Introduction to the Garda Pay Scale

If you have made the decision to become a Guard, it is important to know how much you will be paid. This post outlines the Garda Pay Scale. Recent changes on foot of Building Momentum – a new public service agreement 2021-2022, apply to members of An Garda Siochana who have joined after October 2013. We will review the pay applicable to new recruits along with subsequent increments. It is also important to include the additional allowances. These are benefits which are not included within the Garda Pay Scale. And there is good news.

New Recruits 

This blog allows you to plan for the different levels of salary you can earn over your career. This can then help you to identify what kind of income you can expect as a Guard. The difficult part can be making ends meet early on. However, once you get over this hurdle, there is much more security. Garda trainees can expect an initial allowance of €184 per week according to current Garda payroll information. During this initial phase of training, recruits will reside at the Garda college in Templemore, and will be provided with food and accommodation.

Previous new recruits attested after thirty-two weeks advanced to the first point of the Garda pay scale. This amounted before the changes to €30,296 per annum according to January 2019 rates.  This translates to €470.49 per week after tax (€2,038.79 per month). Based on many other entry level roles this stacks up reasonably. Furthermore, banks are more comfortable with customers who have secure jobs. Many clients comment on how Guards are looked upon favourably by banks, along with a range of other public sector employees.

Following the proposals in Building Momentum – a new public service agreement 2021-2022, it is worth noting that the Garda Representative Association project an increase of the first point of the pay scale to €32,421 as of February 2022, with a further increase to be added October 2022, rendering the first point of the Garda pay scale as €32,921.  This result in a weekly take home pay of €532 and monthly of €2,295, which are significant increase, especially factoring in inflation in the current atmosphere.

Increments on the Garda Pay Scale 

The Garda Pay Scale is undergoing change at present, having been subject to the terms of the Haddington Road Agreement between 2013 and 2019. The intention of this was to curb expenditure on public service pay and pensions. This was part of a wider effort to reduce  general government deficit. A series of public service reforms took place, which introduced increment freezes for members of An Garda Siochana. The increments applicable under the 2019 rates of the Garda pay scale result in a salary of €48,754 after eight years of service. Two further increments were applied after thirteen and nineteen years of service, the maximum point on the scale being €52,482 after nineteen years.  

Rates applicable from 1st January 2019 
Point 1  €30,296  Point 7  €44,645 
Point 2  €32,013  Point 8  €46,739 
Point 3  €34,929  Point 9 – 13  €48,754 
Point 4  €36,507  Point 14 – 19  €50,507 
Point 5  €38,827  Point 20  €52,482 
Point 6  €42,329   

Pay Equality and the Garda Pay Scale

There has since been an undertaking by Government to address pay equality for new entrants by deducting one increment – point four on the scale – facilitating progress for entrants. The Department of Public Expenditure and Reform of Ireland has clarified this. Members already at, or exceeding point four of the scale can get an additional increment at the assignment of their next increment after 1st March 2019. What this means is that if a member of An Garda Siochana progressed to point four of the pay scale in February 2019, they would proceed to point six rather than point five the following year. This is a pretty significant jump of almost €500 per month gross.

According to the Garda Representative Association, the Garda pay scale has been adjusted on foot of Building Momentum – a new public service agreement 2021-2022, with two increases taking place since October 2019, creating a new scheme of increments outlined below. 

New Rates

Rates applicable from 1st October 2022 
Point 1  €32,921  Point 7  €47,803 
Point 2  €34,561  Point 8  €49,998 
Point 3  €37,619  Point 9 – 13  €52,132 
Point 4*  €39,273  Point 14 – 19  €54,007 
Point 5  €41,704  Point 20  €56,118 
Point 6  €45,375   

Members with salaries between €35,000 and €65,000 will be subject to two increment freezes lasting three months after reaching a new increment. For two consecutive years there is a fifteen-month period between increment dates. Where the interval exceeds twelve months, the Haddington Road Agreement sets out that the freeze will be for a single six-month period. Following this, no additional delays take place for any service member categories. This a not long freezes, however we need to take into account here that we are currently facing into unprecedented times, and there is likely to be a major bump on the road due in the coming 12-24 months. If this results in a 2010 scenario (which is unlikely, dare we say it); these new increments could be frozen. There was a lot of hardship endured by an Garda Siochana during the downturn, but it rarely made headlines as, in places it didn’t serve a dramatic media narrative or they were seen as a well paid cohort by many and there was little interest. However, by getting in now you are assuring yourself of the security afforded under this plan, definitely in the case of an embargo.

Additional allowances and specialisation 

A significant contribution to overall pay is provided for outside the Garda pay scale, in the form of ‘allowances in the nature of pay’ and ‘non-pay allowances’.  

Allowances in the nature of pay are fixed. In other words – an allowance stays the same. This category of allowance is subject to tax and contributes to pension earnings. As of October 2021, the following table constitutes the levels of ‘allowances in the nature of pay’. 

Allowance Rate 

  • Air Support Unit €5,090.15 p.a.  
  • Collators €26.27 p.w.  
  • Detective Overtime :

c) Where it is between 5 & 8 hours €233.43 p.q. 

d) If the average overtime exceeds 8 hrs €408.25 p.q.  

  • Dog Handlers €55.79 p.w.  
  • Employee Assistance Officer €7,871.74 p.a.  Instructors €8,143.28 p.a.  
  • Interpol €2,907.79 p.a.  
  • Immigration Officers €26.27 p.w.  
  • Ministerial Pool – 40% of basic pay (Pt 8) €20,442.00 p.a.  
  • PSV Inspectors €5,085.35 p.a.  Instructors €8,143.28 p.a.  
  • Interpol €2,907.79 p.a.  
  • Immigration Officers €26.27 p.w.  
  • Ministerial Pool – 40% of basic pay (Pt 8) €20,442.00 p.a.  
  • PSV Inspectors €5,085.35 p.a.  Scenes of Crime Examiner €3,076.46 p.a.  
  • Substitution €38.38 p.m.  
  • Technical Bureau  

d) On appointment €2,914.96 p.a. 

e) After 3 years €4,277.45 p.a. 

f) After 5 years €5,440.37 p.a.  

Water Unit €5,090.15 p.a

Allowances outside the Garda Pay Scale

‘Non-pay allowances’ are flat-rate allowance. These apply to expenses during ordinary duties. Importantly they are not a taxable. Instead the allowances are adjusted in line with the Consumer Price Index. They include: 

Allowance Rate 

  • Boot €2.93 p.w.  
  • Community Relations Crime Prevention €30.90 p.w.  
  • Detective €30.90 p.w.  
  • Juvenile Liaison Officer €30.90 p.w.  
  • Uniform Maintenance €4.39 p.w.
  • Plain clothes €12.21 p.w.  

When you start adding these up, it amounts to a significant amount of money. It is worth noting that they apply to members who joined after October 2013. Other allowances are applicable. They include: rostered unsocial hours, substitution and part-time transport, subsistence, and for members overseas on missions. There is obviously a lot in this. It appears that there are presently fifty-four allowance categories. It is difficult to estimate the proportion of allowances which make up overall salary. A 2016 review observed that allowances are a very significant proportion of total earnings. This was particularly among Gardai, Sergeants and Inspectors. It is possible to give some insight into how allowances contribute to overall pay. The range of the Garda pay scale in 2015 was between €23,171 and €45,793. The average annual earnings that year for the rank however was €63,327. These allowances have long been considered as necessary. The nature of the work An Gardai Siochana does is unique and this is what justifies these payments.


The Garda Pay Scale has been subject to significant changes in recent years. It has seen an increase in pay for members by 3% in three years. The first point of the Garda pay scale has increased from €30,296 in January 2019 to €32,921 in September 2022. We have outlined the developments which have occurred. It reflects how strong an Garda Siochana is and that they have a voice the government has to listen to. The entitlements are significant and well worth exploring. Financial remuneration also exists in the form of allowances to members which is a great perk when added up. You are not just getting paid your salary and this helps your standing with banks and financial institutions.

Aside from the competitive salary An Garda Siochana, provides security and a public service pension. It offers unique and exciting experiences, along with the prospect of diverse advancement opportunities. Many Guards love what they do and are in it for more than money. Garda recruitment is a challenging process. A high number apply for these jobs and the standard for entry is high.

At H-Training we offer career coachingcareer guidance for adultssales trainingemotional intelligence assessmentinterview panel training and corporate group interview training. We have vast experience with an Garda Siochana and have helped a generation of Garda either commence or progress their careers. Visit our book now page to find out our next availability

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