Biotechnology | Cpl Salary Guide for Ireland
Biotechnology | Cpl Salary Guide for Ireland



Ireland's Biotech Sector Continues to Thrive

Biotechnology didn't suffer a dramatic post-covid slowdown and Ireland's whole life science industry will continue to be a candidate market with the demand for talent remaining strong in 2024. Ireland continues to be a leading supplier of biotech manufacturing talent, and the industry is taking advantage of the talent on offer by continuing to expand and invest in new sites. We're also seeing new companies relocating to the country.

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Ireland's Biotech Sector Continues to Thrive

Biotechnology Market Trends

After weathering the decline in exports in 2023, primarily attributed to decreased demand for the COVID-19 vaccine, the biotechnology industry remains dynamic and has demonstrated remarkable adaptability. This resilience will be crucial as 17 products, representing over US$145 billion in revenue, lose patent protection over the next 5 years, impacting the industry's profitability. However, the biotechnology industry's commitment to innovation and substantial investment has been pivotal in driving past growth and should see it through turbulent times.

Ireland maintained its status as the preferred location for emerging biotech startups in 2023 and this trend is expected to continue well into 2024. One key factor contributing to the industry's success in Ireland is the abundant availability of highly skilled talent, which is a testament to the country's universities and their commitment to fostering a conducive environment for biotechnological advancements.

The active role played by the Industrial Development Agency (IDA) in attracting and securing Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) underscores Ireland's collaborative efforts to fortify the biotechnology landscape in Ireland.

In-Demand Biotechnology Roles

For biotech manufacturing sites, there continues to be a strong demand for technical engineering skillsets, including validation, maintenance, automation, process, and facilities engineers. This demand is leading validation, CQV, and automation professionals to work as contractors rather than permanent employees, as the daily rates are highly competitive.

Salary increases are being observed for technical candidates with previous biotech experience. Additionally, there is a growing demand for scientists, particularly in quality, process development, pharmacovigilance, and regulatory roles.

Also, there is a noted increase in R&D investments, a positive shift considering that biotech clients have previously chosen locations outside of Ireland for research and development.

Cpl's biotech recruitment team foresees both global professionals and local graduates contributing to filling these new positions, thereby reinforcing Ireland's position as a leader in the biotech space.

Qualifications Needed in Biotechnology

Biotechnology firms traditionally seek candidates with a strong educational background, and place a heavy emphasis on B.Sc. or M.Sc. degrees in chemistry or biochemistry for entry-level positions. This educational focus underscores the importance of a foundational understanding of the core principles in these fields.

At the executive level, there is often a preference for candidates with advanced qualifications such as a master's degree or an MBA. This not only reflects the increasing complexity of leadership roles, but also acknowledges the broader skill set required at higher management levels.

In cases where biotech firms prioritise research and innovation, possessing a Ph.D. can be particularly advantageous. Advanced degrees are a valuable asset and signal a commitment to in-depth knowledge and expertise. A Ph.D. holder is not only viewed as a subject matter expert but also as someone who can contribute significantly to the development and implementation of cutting-edge research initiatives.

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