Work and Travel in Ireland


How do I find a job?

The support network provided by USIT’s Work in Ireland program, as well as the important information provided at your arrival orientation, will point you in the right direction for finding work opportunities in Ireland.

Do I need to secure a job before I travel?

No. Your EU Work Authorisation is not tied to any specific job. It gives you a terrific opportunity to work anywhere you like in Ireland in any type of paid employment.

How much will I earn?

This will depend on the type of job and the length of time you spend in Ireland. You will be paid the same wage as an Irish or any other legal worker will earn and will be able to live on these earnings. The current minimum wage is €9.80 per hour and previous participants have found jobs paying between €10-16 per hour for office-based work – some even as high as €25 per hour.

What kind of job can I get?

Most students or recent graduates choose to work in Ireland’s vibrant hospitality industry – in the numerous restaurants, bars and hotels that fill our major cities and towns, as well as other seasonal, vacation-related work.

Those with office experience may look for administrative work in a corporate environment.

The type of job you’ll find depends not only on your experience but also your attitude. Be open-minded, think about what you have experience in, where your talents lie and what you’d excel at. And remember, it’s not always about the job itself, it’s about the experience you’ll gain from it.

Can I get a career-related job?

Yes. Your Working Holiday Authorisation (WHA) entitles you take up any type of paid work in Ireland, but you will need to put in the same level of research and pre-planning to find a career orientated job, as you would in your home location. Your resume will be greatly enhanced in the future by finding career-enhancing work in an international setting like Ireland, so if you are a recent graduate keen to build your career, let your time in Ireland get you a step further up the ladder. And let USIT get you there.

Do I have to work for the full duration of my stay?

No. Generally, students who live and work in Ireland during the summer stay on average 6-8 weeks. Anything less isn’t realistic, as an employer will be looking for commitment from its seasonal staff.

Outside of the summer season, Work in Ireland participants are encouraged to stay at least 3 months, as it may take some time to find your job and settle in. Find a job that suits you and make the most of your Irish experience.

Where can I go in Ireland?

Your Working Holiday Authorisation (WHA) allows you to work anywhere in the 26 counties of the Republic of Ireland. You should, however, take into consideration the nature of the work you are pursuing, especially temporary, seasonal work, such as that found during the summer, or whether or not you are looking for career-related employment.

Dublin, Galway and Cork are the most popular destinations for our participants. If you would like a job in one of these locations, you need to get there before the Irish students and graduates do! There can be plenty of competition for summer work in the hospitality industry, so time your arrival accordingly and get there early. Keep in mind that in places such a Galway, a popular tourist location on Ireland’s scenic west coast, the busy season runs from April to October, and work can be difficult to find outside of these months (though not impossible).

What does housing cost?

This depends entirely on where you live (city versus village) and whether you share accommodation with roommates or live on your own. See our Accommodation Advice section for more information on housing and cost of living.

Do I have to stay in Dublin?

No. You can go anywhere in the 26 counties of the Republic of Ireland. After your arrival and USIT orientation in Dublin, where you will complete your work authorisation process with the Work in Ireland team, you are free to head to any part of the country. During winter months (the low season for tourism), you’ll find job-hunting easier in the more populated cities. In summer, Ireland popular towns and villages around the countryside come alive with tourism.

How much money should I bring with me?

We recommend that you bring a minimum of €1,500 with you when you arrive, to cover initial costs such as a deposit on an apartment, food and transportation while you are looking for work. The bigger the financial cushion you, the better!

When is the best time to work and travel in Ireland?

The most popular months for arrivals are May to June and late August to October. A period to avoid arriving is mid-December through January, when there often very little employment opportunities or recruitment taking place. This is an extremely slow period in Ireland, due to the holidays. July through mid-August is another time you may want to avoid arriving, as the summer season will be in full swing and most jobs will have been filled.

Get ahead of the crowds and time your arrival according to the type of work you seek and when others may be vying for the same jobs. For summer work in Ireland, consider arriving in late April or early May and hit the ground running. Keep in mind that if you arrive at the very end of summer, you may be competing with returning students when looking for accommodation.

Can I travel to other parts of Europe?

Yes. In fact, we actively encourage you to because your Work in Ireland program puts you right at the gateway to Europe, with its wealth of cultural heritage to explore and enjoy. USIT can help you make travel arrangements throughout Europe, as we are the leading youth travel organisation in the country. Also, if you are thinking of extensive travelling, look into the Interrail pass, which you can buy from USIT.

Can I leave and re-enter Ireland while I am on the program?

Yes. There are no program restrictions.

What do I need to satisfy immigration requirements?

You need a valid passport, a letter of eligibility and proof of funds (a recent bank or credit card statement). You’ll also need to bring your address for your first few days, insurance documents and return ticket (depending on your nationality’s eligibility requirements).

The USIT Work in Ireland team will talk you through all of this and more – helping you throughout the application process, arrival and beyond. We are experts in student and youth travel, and happy to answer all your questions as you prepare for life abroad!

Do I need to attend the orientation?

Yes! Even if you have friends in Ireland, the information provided at your USIT Work in Ireland orientation session is crucial in helping you make the most of your time here.

We will provide detailed information on registering your work authorization (a legal requirement) and provide the details on getting your Work in Ireland identification card – a must before you begin work anywhere else in the country. We also give you information on money matters, finding housing and your job search.

We also provide tips on “arrival survival”, exploring your new location and travel around Ireland much, much more. The Work in Ireland handbook is packed with helpful information, so make sure you attend and get yours. The orientation is also a great place to meet other participants on the program, making friends and maybe even finding roommates. The USIT Dublin office will serve as your hub of support throughout your stay, where you will find printing and computer facilities, jobs and housing information, travel advice and friendly faces – so be sure to attend your orientation and visit often.

Can I go on my own?

Of course! In fact, most participants take part in the program and travel to Ireland by themselves, so don’t worry. You will meet many like-minded people through the program and throughout Ireland. Ireland is a multicultural, exciting country, boasting a diverse mix of people from different backgrounds. To enhance your experience, USIT hosts monthly social activities to help you meet new people.

How good does my English need to be?

You will need to have a good standard of English especially for day-to-day activities, opening your bank account, registering for taxes and for attending job interviews. For participants who are unconfident of their English we can recommend a number of excellent language courses here in Dublin which you could attend for the first couple of weeks depending on how long of a course you would like to attend.

Is there a deadline for registration?

No. The Work in Ireland program welcomes new participants all year round. However, we would recommend applying a minimum of 4 weeks before your desired arrival date. If it is the case that you apply later that this, we will try our best to accommodate your booking. As EU citizens do not require to go through a visa application we can fast-track the process where needed.

Do I need travel insurance?

Yes. Here at USIT, we would recommend all participants have travel insurance to cover the duration of your stay. You can talk to the Work in Ireland Team for more information.

Do I need a visa?

No. EU and Swiss citizens do not need work authorisation to work in Ireland. You will just need to bring your passport and ID card.

What kinds of jobs are available?

Our participants find work across a number of different areas including retail, the service industry, tourism, office and administration work or languages jobs in some of the large multi-national companies here in Ireland. Some of our participants have previously work in companies such as Amazon, Google, Apple, Starbucks, Primark, Topshop, H&M and Guinness.

Can I take up more than one job?

Yes. You can most definitely take up a second or third job if you wish. For example some participants work part-time across two positions, working day-time in a café and working the evenings in a bar or club. However, we would always advise participants to leave enough time for exploring Ireland on your days off.

Can I begin my job hunt from Germany, before I leave?

Yes. We would recommend this. Once you are booked on the programme you can contact our team here in Dublin with any questions you may have, for CV advice and for tips on the best places to search for jobs in Ireland.

Do I need a tax ID?

Yes, you will need to register for your tax ID here in Ireland. But don’t worry, our team will help guide you through this process.

Will my German drivers license work in Ireland?

Yes. But remember Ireland drive on the right-hand side of the road!

What happens if I fall ill whilst abroad?

Don’t worry, our team are here to support you. You will be given emergency contact numbers and doctors contact details at your welcome orientation. You should also contact your insurance company to see what will be covered.

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