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Occupation Details

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Job Zone

Most occupations in this zone require job specific training (vocational training) related to the occupation (NFQ Levels 5 and 6 or higher), related on-the-job experience, or a relevant professional award.

Related Experience
Previous work-related skills, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, several years of full or part-time employment in the area may suffice.

Job Training
Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognised apprenticeship or training program may be associated with these occupations.

Job Zone Examples
These occupations usually involve using communication and organisational skills to coordinate, supervise, manage, or train others to accomplish goals. Examples include restaurant managers, electricians, agricultural technicians, legal secretaries, hairdressers, and web developers.

€23k > 46
Salary Range
(thousands per year)*
€23 - 46
Related Information:
Garda Trainees receive an allowance of €184 per week for the 32 weeks leading to attestation.

On appointment to the Service, a Probationer Garda will be paid €23,171 rising by increments to a
maximum of €45,793 per annum after 19 years (October, 2013 rates).

Members of the Service may also
qualify for other allowances.
Data Source(s):
Public Appointment s Service

Last Updated: December, 2015

* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.
Shortage Indicator

No shortages have been identified for this occupation.

National Skills Bulletin 2018

Occupational Category


Also included in this category:

Detectives (police service); transport police officers.

Number Employed:


With Third Level: 83%
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Saves this course to your Career File if you are registered.

At a Glance... header image

Maintains law and order as a member of the Garda Síochána in the Republic of Ireland.

Videos & Interviews header image

1Total Records:15

Aishling Butler
Garda Trainee

Aishling Butler is a Garda Trainee in Templemore Garda College (Phase 1, week 17). She holds an honours degree in Sport and Recreation Management. Aishling aspires to be a Community Garda helping members of the public on a daily basis.

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Martha Francis
Detective Sergeant

Martha Francis is a Detective Sergeant working in the computer crime investigation unit in Harcourt Square. Martha has been a member of An Garda Síochána for 26 years and has travelled abroad to undertake a number of courses in her specialist area. 

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Marianne Cusack
Garda Sergeant

Marianne is a Sergeant currently teaching in the Garda College in Templemore specialising in the area of investigative interviewing. Marianne has worked in many operations within An Garda Síochána including community policing, The Garda National Drug Unit and Operation Trace. 

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Dave McInerney
Dave McInerney is a seargant and head of the diversity unit in An Garda Síochána working with ethinc minorities. Dave speaks Arabic and Spanish which enhances his communciation with these groups. 
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Nan Hu

Nan Hu has been a member of An Garda Síochána for eight years. He is attached to the Bridewell Garda Station's mountain bike unit. As a Chinese national, Nan is often called upon for his language skills which are of great benefit to him within the organisation.

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Emilia Gilroy

Emilia Gilroy is a Garda stationed in Tallaght, Dublin. She is originally from Poland and graduated from Templemore Garda College in 2015. As her career within the organisation progresses Emilia hopes to undertake a course in specialist interviewing.

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Garda Trainee
A Day in the Life
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Peter Clifford
Probationer Garda

Peter Clifford is a Probationer Garda in Waterford. Peter had previously worked as a care assistant for people with intellectual diabilities before deciding on a career change. He was also a member of the Garda Reserve for 5 years in a busy city environment which shaped his decision to join the force.

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Alan Browne
Alan Browne is a member of An Garda Síochána and is based in Store Street station in Dublin 1.
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Mark Spain
Garda Trainee

Mark left his job in the Civil Service where he had worked for seven years to join An Garda Síochána at age 29. He was also a member of The Garda Reserve prior to beginning his studies in Templemore which he highly advocates for giving the best insight into the work of the Gardaí.

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Follow the links below to watch videos related to this occupation:

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Go..Police Constable - from: icould [UK] Video

The Work header image

The primary responsibilities of An Garda Síochána include, but are not limited to the following functions:

  • Ensuring our nation’s security;
  • The prevention and detection of crime;
  • Enhancing community safety;
  • Reducing the incidence of fatal and serious injuries on our roads and improving road safety;
  • Working with communities to prevent anti-social behaviour;
  • Promoting an inter-agency approach to problem solving and improving the overall quality of life.

The service that the Gardaí provide today is both complex and highly specialised. There are a variety of specialist units to which members of the service (with three years experience of uniformed policing duties) can apply to join, such as The Drug Squad, The Serious Crimes Squad, Community Police, The Dog Unit, The Fraud Squad, The Emergency Response Unit, Juvenile Liaison Section, Training College, Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Investigation Unit and many more.

Promotion opportunties within An Garda Síochána are available to those with the required skills - ranks are as follows:

  • Garda
  • Sergeant
  • Inspector
  • Superintendant
  • Chief Superintendent
  • Assistant Commissioner
  • Deputy Commissioner
  • Commissioner

Tasks & Activitiesheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported tasks and activities for this occupation


Provide for public safety by maintaining order, responding to emergencies, protecting people and property, enforcing motor vehicle and criminal laws, and promoting good community relations.


Record facts to prepare reports that document incidents and activities.


Monitor, note, report, and investigate suspicious persons and situations, safety hazards, and unusual or illegal activity in patrol area.


Identify, pursue, and arrest suspects and perpetrators of criminal acts.


Patrol specific area on foot, horseback, or motorized conveyance, responding promptly to calls for assistance.


Review facts of incidents to determine if criminal act or statute violations were involved.


Render aid to accident victims and other persons requiring first aid for physical injuries.


Investigate traffic accidents and other accidents to determine causes and to determine if a crime has been committed.


Testify in court to present evidence or act as witness in traffic and criminal cases.


Photograph or draw diagrams of crime or accident scenes and interview principals and eyewitnesses.

Work Activities header image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported work activities in this occupation.


Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events: Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.


Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others: Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.


Performing for or Working Directly with the Public: Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.


Performing General Physical Activities: Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.


Communicating with Persons Outside Organization: Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.


Assisting and Caring for Others: Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.


Making Decisions and Solving Problems: Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.


Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships: Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.


Getting Information: Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.


Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards: Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.

Knowledge header image

The following is a list of the five most commonly reported knowledge areas for this occupation.


Public Safety and Security: Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.


Law and Government: Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.


English Language: Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.


Psychology: Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.


Customer and Personal Service: Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.

Skillsheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported skills used in this occupation.


Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.


Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.


Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.


Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.


Service Orientation: Actively looking for ways to help people.


Persuasion: Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.


Social Perceptiveness: Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.


Coordination: Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.


Monitoring: Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.


Negotiation: Bringing others together and trying to reconcile differences.

Personal Qualitiesheader image

Applicants for the Gardaí must be of good character and be certified by a Registered Medical Practitioner (nominated by the Garda Commissioner after consultation with the Minister) to be of good health, of sound constitution, and physically and mentally fit to perform the duties of a member of the Service. You must also pass a Physical Competence Test. 
You should enjoy working with people. You need to be able to deal with people of all ages and from a variety of backgrounds. Verbal and written communication skills are important. You should be tactful and patient at all times.  
It is important that you can handle difficult situations with sensitivity. Good judgement is an essential quality. Decision-making skills and initiative are also important. You also need to be able to cope well in a crisis. Close attention to detail will help you to solve crimes and spot suspicious events or circumstances.

Physical Competency Test

The requirement to be of a specific height has been removed and replaced with a physical competency test. The Physical Assessment is comprised of a Physical Competency Test (PCT) and a Physical Fitness Test. All elements of the Physical Assessment must be passed at the pre-entry level.

A PCT Garda Training Video is Available here

Age Limit

Applicants must be 18 years of age but not yet 35 years of age on midnight of the closing date for the competition specified in the advertising campaign to which the admission relates.

Entry Routesheader image

Entrants to An Garda Síochána undertake the BA in Applied Policing (D-157) at the Garda College in Templemore. This is a 2-year programme.

Application for the position of Garda Trainee is made online through the Public Appointments Service. To receive notification of Garda Trainee recruitment campaigns as they arise you can register as a member of Public Jobs.



To be eligible for selection as a trainee you must be 18 years of age but not yet 35 years of age. For the current Garda Trainee recruitment campaign this means you must be aged 18 by midnight of the 1st June, 2017 (i.e. born between 31st May 1982 and 1 st June 1999).

Educational requirements (As of May 2017)

Applicants must:

(A) Have obtained an Irish Leaving Certificate with a grade D3 minimum in five subjects at ordinary level*, 


(B) have a Level 5 Certificate (Major award) on the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ), 


(C) have a recognised qualification (at level 5 or greater), deemed comparable to the above in terms of both level and volume of learning as determined by Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI).


(D) Must have a proven proficiency in two languages, one of which must be Irish or English. Such competency may be proven by achieving the relevant grades in an Irish leaving Certificate, or for English or Irish through such assessments as set out by the Public Appointments Service (PAS).

*Subjects taken at Foundation Level Leaving Certificate are not considered equivalent for entry to this competition.
In certain cases a Pass in the Applied Leaving Certificate (LCA) may be deemed equivalent to an Ordinary Leaving Certificate. In addition, applicants must also have proven proficiency in two languages as set out in (d) above.

The Public Appointments Service may verify the validity of qualifications other than the Irish Leaving Certificate with QQI. Applicants should not contact QQI directly. Candidates may however refer to www.naric.ie which offers advice on the academic recognition of foreign qualifications in Ireland.
Note: The Garda Síochána (Admissions and Appointments) Regulations 2013 provide that special recognition maybe given to Garda Reserve Members in the context of the selection process as they have undergone training in many of the skills required to be an effective full-time member of An Garda Síochána and have gained experience in operational policing.

See FAQs on the Careers area of An Garda Siochána for detailed information on additional entry requirments including nationality.

NoteEntry requirements and procedures for any new Garda recruitment campaign may differ from past campaigns - always the check the latest campaign guidelines



Last Updated: May, 2017

Further Informationheader image

A detailed description of this occupation can be found on a number of online databases. Follow the link(s) below to access this information:

Note: you will be leaving the CareersPortal Site

Go..Police Community Support Officer - from: N.C.S. [UK]
Go..Police Officer - from: N.C.S. [UK]
Go..Police officer/An Garda Síochána - from: GradIreland
Go..Scenes of Crime Officer - from: N.C.S. [UK]

Related Occupationsheader image

Contactsheader image


Organisation: Public Appointments Service
Address: Chapter House, 26/30 Abbey Street Upper, Dublin 1
Tel: (01) 858 7400 or Locall: 1890 44 9999
Email: Click here
Url Click here


Organisation: Garda Headquarters
Address: Garda Headquarters, Phoenix Park, Dublin 8
Tel: (01) 666 2362
Email: Click here
Url Click here


Organisation: Garda Siochana College
Address: Templemore, Co. Tipperary
Tel: (0504) 35400
Email: Click here
Url Click here

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Career Guidance

This occupation is popular with people who have the following Career Interests...

...and for people who like working in the following Career Sectors:

Security, Defence & Law Enforcement
Government, Politics & EU

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