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 Kieran Magee from Teagasc to give some advice for people considering this job:


Kieran Magee

Farm Manager - Dry Stock


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  Kieran Magee
Someone who wants to be where I am today shall need bucket loads of ambition and not be afraid of hard work.  They will need to not be afraid of starting at the very bottom of that big high ladder but at the same time have the eagerness and determination to get to the top of that ladder because the opportunities are there.

Education is very important.  It may only seem like a silly piece of paper but it's that Cert, Diploma or Degree that gets you that job and not the man/woman beside you.

The one thing that is vital in not alone this job, but any job, and alot of people don't seem to have it, is common sense. It's something so simple but really important. if you have no cop-on then nobody wants to know you.

Creative people are drawn to careers and activities that enable them to take responsibility for the design, layout or sensory impact of something (visual, auditory etc). They may be drawn towards the traditional artistic pursuits such as painting, sculpture, singing, or music. Or they may show more interest in design, such as architecture, animation, or craft areas, such as pottery and ceramics.

Creative people use their personal understanding of people and the world they live in to guide their work. Creative people like to work in unstructured workplaces, enjoy taking risks and prefer a minimum of routine.
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Occupation Details

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Engineer - Polymer

Job Zone

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.

Shortage Indicator

The EGFSN/Forfás Report (February 2013) on the Future Skills Requirements of the Manufacturing Sector to 2020 reports that a significant number of engineering firms have indicated a current and future skills shortage of polymer technicians and polymer engineers. Demand for engineering skills at both professional and technician level is reiterated in EFGSN February 2014.

A shortage of Mechanical engineers with skills in  waste water and purification treatment, polymer and injection moulding is reported in the National Skills Bulletin 2015.

Occupational Category

Engineering Professionals N.EC.

Also included in this category:

Mechanical engineers; aeronautical enginners; automotive engineers; marine engineers; metallurgists; technical engineers; traffic engineers

Number Employed:


Part time workers: 8%
Aged over 55: 5%
Male / Female: 83 / 17%
Non-Nationals: 22%
With Third Level: 96%
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At a Glance... header image

Investigate the behaviour of materials under different conditions, to support advances in technology in a range of industries.

Tasks & Activitiesheader image

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


Review new product plans and make recommendations for material selection based on design objectives, such as strength, weight, heat resistance, electrical conductivity, and cost.


Supervise the work of technologists, technicians, and other engineers and scientists.


Analyze product failure data and laboratory test results to determine causes of problems and develop solutions.


Conduct or supervise tests on raw materials or finished products to ensure their quality.


Plan and implement laboratory operations for the purpose of developing material and fabrication procedures that meet cost, product specification, and performance standards.


Design and direct the testing or control of processing procedures.


Monitor material performance and evaluate material deterioration.


Perform managerial functions, such as preparing proposals and budgets, analyzing labor costs, and writing reports.


Plan and evaluate new projects, consulting with other engineers and corporate executives as necessary.


Guide technical staff engaged in developing materials for specific uses in projected products or devices.

Work Activities header image

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


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


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


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


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


Getting Information:  Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.


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


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


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


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


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.


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.


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.


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


Physics:  Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub- atomic structures and processes.


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

Skillsheader image

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


Science:   Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.


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


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


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


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


Operations Analysis:   Analyzing needs and product requirements to create a design.


Mathematics:   Using mathematics to solve problems.


Speaking:   Talking to others to convey information effectively.


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


Judgment and Decision Making:   Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

Entry Routesheader image

Entants to this career area require a Bachelor's degree in engineering. There is a wide range of Level 7 and Level 8 Engineering programmes, and also programmes at Level 6.

Some employers may also require postgraduate qualification.

Last Updated: November, 2014

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..Materials Engineer - from:  N.C.S. [UK]

Related Occupationsheader image

Contactsheader image


Organisation: Engineers Ireland
  Address: 22 Clyde Road, Ballsbridge Dublin 4
  Tel: (01) 665 1300
  Email: Click here
  Url Click here


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Industry Expert

Apprenticeship Information

Polymer Processing Technician

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:

Mechanical Engineering & Manufacturing
Electrical & Electronic Engineering
Chemical, Biomedical & Pharmaceutical Sciences

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