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 Brian Macken from Smart Futures to give some advice for people considering this job:

 

Brian Macken

Science Communicator

Smart Futures

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  Brian Macken

I would strongly advise you to do the Masters in Science Communication in DCU. It really gives you a feel for the different kinds of media and ways of explaining things. And it's a good place to make contacts, which is also useful.

I would also recommend that you read science books. Not textbooks, good popular science books are just as useful for this kind of work, as it's already been broken down into simpler language for you. And only read the ones that you're interested in - it shouldn't be a chore to read them.

But I would recommend reading outside your subject area, so if you're into physics, then read some books on biology and vice versa (everyone should read Stephen J. Gould).  However, the more knowledge you have, the more questions you'll be able to answer.

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Realist 
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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Occupation Details

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Agricultural Mechanic

Job Zone

Education
Most occupations in this zone require job specific training (vocational training) related to the occupation (NFQ Levels 5 and 6 or higher), related on-the-job experience, or a relevant professional award.

Related Experience
Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, electricians typically complete four years of training in order to perform the job.

Job Training
Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognised apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.

Job Zone Examples
These occupations usually involve using communication and organisational skills to coordinate, supervise, manage, or train others to accomplish goals. Examples include restaurant managers, electricians, agricultural technicians, legal secretaries, hairdressers, and web developers.

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At a Glance... header image

Specialises in identifying faults, repairing, overhauling and maintaining farm tractors and farm machinery.


The Work header image

Agricultural mechanics are concerned with fault-finding, repair, overhaul and maintenance of farm tractors and farm machinery. These farm machines could include forage harvesters, balers, bale wrappers, mowers, combine harvesters, crop-sprayers, fertiliser distributors, diet feeders, tillage and slurry handling equipment.

Their skills overlap with those of other crafts within the motor family of crafts, therefore they are equipped to carry out some repair work on ATVs (All Terrain Vehicle- Quads) light and heavy commercial vehicles, earth moving equipment, forklift trucks and other vehicles.

Besides the normal agricultural tractor and machinery garages, some large agricultural contracting firms employ their own agricultural mechanics.

A number of agricultural mechanics progress to positions of service engineers/reps and technical sales persons within the agricultural tractors and farm machinery distribution and service industry. Some agricultural mechanics may also gain employment in the spares department of agricultural garages.

 


Tasks & Activitiesheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported tasks and activities for this occupation

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Reassemble machines after the completion of repair or maintenance work.

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Start machines and observe mechanical operation to determine efficiency and to detect problems.

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Inspect or test damaged machine parts, and mark defective areas or advise supervisors of repair needs.

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Lubricate or apply adhesives or other materials to machines, machine parts, or other equipment, according to specified procedures.

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Install, replace, or change machine parts and attachments, according to production specifications.

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Dismantle machines and remove parts for repair, using hand tools, chain falls, jacks, cranes, or hoists.

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Record production, repair, and machine maintenance information.

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Read work orders and specifications to determine machines and equipment requiring repair or maintenance.

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Set up and operate machines, and adjust controls to regulate operations.

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Collaborate with other workers to repair or move machines, machine parts, or equipment.

Work Activities header image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported work activities in this occupation.

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Handling and Moving Objects:  Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.

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Repairing and Maintaining Mechanical Equipment:  Servicing, repairing, adjusting, and testing machines, devices, moving parts, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of mechanical (not electronic) principles.

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Controlling Machines and Processes:  Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).

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Performing General Physical Activities:  Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.

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Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge:  Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.

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Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings:  Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.

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Thinking Creatively:  Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.

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Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work:  Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.

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Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships:  Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.

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Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material:  Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.


Knowledge header image

The following is a list of the five most commonly reported knowledge areas for this occupation.

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Mechanical:  Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.

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Mathematics:  Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.

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Design:  Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.

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Engineering and Technology:  Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.

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English Language:  Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.


Skillsheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported skills used in this occupation.

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Repairing:   Repairing machines or systems using the needed tools.

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Equipment Maintenance:   Performing routine maintenance on equipment and determining when and what kind of maintenance is needed.

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Operation Monitoring:   Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.

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Troubleshooting:   Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.

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Operation and Control:   Controlling operations of equipment or systems.

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Quality Control Analysis:   Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.

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Complex Problem Solving:   Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

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Coordination:   Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.

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Equipment Selection:   Determining the kind of tools and equipment needed to do a job.

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Active Listening:   Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Related Occupationsheader image

Contactsheader image

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Organisation: Farm Tractor & Machinery Trade Association Ltd.
  Address: Unit 3, Road D, Tougher's Business Park, Newhall, Naas, Co. Kildare
  Tel: (045) 409309
  Email: Click here
  Url Click here

 

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Apprenticeship Information

Agricultural Mechanic

Career Guidance

This occupation is popular with people who have the following Career Interests...


...and for people who like working in the following Career Sectors:

Agriculture, Horticulture, Forestry & Food
Mechanical Engineering & Manufacturing

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