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Careers in the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine

Over 3000 staff work for the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine in locations across the country and in cities across the globe. Working with the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) can provide you with a rewarding and fulfilling career at the forefront of agri-food, forestry and marine sectors.

Inclusive Culture

The Department embraces a diverse workforce and recognises the value that staff of different backgrounds, perspectives and skills sets contribute to the organisation. We promote diversity, equality and inclusion as core values and recognise these attributes as central to the success of the Department in achieving its professional objectives. Respect is a core value which must be reflected at all levels in the organisation. We provide equal opportunities across our workforce and encourage a dynamic working environment.

Variety of Roles

Department staff work in a wide variety of areas. There are over 60 different roles in the Department, ranging from general administrative and service roles to specialist professional positions, which include agricultural inspectorate, agricultural officers and engineering, financial, IT,  laboratory, legal and veterinary roles amongst others.

Most roles are office-based and facilitated by sophisticated IT systems. The Department has a state-of-the-art laboratory facility at Backweston in Celbridge, Co.Kildare and a number of smaller laboratories at locations around the country, where our laboratory services staff are based. Other roles involving our inspectorate, technical and veterinary staff involve inspections at meat-processing plants or incorporate outdoor work, for example farm inspections and Border Inspection Posts checks.

As an employee of the Department, you will have a variety of responsibilities. These will depend on your role and may include, but are not limited to:

  • Policy development on all areas of Departmental responsibility.
  • Development and implementation of national and EU schemes in support of Agriculture, Food, Fisheries, Forestry and Rural Environment.
  • Monitoring and controlling aspects of Food Safety.
  • Monitoring and controlling animal and plant health and animal welfare.
  • Legislative regulation of the agri-food and fisheries industries.
  • Representation of the Department in international fora and EU negotiations.
  • Provision of legal advice and management of legal cases relating to all areas of Department responsibility
  • Design, development and maintenance of IT systems.
  • Control and audit of public expenditure.

Our staff must to be able to work effectively with a diverse range of stakeholders including members of the public, the Minister, other civil service departments, the wider public sector, and voluntary and private sectors.

Diverse Locations

In addition to our network of offices and key locations nationwide, the Department also has a presence in key locations across the globe in association with the embassy network attached to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Opportunities regularly arise for secondment to other Government Departments and agencies and to the EU Institutions, in accordance with cross-Departmental and EU administrative business needs.

Learning and Development

The Department is committed to the ongoing training and development of our staff to ensure that we have relevant skills sets to help us achieve our business objectives and that our staff are supported to pursue self-development opportunities. Each member of staff completes yearly Learning and Development Plan with their manager in order to select training courses which will help them achieve their work goals.

The Department supports, through its Funding of Fees scheme, formal educational courses that lead to educational or professional qualifications which are relevant to the business needs of the Department. These courses are undertaken in a staff member’s own time, however the Department will support participants through the provision of paid study and exam leave.

Salary Increments

Civil servants employed by the Department are entitled to a tiered pay scale where annual increments are awarded, subject to satisfactory performance and compliance with Sick Leave guidelines. Your pay scale is dependent on your grade and associated responsibilities.

Pension Entitlements

Department employees will be offered the appropriate superannuation (pension) terms and conditions as prevailing in the Civil Service at the time of being offered an appointment. A new staff member who has never worked in the Public Service will be offered appointment based on membership of the Single Public Service Pension Scheme.

Paid Sick Leave Scheme

Pay during absences will apply on a pro-rata basis, in accordance with the provisions of prevailing sick leave circulars.

A Paid Sick Leave Scheme provides for payment to staff during periods of absence from work due to illness or injury:

  • A maximum of 92 days on full pay in a rolling one-year period
  • Followed by a maximum of 91 days on half pay in a rolling one-year period
  • Subject to a maximum of 183 days paid sick leave in a rolling four-year period


In recognition of the fact that, sometimes, a longer period of sick leave can be required to address a critical illness or serious physical injury, there are further Critical Illness Provisions which may apply in exceptional circumstances.

Flexible Working Arrangements

Flexible working hours

Flexible working hours may be available to you in certain offices and regions, depending on your grade, the requirements of the role and business needs of your team.

Shorter working year

The purpose of the Shorter Working Year scheme is to permit you to balance working life with personal commitments. Under the terms of the scheme, special leave without pay is available in periods of 2, 4, 6, 8, 10 or 13 consecutive weeks. The grant of leave under this scheme is subject to the requirements of your role and the business needs of your team.

Career Breaks

A career break may be granted to you for family reasons, other domestic reasons, travel, educational purposes, taking up employment in the private sector or becoming self-employed. Career breaks may be granted for a period of at least 6 months up to a maximum of 3 years for taking up employment in the private sector or becoming self-employed, and a maximum of 5 years for other reasons. Eligible staff may, in general, avail of three career breaks during their career in the Civil Service subject to a maximum of 12 years in total.

Maternity, Paternity and Adoptive leave

Maternity Leave is a statutory entitlement which ensures that staff are entitled to 26 weeks maternity leave with the option of with 16 weeks additional unpaid maternity leave. Staff are also entitled to time off to attend ante-natal appointments as required. New parents (other than the mother of the child) are entitled to 2 weeks paternity leave from employment or self-employment following birth or adoption of a child. A staff member who is adopts a child is entitled to 24 weeks consecutive Adoptive Leave followed by up to 16 weeks consecutive unpaid Adoptive Leave.

Parental leave

Parental Leave is a statutory entitlement, which allows the parent or guardian of a child, born or adopted, to take unpaid leave for 22 working weeks (as of 01/09/2019) and 26 working weeks (as of  01/09/2020) for the purpose of childcare.


Department staff are entitled to apply for the Travel Pass Scheme and Cycle to Work Scheme and Taxsaver Commuter Ticket Scheme.

Interested in joining our team?

Recruitment for the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine is facilitated by the Public Appointments Service (PAS) . All vacancies in the Department are advertised on the PAS website:

Register with the Public Appointments Service and sign up for job alerts indicating your areas of interest to receive email updates about new competitions.


For general information about general and specialist careers in the Department, you can contact us directly*:


Phone 01 607 2000

Post Careers c/o HR Strategy Team, Human Resources Division, Agriculture House 5W, Kildare St., Dublin 2 DO2 WK12

*Please note that we do not accept CVs to the email and postal addresses provided. All competitions/vacancies are advertised via the Public Appointments Service (PAS). Applications for competitions must be submitted on designated application forms via the process outlined on the Candidate Information Booklet relating to that competition.