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 Lydia Peppard from Health Service Executive to give some advice for people considering this job:

 

Lydia Peppard

Care Assistant

Health Service Executive

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  Lydia Peppard
The advise that I would give to someone considering this job is to do their Leaving Cert and do the Transition year as this would give an opportunity to get some job experience or do some voluntary work within the community.

Do a Level 5 FETAC health related course. The skills and qualities that are needed to do this type of work are a real sense of caring for other people, communication skills, listening skills, be able to take and give constructive criticism without causing or taking offence, patience a willing to give your best effort to your work.
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Naturalist 
Not surprisingly, some aspect of the natural sciences will run through the Naturalists interests - from ecological awareness to nutrition and health. People with an interest in horticulture, land usage and farming (including fish) are Naturalists.

Some Naturalists focus on animals rather than plants, and may enjoy working with, training, caring for, or simply herding them. Other Naturalists will prefer working with the end result of nature's produce - the food produced from plants and animals. Naturalists like solving problems with solutions that show some sensitivity to the environmental impact of what they do. They like to see practical results, and prefer action to talking and discussing.
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Occupation Details

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Chemistry Laboratory Technician

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.

€20k >  
Chemistry Laboratory Technician
Salary Range
(thousands per year)*
€20 -  
Related Information:
Data Source(s):
FAS

Last Updated: March, 2013

* 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 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

Provides technical assistance to chemists by setting up equipment, preparing and carrying out experiments and taking measurements.


The Work header image

Chemistry laboratory technician's aid and assist chemists and other scientists. They may work on research experiments and analysis of results, or the development of new materials and products. In quality assurance, they check that products and materials are safe and meet required standards. They do tests and experiments, and report their findings to the scientist.  
 
Technicians are responsible for the day-to-day running of the laboratory. They set up and clear away equipment for demonstrations in teaching laboratories. They clean and repair equipment, monitor and label stock, and order replacements.

 


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.

Personal Qualitiesheader image

As a Chemistry laboratory technician, you must be thorough, methodical and accurate in setting up and doing experiments. You must be able to record test results and write reports. Good teamwork skills are very important, because technicians work closely with scientists and teachers; attention to detail is also desirable.  
 
Technicians often get on-the-job training, so you must be willing to learn and develop new knowledge and skills. You must be able to use sophisticated equipment and adapt to developments in laboratory technology.


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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Organisation: Science Recruitment Ireland
  Address: 40 Grand Canal Street Upper, Dublin 4
  Tel: (01) 667 5008
  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

 

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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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