companies will pay a slight premium for ‘less attractive’ roles (this is a hard thing to judge as beauty is in the eye of the beholder).

Graduate salaries aren’t just all about the base. They’re about what we call ‘total compensation’ or ‘total comp’. If you want to get the full picture on graduate compensation, see here for more insights from your team at Cruncher.

Ed Heffernan

Ed's experience spans over 15 years with local and global names. A subject matter expert in, and advocate of, accounting careers.

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