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 Maria O'Neill from STEPS to give some advice for people considering this job:

 

Maria O'Neill

Civil Engineer

STEPS

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  Maria O'Neill

If you like working with others, and like problem solving then its definitely worth considering. Do you ever look at a bridge/skyscraper etc. and wonder how they did that? Or better still, are you looking at the way the road at home is laid out and thinking if they had of done something differently it would have been better.

Engineering is not a career people think about and say its helping people, but in many ways it is rewarding and just as much about helping people. Engineers design things used everyday that help people get to work, provide clean water, provide sewerage systems, care for the environment....

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Investigative 
The Investigative person will usually find a particular area of science to be of interest. They are inclined toward intellectual and analytical activities and enjoy observation and theory. They may prefer thought to action, and enjoy the challenge of solving problems with clever technology. They will often follow the latest developments in their chosen field, and prefer mentally stimulating environments.
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Colour Vision

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Have you tested for colour deficiency? If not use the tool below to check your vision.

Note: Because of differences in computer screens, this test can only provide a rough indication of your vision. However, it may alert you to a possible deficiency.

Only a test administered by a qualified professional can determine whether you have the condition.   

 
Introduction to Colour Blindness by Dr Raj Patel OD 

   
 

Colour Blindness – Career Choices

Colour blindness is not a major concern for most occupations. However there are some areas where it could be a significant drawback, and even completely restrictive.

The Arts
Colour blindness can make some jobs difficult, and others impossible. Working with fashion and art can be extremely difficult as you will be unable to differentiate between some of the colours you’ll be required to work with as an everyday part of your job. Likewise, jobs such as interior design or lighting engineer can be quite challenging.

Engineering
There are some areas of engineering that will pose difficulties for those with colour blindness. Areas where difficult may arise include:

Electrical / Electronic Engineering  Space and Computer Engineering - people with colour blindness may experience some minor difficulties, such as an inability to read colour code on resistors, to major handicaps such as an inability to distinguish different circuit tracks for drawings of multi-layer circuit layouts.

Material Science / Engineering - people with colour blindness may be disadvantaged as they could be required to identify microstructures using different colour etching.

Chemical Engineering - some field jobs require the ability to differentiate between color-coded pipelines, sign-posts and equipment. Some duties such as process design may require the use of colors and may present severe obstacles to an employee with colour-blindness.

Civil Engineering - engineers are required to read computer-generated drawings which may come with different coloured lines.

Aviation
Colour vision is essential for recognising aircraft position lights, light-gun signals, airport beacons, approach-slope indicators, and chart symbols, especially at night. As a result all pilots have to undergo colour vision testing prior to obtaining a license. Pilots and Air Traffic Controllers are particularly disadvantaged, although many do succeed in these professions. 

Useful Links:
Eyesight Reference Data - Sight standards for occupations in Ireland
Colour Vision Defects - Factfile [pdf]