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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Occupation Details

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Analytical 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.

Shortage Indicator

The National Skills Bulletin 2016 reports a shortage of scientists and technicians in the following areas:

Scientist: analytical development chemist; formulation scientist; microbiologist; R&D (especially with industry specific backgrounds); QC manager; QC analyst; QA specialist

Technician: QA/QC/validation technician; quality technician inspector. There also appears to be an issue with geographic mobility and the attractiveness of some locations outside the greater Dublin area.

-2%
Occupational Category

Chemical, Biological & Physical Scientists

Also included in this category:

Analytical chemists; industrial chemists; biomedical scientists; forensic scientists; microbiologists; geologists; medical physicists; meteorologists

Number Employed:

7,000

Part time workers: 3%
Aged over 55: 8%
Male / Female: 45 / 55%
Non-Nationals: 12%
With Third Level: 95%
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At a Glance... header image

Analytical Chemists study the exact chemical composition of natural and artificial materials.


Videos & Interviews header image

1Total Records: 1

Brian O'Connor
Analytical Chemist  
Brian O'Connor works as an Analytical Chemist for Wyeth.  He joined the company as an Analyist working in the lab and has since been promoted to the position of Manager of the Raw Materials Lab. He did his a degree in Chemistry in Maryville College in Tennessee and then moved to the University of California Riverside where he completed his Masters of Science in Analytical Chemistry.
Go to Interview  
 

Tasks & Activitiesheader image

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

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Monitor product quality to ensure compliance with standards and specifications.

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Compile and interpret results of tests and analyses.

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Set up and conduct chemical experiments, tests, and analyses, using techniques such as chromatography, spectroscopy, physical or chemical separation techniques, or microscopy.

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Conduct chemical or physical laboratory tests to assist scientists in making qualitative or quantitative analyses of solids, liquids, or gaseous materials.

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Provide and maintain a safe work environment by participating in safety programs, committees, or teams and by conducting laboratory or plant safety audits.

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Prepare chemical solutions for products or processes, following standardized formulas, or create experimental formulas.

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Maintain, clean, or sterilize laboratory instruments or equipment.

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Write technical reports or prepare graphs or charts to document experimental results.

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Provide technical support or assistance to chemists or engineers.

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Order and inventory materials to maintain supplies.

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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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.

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Speaking:   Talking to others to convey information effectively.

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Mathematics:   Using mathematics to solve problems.

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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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Coordination:   Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.

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:

Note: you will be leaving the CareersPortal Site

Go..Analytical chemist - from:  GradIreland

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

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