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 Michael Bohane from BioPharmachem Ireland to give some advice for people considering this job:


Michael Bohane

QA Manager

BioPharmachem Ireland

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  Michael Bohane
Be prepared for responsibility and the rewards and problems that come with responsibility. It is very important to be comfortable making decisions and living with them. While it is impossible to be right all of the time the majority of decisions you make have to be correct.

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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Electronic Security Systems Craftsperson
In Summary header image

Electronic Security Systems Craftsperson

The Electronic Security Systems (ESS) craftsperson is required to design, plan, risk assess, install, program and commission a wide range of integrated security systems in line with all the relevant Irish and EU standards.

These security systems include: Intruder Alarms, Fire Alarms, CCTV Systems, Single and Multi Point Control Systems, Intercom Systems, Gate Automation Systems, Perimeter Control Systems, Electronic Tagging and any other equipment relevant to the industry.

The ESS craftsperson is also required to compile system and customer documentation, demonstrate systems operation, train clients and system operators, carry out system analysis & investigations, maintain, repair and constantly assess the needs for upgrading of security systems.

Note: Experience has shown that higher grades of entry than those suggested by SOLAS are preferred for certain apprenticeships, due to the technical nature of the trade.

Employers typically seek applicants who have completed Leaving Cert including Maths (with at least a grade O5 (grade C3 pre-2017) in Ordinary Level Maths) and preferably Physics.

Training header image

Phase 1: With Employer

  • Induction Training
  • Introduction to Health & Safety
  • Introduction to Tools & Equipment
  • Introduction to Basic Skills

Phase 2: Delivered in Training Centre (20 weeks)

  • Induction
  • Electrical Principles
  • Intruder Alarms
  • CCTV (Closed Circuit Television)
  • Fire Alarms
  • Access Control
Phase 3 With Employer

Work Based Training and Assessments

Phase 4 Delivered in Educational College (10 weeks)
  • Customer Communications
  • Electrical and Electronic Systems
  • Intruder Alarms
  • CCTV
  • Fire Alarms
  • Access Control 
Phase 5 With Employer

Work Based Training and Assessments

Phase 6 Delivered in Educational College (10 weeks)
  • Data Network Systems
  • Electronics Systems
  • Intruder Alarms
  • CCTV
  • Fire Alarms
  • Access Control 
Phase 7 With Employer
Work Based Training and Assessments

The overall duration of this apprenticeship is a minimum of 4 years provided all phases are successfully completed.

On successful completion of the programme the learner is awarded a Level 6 Advanced Certificate Craft - Electronic Security Systems.

Personal Qualities header image

As an Electronic Security Systems craftsperson you will need to be physically active and to be able to work with your hands.

An awareness of health and safety and good housekeeping is essential as well as attention to detail and an eye for the aesthetic.

The Electronic Security Systems installer must have the ability to:

  • Plan and organise
  • Communicate effectively
  • Solve problems
  • Work independently and as part of a team
  • Show a positive attitude
  • Recognise the need for good customer relations
  • Demonstrate good work practices including time keeping, tidiness, responsibility, quality awareness and safety awareness.

Note: A person wishing to become an apprentice Electronic Security Systems Craftsperson must pass a colour–vision test approved by SOLAS.

Work Activities header image

  • Learning and developing new practical craft-related skills, knowledge and competence
  • Working with and learning from experienced craftspersons
  • Seeing a job through from start to finish
  • Comply with Health and Safety requirements
  • Working with technical drawings and diagrams
  • Accuracy and attention to detail
  • Using IT (Information Technology) skills
  • Completion and updating of job-related documentation
  • Being well organised and careful with practical tasks
  • Installation of equipment in hazardous environments
  • Working with a variety of specialised hand tools, power tools and equipment
  • Working Outdoors
  • Working at heights
  • Lifting or carrying heavy items
  • Being physically active
  • Taking responsibility for their own learning, including the allocation of study time
  • Passing all your phase exams (theory, practicals skills demonstration)
  • Earning as you learn

Pay & Fees header image

Funding Arrangements

All apprentices are paid a Training Allowance while attending off-the-job training in training centres or college, and an Apprentice Rate of pay during the on-the-job phases of their apprenticeship.

Details of the Training Allowances payable are available here.

What apprentice rate wages are paid?

Apprentice rates are paid for the on-the-job phases of apprenticeships. The actual rates paid may vary depending on the occupation and employer. Generally, the rates will increase in a number of steps during the apprenticeship. For example:


All other Trades




€ / hr

€ / hr

1st Year Rate

2nd Year Rate

3rd Year Rate

4th Year Rate









Note: You should always seek details of specific rates of pay for apprentices from prospective employers.

Apprentice Student Contribution

The Annual Student Contribution is levied on students attending Higher Education Institutions including Institutes of Technology. As part of the changes included in Budget 2014, apprentices now pay the same contribution as full time students, but their contribution is based on the time they spend in the Institute or College.

The Student Contribution is payable to the IoT /College on the date of registration for the training phase. You should consult the relevant IoT/College for details of payment options.

Note: Apprentices are required to pay an examination fee to the IoT or College for repeat exams. 

Female Apprentices' bursary for employers

To promote the entry of women into the designated apprenticeships, a bursary is available to employers to encourage an increased level of recruitment of female apprentices.

For more information Click here or contact your local ETB Training Centre.

Entry Requirements header image

The minimum age at which the employment of an apprentice may commence is 16 years of age.

The minimum educational requirements are: 

1. Grade D in fi ve subjects in the Department of Education & Skills Junior Certificate Examination or an approved equivalent,
2. The successful completion of an approved Pre-Apprenticeship course 
3. Three years’ work experience gained over sixteen years of age in a relevant designated industrial activity as SOLAS shall deem acceptable 

Note: These are the current approved minimum educational requirements for apprenticeship programmes, however, previous experience of the following subjects would be an advantage but not essential:

  • Mathematics
  • Technical Drawing/Graphics
  • Construction Studies
  • Technology
  • Physics
Note: Experience has shown that higher grades of entry than those suggested by SOLAS are preferred for certain apprenticeships, due to the technical nature of the trade.

Employers typically seek applicants who have completed Leaving Cert including Maths (with at least a grade  O5 (grade C3 pre-2017) in Ordinary Level Maths) and preferably Physics.

Getting an Apprenticeship header image

You must obtain employment as an apprentice in your chosen occupation.

  • The employer must be approved to train apprentices.
  • The employer must register you as an apprentice within two weeks of recruitment.
Note: Electronic Security Systems Apprenticeship applicants are required to pass a colour vision test approved by SOLAS.

Career Opportunities header image

On successful completion of the apprenticeship programme, apprentices are qualified to work within the recognised trade or profession. 

Where apprentices and craftspersons have the necessary ability, initiative and basic qualifications, opportunities are available for advancement. These include advanced technology courses and management courses which are available in Institutes of Technology, Schools of Management and Professional Institutes.

Many craftspersons use their apprenticeship qualification as a platform to launch careers such as engineers, managers, owners of businesses, teachers and instructors amongst others.

The trade is also very transferable across the country as well as being valuable internationally.

For those with a entrepreneurial flair, starting your own business is also a desirable option.

Occupation Profile header image

Information to follow...

Progression Routes header image

Information to follow...

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