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 Claire Hanrahan from CRH plc to give some advice for people considering this job:


Claire Hanrahan


CRH plc

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  Claire Hanrahan

The candidate needs to have a desire to travel. That is the most important. Travel is a vital part of the role of Internal Auditor at CRH. Your travel percentage ranges between 40% - 70% per year. They do try to keep it at a minimum but with a high staff turnover, you could be placed on additional audits that are short staffed.

You need to get on with all the people you work with also as you're away with these people for 4 nights a week for 4 weeks. You need to be friendly and outgoing and easy to get along with as it can get stressful on jobs so the last thing you want is someone who has attitude problems or can't communicate properly! Those 2 aspects are the most important for me.


Administrative people are interested in work that offers security and a sense of being part of a larger process. They may be at their best operating under supervisors who give clear guidelines, and performing routine tasks in a methodical and reliable way.

They tend to enjoy clerical and most forms of office work, where they perform essential administrative duties. They often form the backbone of large and small organisations alike. They may enjoy being in charge of office filing systems, and using computers and other office equipment to keep things running smoothly. They usually like routine work hours and prefer comfortable indoor workplaces.
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Occupation Details

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Medical Laboratory Assistant

Job Zone

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.

€18k > 32 
Medical Laboratory Assistant
Salary Range
(thousands per year)*
€18 - 32 
Related Information:
Data Source(s):

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.
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At a Glance... header image

Perform routine medical laboratory tests for the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease.

The Work header image

Medical laboratory aides help medical technicians and scientists in their work towards diagnosis of diseases. They prepare and analyse substances. They make up chemical solutions, use computers to analyse data and sorting tissues samples. They assist in research in areas such as clinical chemistry and haematology (the study of blood). Their duties include:

  • issuing containers for specimen collection
  • sorting, processing and identifying specimens
  • preparing samples and solutions
  • labelling tubes and bottles
  • cleaning and sterilising laboratory surfaces
  • maintaining laboratory stocks
  • carrying out simple laboratory tests

In addition to laboratory-based work, aides have to do clerical duties. These include recording the arrival of specimens, inputting patient data onto computer databases, maintaining detailed records of tests, recording findings and dispatching results.


Tasks & Activitiesheader image

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


Conduct chemical analyses of body fluids, such as blood or urine, using microscope or automatic analyzer to detect abnormalities or diseases and enter findings into computer.


Conduct blood tests for transfusion purposes and perform blood counts.


Examine cells stained with dye to locate abnormalities.


Set up, maintain, calibrate, clean, and test sterility of medical laboratory equipment.


Analyze the results of tests or experiments to ensure conformity to specifications, using special mechanical or electrical devices.


Analyze and record test data to issue reports that use charts, graphs, or narratives.


Consult with a pathologist to determine a final diagnosis when abnormal cells are found.


Prepare standard volumetric solutions or reagents to be combined with samples, following standardized formulas or experimental procedures.


Inoculate fertilized eggs, broths, or other bacteriological media with organisms.


Collect blood or tissue samples from patients, observing principles of asepsis to obtain blood sample.

Work Activities header image

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


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


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


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


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.


Controlling Machines and Processes:  Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).


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


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


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


Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material:  Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.


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

Knowledge header image

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


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.


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


Medicine and Dentistry:  Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.


Computers and Electronics:  Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.


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.


Science:   Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.


Speaking:   Talking to others to convey information effectively.


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


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


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.


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


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


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


Operation Monitoring:   Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.


Coordination:   Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.

Personal Qualitiesheader image

A basic understanding of medical and scientific terminology is necessary in order to follow instructions and examine test results. Numerical skills are also necessary for checking test results and performing simple calculations.  
Good clerical skills are useful for maintaining records and completing reports. You will need manual dexterity for handling specimens and small items of laboratory equipment. Certain tasks are fairly repetitive.  
The work demands a sense of responsibility and a disciplined approach to work. Care and attention are needed when entering, recording and cross referencing patient data against samples. Care also has to be taken to avoid breakage.  
As a medical laboratory assistant you should be adaptable and flexible, as you may occasionally be required to work in other departments.

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..Medical laboratory scientist - from:  GradIreland

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Medical & Healthcare

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