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 Mark Maguire from Construction Industry Federation to give some advice for people considering this job:

 

Mark Maguire

Apprentice Electrician

Construction Industry Federation

Read more

  Mark	Maguire
The advice I would give is firstly talk to someone you may know that is already in the trade and ask them any questions that you may have or ask them about some of there first hand experiences.

Another good piece of advice would be to go onto YouTube and search some basic electrics, keep in mind that these are the kind of things that you will face when you go to the college phases of your apprenticeship . There are books and e-books that can be purchased to get an understanding.
Close

Enterprising?
Enterprising 
Enterprising people like situations that involve using resources for personal or corporate economic gain. Such people may have an opportunistic frame of mind, and like commerce, trade and making deals. Some are drawn to sales and marketing occupations. Many will eventually end up owning their own business, or managing a section in larger organisations. They tend to be very goal-oriented, and work best when focused on a target. Some have an entrepreneurial inclination.
Career Interviews
Sector Profiles
School Subjects (LC)
College Courses
Close
Study Skills
Other
Work Experience (School)
CV & Interview Preparation

Occupation Details

logo imagelogo image

Materials Scientist / Technologist

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.

€32k > 60 
Materials Scientist
Salary Range
(thousands per year)*
€32 - 60 
Related Information:
Data Source(s):
Morgan McKinley

Last Updated: July, 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.
Return to List
Saves this course to your Career File if you are registered.

At a Glance... header image

Studies the properties and uses of a range of materials, such as metals, glass, plastics and electronics.


The Work header image

Modern society is constantly evolving and so too is the development of advanced materials such as lightweight composites for transport applications, optical fibres for telecommunications and silicon microchips for the information revolution.

Materials scientists and technologists are the people behind these developments - they study materials and their uses, working with an enormous range of materials, from basic matter like atoms and molecules, to metals, plastics, cement, glass, sand and electronics, towards determining ways to strengthen or combine materials and develop new products. They also try to enhance existing products. 

Scientists and technologists find out how materials react to different conditions, including temperature and pressure, and try to improve their performance. They may produce written reports of their findings.  
 
In many industries, high performance materials are vital; for example, metals used in aircraft must be strong, light, and reliable. Scientists test metals at high temperatures to simulate conditions in the aircraft's engines. They do routine tests to identify defects and failures in the craft. They adopt a forensic approach, searching for subtle evidence of corrosion or weakness in metals.  
 
Oil refineries use high temperatures and pressures. These can cause corrosion, with the risk of liquids and gases leaking into the environment. Because corrosion may only be visible at a late stage, scientists constantly monitor for clues. They may research longer-lasting or stress-resistant materials, keeping up-to-date with advances in technology throughout the world.  
 
Materials scientists and technologists may work in engineering. For example, they help to design aircraft, oil refineries and nuclear power plants. They must take into account the cost and availability of materials, and the need to develop new ones.  
 
In the nuclear industry, they investigate defects in the structure of buildings and advise on welding and techniques like thermal lagging. They support and advise engineering staff, and supervise repairs. 

Materials scientists work to strict standards, including government and European Union legislation. Some work as project leaders in industry, developing materials that meet or surpass fire safety regulations. They use X-rays to analyse the internal effects of extreme temperatures on materials like metal and glass.  
 
Material sciences in industry may visit international customers to find out their technical requirements, or to explain the latest technological developments.  
 
Materials scientists investigate properties, composition and structure of matter and the laws that govern the combination of elements and reaction of substances. Chemistry plays a dominant role in materials science as it provides information about the structure and composition on matter.

 


Tasks & Activitiesheader image

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

bullet

Conduct research on the structures and properties of materials, such as metals, alloys, polymers, and ceramics, to obtain information that could be used to develop new products or enhance existing ones.

bullet

Prepare reports, manuscripts, proposals, and technical manuals for use by other scientists and requestors, such as sponsors and customers.

bullet

Perform experiments and computer modeling to study the nature, structure, and physical and chemical properties of metals and their alloys, and their responses to applied forces.

bullet

Plan laboratory experiments to confirm feasibility of processes and techniques used in the production of materials having special characteristics.

bullet

Determine ways to strengthen or combine materials or develop new materials with new or specific properties for use in a variety of products and applications.

bullet

Teach in colleges and universities.

bullet

Devise testing methods to evaluate the effects of various conditions on particular materials.

bullet

Research methods of processing, forming, and firing materials to develop such products as ceramic dental fillings, unbreakable dinner plates, and telescope lenses.

bullet

Confer with customers to determine how to tailor materials to their needs.

bullet

Recommend materials for reliable performance in various environments.

Work Activities header image

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

bullet

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

bullet

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

bullet

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

bullet

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

bullet

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

bullet

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

bullet

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

bullet

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

bullet

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

bullet

Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others:  Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.


Knowledge header image

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

bullet

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.

bullet

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.

bullet

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.

bullet

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

bullet

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


Skillsheader image

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

bullet

Science:   Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.

bullet

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

bullet

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

bullet

Complex Problem Solving:   Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

bullet

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

bullet

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

bullet

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

bullet

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.

bullet

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

bullet

Speaking:   Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Personal Qualitiesheader image

To become a Materials scientist or Technologist you must be interested in the practical use of science, especially maths, physics and chemistry. You will need a patient, methodical and investigative approach to research and development.  
 
Materials scientists and technologists often work in teams with other specialists. You must be able to express your findings clearly, both verbally and in writing, to team members. You will need good interpersonal and communication skills to deal with customer enquiries.  
 
Computer and technology skills are very important in this career. You may look up the properties of a material on a computerised database, use X-rays to examine the internal changes high temperatures cause in metals, or use a simulated environment chamber to test the effects of gaseous pollutants on buildings.  
 
You must be willing to learn and develop new knowledge and keep up-to-date on scientific advances throughout the world. You should like working with your hands, building scientific apparatus, and performing laboratory experiments, and should also like computer modeling.


Entry Routesheader image

A bachelor's degree in physics, chemistry, materials science, materials engineering, or a related discipline is typically the minimum educational requirement for entry to this career area. Research jobs will require a master's degree a PhD level qualification.

Several colleges and universities countrywide offer degree programmes in chemistry, physics, and engineering. Degree programmes in materials science and engineering are also available.

Those interested in a career as a materials scientist should consider courses in science and mathematics. In addition to required courses in analytical, inorganic, organic, and physical chemistry, undergraduate chemistry, subject areas such as biological sciences, mathematics, physics, and increasingly, computer science. Combining chemistry and advanced screening techniques is also popular. Materials scientists end engineers also need basic statistical techniques.

Lab experience, either in academic laboratories or through internships, fellowships, or work-study programs in industry, is also valuable. Some employers of materials scientists or engineers, particularly in the pharmaceutical industry, prefer to hire individuals with several years of postdoctoral experience.

There are many emerging and growth areas where materials graduates can find career openings including:

  • Nanotechnology
  • Biomedical materials
  • High-performance textiles
  • Composites and
  • The development of sustainable materials

Last Updated: October, 2014


Related Occupationsheader image

Contactsheader image

bullet

Organisation: European Space Education Resource Office Ireland (ESERO)
  Address: Discover Science & Engineering, Wilton Park House, Wilton Place, Dublin, 2
  Tel: (01) 607 3014
  Email: Click here
  Url Click here

bullet

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

bullet

Organisation: Institute of Physics in Ireland
  Address: Department of Physics, University of Limerick, Limerick
  Tel: (061) 202 290/ (01) 708 3953
  Email: Click here
  Url Click here

 

Job Search


Industry Expert



Career Articles

Kevin Roche - Research Engineer

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
Chemical, Biomedical & Pharmaceutical Sciences
MedTech
Physical & Mathematical Sciences

Search for Related Courses from Qualifax - the National Learners Database

Go..


Higher Ed & CAO Course suggestions
If you are interested in this occupation, then the following courses may also be of interest. Note that these course suggestions are not intended to indicate that they lead directly to this occupation, only that they are related in some way and may be worth exploring.
Courses found: 62
Aero Engineering
IT Carlow
Aeronautical Engineering
University of Limerick
Agricultural Engineering
Tralee IT
Aircraft Systems
IT Carlow
Biomedical Engineering
NUI Galway
Biomedical Engineering
University of Limerick
Biomedical Engineering
DCU
Cadet Training - Engineering Branch Cadet
National Maritime College of Ire
Chemical & Biopharmacutical Engineering
Cork Institute of Technology
Common Entry into Engineering (Undenominated Entry)
DCU
Electrical and Control Engineering
DIT
Energy Engineering
GMIT - Galway-Mayo IT
Energy Systems Engineering
NUI Galway
Engineering
UCD (NUI)
Engineering (Common Entry)
Athlone IT
Engineering (Common Entry)
University of Limerick
Engineering (General Entry)
DIT
Engineering (Process and Chemical Engineering)
UCC (NUI)
Engineering (Undenominated)
NUI Galway
Engineering - Common Entry
IT Blanchardstown
Engineering - Electrical and Electronic Systems
Dundalk IT
Engineering - Mechanical Engineering
Dundalk IT
Engineering in Manufacturing and Mechatronics Engineering
Tralee IT
Engineering with Management
TCD
Health and Safety Systems
NUI Galway
Industrial Biochemistry
University of Limerick
Instrument Engineering
Cork Institute of Technology
Manufacturing and Design Engineering
DIT
Manufacturing Engineering
Tralee IT
Marine Engineering at National Maritime College of Ireland
Cork Institute of Technology
Mechanical & Manufacturing Engineering
DCU
Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering
Waterford IT
Mechanical and Polymer Engineering
Athlone IT
Mechanical Engineering
Athlone IT
Mechanical Engineering
IT Tallaght
Mechanical Engineering
Athlone IT
Mechanical Engineering
IT Sligo
Mechanical Engineering
Cork Institute of Technology
Mechanical Engineering
IT Carlow
Mechanical Engineering
GMIT - Galway-Mayo IT
Mechanical Engineering
Cork Institute of Technology
Mechanical Engineering
University of Limerick
Mechanical Engineering
NUI Galway
Mechanical Engineering
IT Tallaght
Mechanical Engineering
IT Tallaght
Mechanical Engineering
IT Sligo
Mechanical Engineering
GMIT - Galway-Mayo IT
Mechanical Engineering
Waterford IT
Mechanical Engineering
DIT
Mechanical Engineering
IT Carlow
Mechanical Engineering
Letterkenny IT
Mechanical Engineering
Limerick IT
Mechatronic Engineering
IT Blanchardstown
Mechatronic Engineering
DCU
Mechatronic Engineering
IT Blanchardstown
Mechatronics
IT Sligo
Mechatronics
Athlone IT
Mechatronics
IT Sligo
Precision Engineering
Limerick IT
Precision Engineering and Design
IT Sligo
Sustainable Design in Electrical Services Engineering
DIT
Sustainable Energy Engineering
Waterford IT


Further Ed & PLC Course Suggestions
If you are interested in this occupation, then the following courses may also be of interest. Note that these course suggestions are not intended to indicate that they lead directly to this occupation, only that they are related in some way and may be worth exploring.

Courses found: 29


Medical Laboratory Science - HND
Coláiste Dhúlaigh College of Further Education
Laboratory Science
St. Kevin's College Crumlin
Applied Science
St. John's Central College
Pre University Science
Colaiste Ide College of Further Education
Science - Pre University
Coláiste Dhúlaigh College of Further Education
Science / Agricultural Science - Pre University
Dunboyne College of Further Education
Laboratory Techniques - Pre-university Science Course
Drogheda Institute of Further Education
Science - Pre University
Killester College of Further Education
Science & Laboratory Techniques
Cavan Institute
Pre-University Science
Greenhills College
Applied Science / Forensic Science / Laboratory Techniques
Central College Limerick
Science Applied - Laboratory Techniques
Limerick College of Further Education
Laboratory Techniques
Listowel Community College
Applied Science Laboratory Techniques
Colaiste Chiarain Croom
Applied Science - Laboratory Techniques
Colaiste Mhuire Thurles
Laboratory Techniques - Pre University Science
Pharmacy Assistant - Laboratory Technician
Carlow Institute of Further Education
Laboratory Techniques / Applied Science
Kerry College of Further Education
Agriculture - Agricultural Mechanisation
Pallaskenry Agricultural College
Applied Science Laboratory Studies
Waterford College of Further Education
Science and Laboratory Techniques
Dun Laoghaire Further Education Institute
Science - Applied
Listowel Community College
Science - Applied - Laboratory Techniques
Colaiste Stiofain Naofa CFE
Motor Vehicle Technology
Monaghan Institute
Forensics - Applied Science
Bray Institute of Further Education
Pharmacy Studies
North Kerry College of Further Education
Mechatronic Engineering
Kerry College of Further Education
Combilift OEM Traineeship in Engineering & Manufacturing Technology
Monaghan Institute
Laboratory Techniques - Pre-University Science
Dun Laoghaire Further Education Institute