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 Fergus O'Connell from PharmaChemical Ireland to give some advice for people considering this job:


Fergus O'Connell

Quality Officer

PharmaChemical Ireland


  Fergus O'Connell
A broad science background is very important. An ability to recognise small inconsistencies is equally important. For example do you recognise small discrepancies between different camera shots of the same scene in films and TV series?

An ability to question everything and think laterally is important. Also the ability to say 'no' (not everyone is comfortable doing this). Working in quality is not about being popular and definitely not about being a tyrant but one needs to be approachable, consistent and have good interpersonal skills.

Not all of your decisions are going to be popular but they need to be based on a sound rationale and you need to be able to support them. One also needs to be acutely aware of the fact that your opinion won't always be right.

One must always be open to being convinced of an alternative argument.

Not surprisingly, some aspect of the natural sciences will run through the Naturalists interests - from ecological awareness to nutrition and health. People with an interest in horticulture, land usage and farming (including fish) are Naturalists.

Some Naturalists focus on animals rather than plants, and may enjoy working with, training, caring for, or simply herding them. Other Naturalists will prefer working with the end result of nature's produce - the food produced from plants and animals. Naturalists like solving problems with solutions that show some sensitivity to the environmental impact of what they do. They like to see practical results, and prefer action to talking and discussing.
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Job Zone

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.

€16k > 60 
Model Maker
Salary Range
(thousands per year)*
€16 - 60 
Related Information:
Trainee: Min Wage
Experienced: 27 - 60
Data Source(s):

Last Updated: March, 2011

* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.
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At a Glance... header image

Makes a miniature-scaled version of buildings, ships and other development or construction designs.

The Work header image

Model makers make models for testing protypes of new products such as cars, or for testing planes in wind tunnels, incorporating engineering and electronics. Models can be used in television, films and advertising. Models are also used in museums and exhibitions such as artefacts or when reproducing historical events. Designers need to see or test their design before a decision is made to spend money and time on its production.  
If a model shows it does not serve the purpose for which it is designed, this can save its producers a lot of money. Another reason to use models is that non-technical people understand them more easily than complicated technical diagrams. Model making is sometimes called design representation.  
After talking to the designer, model makers work from design drawings, plans, photographs or computer graphics. They use materials like wood, plastic, metal, plaster, paper or card to produce models. Machine and hand tools are used to shape the materials. For models with moving parts, basic electronics or mechanical techniques may be used. Painting may also be necessary.  
A model can be scaled up or down depending upon what it represents and its purpose. A planned motorway flyover system, for example, will be greatly scaled down, whereas a newly discovered molecular structure will be scaled up. Intricate models may take many months to complete.  
Models are also used to create special effects in films, television, theatre and in certain types of exhibition. 

Tasks & Activitiesheader image

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


Study blueprints, drawings, and sketches to determine material dimensions, required equipment, and operations sequences.


Set up and operate machines such as lathes, drill presses, punch presses, or bandsaws to fabricate prototypes or models.


Inspect and test products to verify conformance to specifications, using precision measuring instruments or circuit testers.


Cut, shape, and form metal parts, using lathes, power saws, snips, power brakes and shears, files, and mallets.


Lay out and mark reference points and dimensions on materials, using measuring instruments and drawing or scribing tools.


Drill, countersink, and ream holes in parts and assemblies for bolts, screws, and other fasteners, using power tools.


Grind, file, and sand parts to finished dimensions.


Record specifications, production operations, and final dimensions of models for use in establishing operating standards and procedures.


Rework or alter component model or parts as required to ensure that products meet standards.


Align, fit, and join parts, using bolts and screws or by welding or gluing.

Work Activities header image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported Work Activities in this occupation.


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


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


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


Making Decisions and Solving Problems:  Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.


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


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.


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


Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates:  Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.


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


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

Knowledge header image

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


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


Production and Processing:  Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.


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


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


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.

Skillsheader image

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


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


Operation and Control:   Controlling operations of equipment or systems.


Reading Comprehension:   Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.


Critical Thinking:   Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.


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


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


Time Management:   Managing one's own time and the time of others.


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.


Monitoring:   Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.


Social Perceptiveness:   Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.

Personal Qualitiesheader image

As a model maker, you will require a combination of creative, technical and practical skills. You will need patience, accuracy, and an ability to pay attention to detail and meet project deadlines. Craft skills and intricate working are important, as is the ability to work well with a range of materials. Some professional model makers have learned model making skills through a hobby.

Further Informationheader image

A detailed description of this occupation can be found on a number of online databases. Follow the link(s) below to access this information:

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Go..   Model Maker - from:  N.C.S. [UK]

Contactsheader image


Organisation: Institute of Art, Design and Technology - Dun Laoghaire
  Address: Kill Avenue, Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin
  Tel: (01) 214 4600


Job Search

Career Guidance

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

Realist  Creative  Investigative 

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

Art, Craft & Design

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