It’s goes without saying that food and drink are important to us, but beyond what we need to survive people invest a lot in enjoying their food and drink. This means there is an enormous number of possible careers available at all stages of the food production cycle, from farm to fork. You could work in a factory preparing food, a butcher shop or bakery selling fresh food or as a chef in a high-end restaurant, devoting immense care and skill to the preparation of meals.


    food production, sales & marketing, education & training, physical activity, time management, budgeting, health and safety, customer service, maintaining machines, communication, quality control, managing resources,

Key Facts

are directly employed in food and drink production
increase in exports from the food and beverage sector since 2009
million. Value of Ireland's artisan and speciality food sector
are employed in the restaurant industry

Labour Market Information

There were approximately 174,800 people employed in accommodation and food services in the final quarter of 2018, this represented 7.7% of national employment. Food and beverage services made up the majority with 124,108 (71%) people working in the space, the remaining employees worked in accommodation, such as hotels or hostels. The sector experienced strong employment growth of 4% between the end of 2017 and the end of 2018, a reduction on the 8% growth between 2016 and 2017. Average pay in food and drink manufacturing in 2017 was 47,000 euro.

The agri-food industry is benefiting from sustained growth in exports, increasing demand for employees. Many food and drink producers are have trouble finding suitable staff, particularly in entry level and general operative positions.  Prospects may be dented by Brexit, which the industry is quite exposed to.

Dairy products (30%) and beef (21%) are the dominant export areas. As an island nation it is unsurprising that seafood is a key part of the food industry, with more than 14,000 employed in the area. The Horticulture industry accounts for a smaller proportion of employment, around 1000 in commercial production, but it kicks above it’s weight with an estimated value of 433 million euro in 2017. Teagasc provides training options for those interested in a career in horticulture.

Employment growth was high for Chefs & cooks; while chefs are employed across a variety of sectors, issues in attracting chefs relate to the hospitality sector. Employment permits have been expanded to allow for certain chef occupations. There has been a large increase in chefs available to work in recent but even this has not matched the level of demand.

Career Interview Videos...

Wayne - Business Manager
Posted by McDonald's

Wayne - Business Manager

Tara McCarthy - How Languages can help your Career
Posted by Languages Connect

Tara McCarthy - How Languages can help your Career

Sinead Ni Ghairbhith - Cheese Maker
Posted by Languages Connect

Sinead Ni Ghairbhith - Cheese Maker

David Kehoe - Chef
Posted by Careers Portal

David Kehoe - Chef

College Course Videos...

Food Science and Health LM068  - University of Limerick
Posted by University of Limerick

Food Science and Health LM068 - University of Limerick

Food Innovation DT421  - TU Dublin - Dublin City
Posted by TU Dublin - Dublin City

Food Innovation DT421 - TU Dublin - Dublin City

UCD Food Science or Human Nutrition Broadcast - University College Dublin - UCD
Posted by University College Dublin - UCD

UCD Food Science or Human Nutrition Broadcast - University College Dublin - UCD