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 Elaine McGarrigle from CRH plc to give some advice for people considering this job:

 

Elaine McGarrigle

Mechanical Engineer

CRH plc

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  Elaine McGarrigle

The most important skill that a person in my position can have is communication.

One needs to be able to communicate effectively with people of all levels in order to do a days work. I think that this is the most important quality, to be able to fit in well with people, everyone from the operators to the senior management, one needs to be able to read them and how best to communicate with them.

An interest in basic engineering and in the heavy machine industry.

It is important to realise that working as a mechanical engineer in Irish Cement does not generally involve sitting at your desk all day. It involves alot of hands on, on-site work so a person needs to be prepared to get their hands dirty.

Another quality that is important is to be willing to learn. Even after a number of years in college, one needs to be eager to learn the ins and outs of a new environment; how cement is made, what equipment is involved, what generally goes wrong and how it is fixed.

Everyone will help and teach you but you need to open your mind and be prepared to take it all in.

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Realist?
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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Pet Shop Worker

Job Zone

Education
Some of these occupations may require a Leaving Certificate or similar.

Related Experience
Little or no previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, a person can become a waiter or waitress even if he/she has never worked before.

Job Training
Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few days to a few months of training. Usually, an experienced worker could show you how to do the job.

Job Zone Examples
These occupations involve following instructions and helping others. Examples include taxi drivers, amusement and recreation attendants, counter clerks, construction laborers, and waiters or waitresses.

€16k >  
Pet Shop Assistant
Salary Range
(thousands per year)*
€16 -  
Related Information:
Data Source(s):
FAS

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

Cares for animals in a pet shop, and advises customers on how to care for the animals which they buy.


The Work header image

Pet shop assistants look after animals, birds and fish in pet stores. They serve customers and carry out other retail duties, including handling cash and dealing with credit/debit card transactions.  
 
Most pet stores sell small animals such as rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters and gerbils, as well as caged birds and fish. Some shops sell puppies and kittens.  
 
Assistants are responsible for cleaning and disinfecting the livestock's quarters, providing food and water, and checking general health and condition. Any problems are reported to the owner or manager.  
 
Assistants serve customers and sell pet food and accessories such as cages, hutches, bedding, feeding bowls, tablets, sprays and so on. They also answer customers' queries about problems such as fleas or worming.  
 
Other tasks include receiving and unpacking stock, replacing stock on the shelves and weighing up and bagging animal feed. Assistants are also expected to keep the shop clean and tidy.  
 
Some pet shops sell pet food and accessories but not animals. In these shops, the work is very much like any other job in retailing. 


Tasks & Activitiesheader image

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

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Feed and water animals according to schedules and feeding instructions.

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Mix food, liquid formulas, medications, or food supplements according to instructions, prescriptions, and knowledge of animal species.

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Examine and observe animals to detect signs of illness, disease, or injury.

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Provide treatment to sick or injured animals, or contact veterinarians to secure treatment.

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Do facility laundry and clean, organize, maintain, and disinfect animal quarters, such as pens and stables, and equipment, such as saddles and bridles.

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Perform animal grooming duties such as washing, brushing, clipping, and trimming coats, cutting nails, and cleaning ears.

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Answer telephones and schedule appointments.

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Respond to questions from patrons, and provide information about animals, such as behavior, habitat, breeding habits, or facility activities.

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Order, unload, and store feed and supplies.

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Collect and record animal information such as weight, size, physical condition, treatments received, medications given, and food intake.

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

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

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

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

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Assisting and Caring for Others:  Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.

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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.


Knowledge header image

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

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Customer and Personal Service:  Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.

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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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Biology:  Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.

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Education and Training:  Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.

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

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

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Service Orientation:   Actively looking for ways to help people.

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Speaking:   Talking to others to convey information effectively.

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Coordination:   Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.

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

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

Personal Qualitiesheader image

You should like animals but not be sentimental about them. It is important not to be squeamish about the more unpleasant tasks like clearing away droppings and cleaning cages. A knowledge of animals would be helpful in order to deal with customer queries.  
 
Good communication skills are required for serving customers and giving advice on animal care. An interest in people, as well as animals, is necessary.  
 
Accurate arithmetic is required for handling cash.  
 
This type of work may be unsuitable if you have certain allergies.


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..   Pet Shop Assistant - from:  N.C.S. [UK]

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Career Guidance

This occupation is popular with people who have the following career interests...

Naturalist  Realist  Administrative 

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

Animals & Veterinary Science
Sales, Retail & Purchasing

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