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 Lynsey Gargan from STEPS to give some advice for people considering this job:

 

Lynsey Gargan

Manufacturing Engineer

STEPS

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  Lynsey Gargan
With regard to education I say don't worry if you think you have the wrong subjects in school. I certainly didn't have the subjects you would typically expect.

There are a number of courses that cater to different backgrounds. The most important thing is to do your research. Go to open days, talk to the colleges and generally just find out what exactly you would be getting in to.

Don't just take for granted you know what a certain course or career is all about. Think about what you like to do, and not just necessarily in school, if you find yourself being curious about how things work or how thing are made, it's a good indication that you could like something like engineering.

One of the best things about engineering is that it really can be your passport to the world. There are great travel opportunities within the industry and chances to be involved in the next big thing.

Practically every man-made product around you came from a manufacturing plant, it's a huge industry with a lot of different avenues to take. Innovation is a really big part of what engineers do. The desire to be creative and improve production and processes is an important attribute for a manufacturing engineer.
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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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Occupation Details

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Industrial Chemist

Job Zone

Education
Most of these occupations require qualifications at NFQ Levels 7 or 8 (Ordinary / Honours Degrees) but some do not.

Related Experience
A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, an engineer must complete four years of college and work for several years in engineering to be considered qualified.

Job Training
Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.

Job Zone Examples
Many of these occupations involve coordinating, supervising, managing, or training others. Examples include accountants, sales managers, computer programmers, teachers, chemists, environmental engineers, criminal investigators, and financial analysts.

€25k >  
Industrial Chemist
Salary Range
(thousands per year)*
€25 -  
Related Information:
Data Source(s):
SOLAS

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

Study the make-up and behaviour of chemicals, the way they react with each other and how they can be used in industrial processes such as producing plastics, pharmaceuticals or silicon chips.


The Work header image

Industrial chemists are experts in the properties and chemical structure of materials such as oil, metal and plastics, drugs, fertilisers and food. Some work in research and development whereas others work in production. They create new chemicals, devise and control production-processing methods, and ensure that the quality of products is maintained.  
 
Some industrial chemists specialise in research and development work, which is carried out mainly in the laboratory. They carry out experiments to produce the chemical that has the right properties. Development involves making the chemical on a larger scale to see whether this can be done at a reasonable cost.  
 
Production chemists make sure that production processes run efficiently. For example, they might have to work out how to produce large amounts of chemical as cheaply as possible. They are usually responsible for safety, quality control and staff training. Chemists are also employed in marketing and other management functions in industry.  
 
Industrial chemists usually work alongside chemical and control engineers, who are responsible for the design and construction of production plant. Depending on the product, they may also consult other scientists such as metallurgists, geologists, agricultural scientists, pharmacologists, biochemists or food technologists.  
 
They may carry out research and analysis to develop and test theories, techniques and processes.

 


Tasks & Activitiesheader image

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

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Analyze organic or inorganic compounds to determine chemical or physical properties, composition, structure, relationships, or reactions, using chromatography, spectroscopy, or spectrophotometry techniques.

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Conduct quality control tests.

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Maintain laboratory instruments to ensure proper working order and troubleshoot malfunctions when needed.

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Prepare test solutions, compounds, or reagents for laboratory personnel to conduct tests.

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Induce changes in composition of substances by introducing heat, light, energy, or chemical catalysts for quantitative or qualitative analysis.

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Evaluate laboratory safety procedures to ensure compliance with standards or to make improvements as needed.

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Compile and analyze test information to determine process or equipment operating efficiency or to diagnose malfunctions.

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Write technical papers or reports or prepare standards and specifications for processes, facilities, products, or tests.

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Confer with scientists or engineers to conduct analyses of research projects, interpret test results, or develop nonstandard tests.

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Develop, improve, or customize products, equipment, formulas, processes, or analytical methods.

Work Activities header image

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

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Processing Information:  Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.

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

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Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others:  Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.

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Documenting/Recording Information:  Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.

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Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events:  Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.

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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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Analyzing Data or Information:  Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.

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Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards:  Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.

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


Knowledge header image

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

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Chemistry:  Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.

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

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

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Computers and Electronics:  Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

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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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Science:   Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.

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

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Writing:   Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

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Mathematics:   Using mathematics to solve problems.

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Active Learning:   Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.

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

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Speaking:   Talking to others to convey information effectively.

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

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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.

Personal Qualitiesheader image

You should enjoy solving problems. You also have to be accurate in your work, paying great attention to detail. For some specialisms, you may also need knowledge of engineering processes, or management and business skills.


Related Occupationsheader image

Contactsheader image

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Organisation: Institute of Chemistry of Ireland
  Address: PO Box 9322, Cardiff Lane, Dublin 2.
  Tel:
  Email: Click here
  Url Click here

 

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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:

Chemical, Biomedical & Pharmaceutical Sciences
MedTech

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