Careers rarely develop the way we plan them. Our career path often takes many twists and turns, with particular events, choices and people influencing our direction.

We asked Dave McDonald from Smart Futures to give some advice for people considering this job:


Dave McDonald


Smart Futures

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  Dave McDonald

A caring attitude is essential for Health and Safety – you need to be passionate about getting the message across to people and telling them why it is so important. After all, no-one wants to see anyone suffer harm or be in pain.

For astronomy, a yearning for answering the unanswered questions is a must. You also need to be dedicated and focused and not put off by the weather


Realists are usually interested in 'things' - such as buildings, mechanics, equipment, tools, electronics etc. Their primary focus is dealing with these - as in building, fixing, operating or designing them. Involvement in these areas leads to high manual skills, or a fine aptitude for practical design - as found in the various forms of engineering.

Realists like to find practical solutions to problems using tools, technology and skilled work. Realists usually prefer to be active in their work environment, often do most of their work alone, and enjoy taking decisive action with a minimum amount of discussion and paperwork.
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National Learning Network

National Learning Network

National Learning Network provides a range of flexible training courses and support services for people who need specialist support (job seekers, unemployed, people with an illness or disability) in 50 centres around the country. The SOLAS courses and HSE programmes, all of which include work experience, offer nationally recognised qualifications including FETAC, ECDL, and City and Guilds ensuring that students are ready to get a job or go on to further education.

Search for NLN courses here
  Hint: STEPS

Further training as part of my job as a Civil Engineer, nothing specific planned at the moment.

Further Education..... as much as I enjoy my job as an Engineer, I still have not ruled out Teaching. I am still considering doing Secondary School Teaching. As a qualified Civil Engineer, if I do a one year course in Teacher Training (H.Dip.ED), I will then be able to teach Maths and Applied Maths in School. Its worth remembering that!  

After four years in a course, its good to know you're not tied to the career, but you will always have the profession!  Engineering is a degree in problem solving. Getting a job in Engineering, Research, Teaching, Accounting, Management - its all possible.

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