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Occupation Details

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Biotechnologist

Job Zone

Education
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.

€28k > 54 
Biotechnologist
Salary Range
(thousands per year)*
€28 - 54 
Related Information:
•Graduate/Starting: 31 (approx.)
•Senior/Potential:54
Data Source(s):
CPL / Collins McNicholas / Smart Futures

Last Updated: November, 2015

* 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.
Shortage Indicator

The National Skills Bulletin 2015 reports a shortage of biotechnologists in niche areas such as pharma co-vigilance (clinical trials and drug safety).

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At a Glance... header image

Scientists who study and work with micro-organisms in a variety of areas including alcohol manufacture, agricultural genome mapping and medical science.


The Work header image

Biotechnologists make products with a biological ingredient or action, like vaccines, antibiotics, drugs and hormones.  
 
Biotechnologists use the techniques of molecular biology such as genetic engineering, to change the way an organism grows or behaves. For example, insulin, a chemical normally made in the human body (but lacking in people with diabetes) has been made from genetically engineered bacteria. It encompasses an ever-growing range of laboratory techniques for the attention and manipulation of molecules, genes and cells.  
 
In agriculture, biotechnologists may change genes to increase crop yields, or make crops more resistant to pests and disease. They use micro-organisms, such as bacteria or yeasts to perform specific industrial or manufacturing processes producing certain drugs and hormones and the bioconversion of organic wastes.  
 
In manufacturing, biotechnologists supervise the production plant, and test the product to monitor its safety and quality. 

Alternative job titles for this role include: Bioengineer; Molecular biologist; Biophysicist; Biochemist and Microbiologist.

Typical employers include:

  • Medical technology companies
  • Pharmaceutical companies
  • Universities
  • Scientific foundations and institutions
  • Agriculture and crop production companies
  • Industries working in areas such as biodegradable plastics, vegetable oil
  • Environments research in companies and institutions such as biofuels
 


Personal Qualitiesheader image

As a biotechnologist, you must have a thorough and methodical approach to your work. You will need an enquiring mind and enjoy solving problems. You will also need to show initiative with a flexible approach and the ability to communicate your findings, both verbally and in writing, to your colleagues.

Skills

  • Complex problem-solving
  • Team work and communication skills
  • Investigative skills
  • Attention to detail
  • Innovative thinking
  • Observation skills
  • Interest in biology and technology


Entry Routesheader image

Biotechnologists are graduates. A bachelor’s degree in biotechnology is the most common entry route into the industry.

Students can attain a general science certification or diploma before progressing onto a biotechnology degree. Degrees in the following are also doorways to the biotech sector:

  • Biochemistry
  • Chemistry
  • Microbiology
  • Process engineering
  • Chemical engineering
  • Pharmaceutical sciences
  • Biology
  • Environmental biology
  • Medicine

Alternative routes to a bachelor’s degree in this area may apply to students that have a FET qualification in a related course or general science certification or diploma. For further details on eligibility requirements for third level entry following a PLC qualification, students should visit the CAO course search.
 
A postgraduate qualification - PhD or MSc - in a relevant subject for is typically needed for research posts.  Some relevant work experience is valued by employers.

Last Updated: November, 2015


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..Biotechnologist - from:  N.C.S. [UK]
Go..Biotechnologist - from:  GradIreland

Related Occupationsheader image

Contactsheader image

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Organisation: Biotechnology Ireland
  Address: Enterprise Ireland, Lifescience & Food Commercialisation Group (EI Bio), East Point Business Park, Dublin 3
  Tel: (01) 727 2692
  Email: Click here
  Url Click here

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Organisation: Life Science Recruitment
  Address: 12 Fitzwilliam Square Dublin 2.
  Tel: (01) 685 4848
  Email: Click here
  Url Click here

bullet

Organisation: Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland
  Address: 18 Shrewsbury Road, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4
  Tel: (01) 218 4000
  Email: Click here
  Url Click here

bullet

Organisation: Irish Medical Devices Association
  Address: c/o Ibec 84/86 Lower Baggot St., Dublin 2.
  Tel: (01) 605 1500
  Email: Click here
  Url Click here

bullet

Organisation: Irish Society of Clinical Microbiologists (ISCM)
  Address:
  Tel:
  Email: Click here
  Url Click here

bullet

Organisation: Molecular Medicine Ireland
  Address: Newman House, 85a St. Stephens Green, Dublin 2
  Tel: (01) 4779 820
  Email: Click here
  Url Click here

 

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

Chemical, Biomedical & Pharmaceutical Sciences

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