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 Mary Ita Heffernan from Health Service Executive to give some advice for people considering this job:


Mary Ita Heffernan

Social Worker

Health Service Executive

Read more

  Mary Ita Heffernan

Whilst in secondary school, I changed my mind many a time regarding the career path I wanted to pursue! I always knew that I wanted to work with people but was unsure about the profession which would most suit my interests and skills in this regard.

While in school, I definitely found that being unsure about the type or area of work you want to pursue is a very difficult and confusing position to be in, especially given the array of career choices now available and the pressure one feels in trying to make one’s mind up.

To this end, I would strongly advise anybody in this position to research courses and job descriptions well in order to make the most informed decision possible at that time in your life. 

I recommend one tries to gain as much work experience as possible as it will provide you with valuable insight into your skills, ability, likes/dislikes for certain areas of employment!!!!

Also I would research the courses and job areas as much as possible so that you can make an informed decision regarding your choices. If you can't gain enough information in school, contact the college directly or arrange to talk to somebody who facilitates the course. In particular, it would be really valuable to talk to somebody in the profession to gain a realistic and practical insight into the job.


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.
Career Interviews
Sector Profiles
School Subjects (LC)
College Courses
Study Skills
Work Experience (School)
CV & Interview Preparation

Occupation Search

logo imagelogo image
Occupations Database
Browse A-Z...
By Sector

Career Interests

Occupation Search:

Tip: Use the first four/five letters of the occupation.


Filter by Job Zone - Optional


What is an Occupation

Often the terms job, occupation and career are used interchangeably. In fact, they have very different meanings. On this site we use them to mean the following:

A job is a work role with a specific organisation (paid or unpaid). Example: Auditor at CRH Group.

An occupation is a wide category of jobs with similar characteristics. Example: physician, engineer, educator, or scientist.

A career is a lifetime journey of building and making good use of your skills, knowledge and experiences.

Using this search you can explore hundreds of occupations. For many we include interviews with people doing that job, and discuss their career journey so far.

Video Interviews

Allen	Monks Economist
Eileen Faherty Electrician / Quantity Surveyor
Deborah Caffrey Electronic Engineer
Clodagh & Peter Careers in Tax
Caitriona Jackman Planetary Scientist
Roseann Gilligan Executive Officer
John Smith Engineer - Process
Paul Meany School Principal
Brendan White Fish Filleter
Afra Ronayne Mechanical Engineer
Alan O'Neill Fisherman
Martin Dunn Activities Manager
Aoife Lyons Occupational Psychologist
Donal Kane Plumber / Construction Super.
Andrew Dunne Senior Tax Manager
Breda Ni Mhaoláin Interpreter
Simon Nix Administrative Officer
Michael Coleman Business Banking Trainee
Michael Bohane QA Manager
Paul Dowling Horticulturist
Cosmin Tudor Restaurant Manager
Louise Lynch Structural Engineer
Ejiro O'Hare Stratton Clinical Nurse Manager 2
Caroline Austin Associate Tax Lawyer
Emilia Gilroy Garda
Des Lalor Wind Engineer
Paul Galvan Resource Teacher
Maria O'Neill Civil Engineer
Catherine Day Secretary General
Karl Stanley Software Engineer
Laura Corporate Finance
Karl Curran Associate Director
James Sheridan Restaurant Manager
Peter Clifford Probationer Garda
Martha Francis Detective Sergeant
Jonathan Pugsley Energy Manager
Jack McGovern Garda Trainee
Ciaran O'Loughlin Graduate Trainee
Mark	Maguire Apprentice Electrician
Mariya Levchuk Crew Trainer
Nicola O'Higgins Fishmonger
Maebh Kennedy Acturial Trainee
Denis Canty Electronic Engineer
Bru Amerlynck Garda
Ciara	 Phelan National Expert
Danielle Grant Assistant Tax Manager
Brenda O Loughlin Franchisee
Alan Gilligan Administrative Officer
Mark Spain Garda Trainee
Peter LaComber Consulting Engineer
Jennifer Bourke Third Secretary - Press Officer
Nan Hu Garda
Aoife O'Malley Garda Trainee
Ivan Toole & Paul O'Sullivan Fisherman / Skipper
Sinead Kenny Design Engineer
Brian Kelly Science Entrepreneur
Colm Hofler Chemical Engineer
Lynsey Gargan Manufacturing Engineer
Rachel Berry Pharmacist
Sarah Lynch HR Business Partner
Aileen Deasy Seafood Technologist
Padraig Parle Teacher - Special Needs
Nora Barry Third Secretary
David Fleming Sub Lieutenant - Navy
Lisa Berry Restaurant Manager
Colin	Butterly Site Manager - Trade Entry
Deirdre Kelleghan Amateur Astronomer
Tracey Roche Design Engineer
Gordon Campbell Earth Observation Application Engineer
Adam Nolan Garda
Mary Dineen Tax Trainee
Pat O'Connor Press Officer
William Hynes Senior Economist
John Harding Mechanical Engineer
Brian Cadigan Primary School Teacher
Jane Kennedy Research & Development Manager
Tom Tooher Lieutenant - Army
Richard Storey Shift Manager
Aidan Maher Site Manager - Grad Entry
Daniel Vagg System Architect
Joseph Conboy Associate Director
Vivienne Breathnach Lawyer Linguist-Barrister
Mary McCaughey Head of Communications
Breda Wright Customer Care Manager
Michelle Ryan Corporate Sales Manager
Sarah Kennelly Administrative Officer & Developer
Sinead O'Hara Higher Executive Officer
Lisa Curry Catering Sales Executive
David Crowe Administrative Officer
David Kehoe Chef
Ciara Elston HR Graduate Trainee
Deirdre Lavelle Care Assistant
Cian O'Mahony Science Teacher
Dave McDonald Astronomer
Natasha Ibanez Mechanical Engineer
Rosa Doran Astronomy Educator
Greg Fox Graduate Trainee
Paul Harding Prison Officer
Aoife Mc Dermott Lecturer
Sinead Lew Tax Manager
Liam Dowling Clinical Nurse Manager 2
Justine McCosh Accountant
Sharon Careers in Audit
Ann-Marie Holmes Factory Manager - Fab 14
Tomas Flanagan Occupational Therapist
Frank Morrison Recruitment Manager
Liam McCaul R&D Engineer
Jack Careers in Consulting
Rasaq Falade Garda Reserve
Dr Jan Steiner Anaesthetist
Kieran Magee Farm Manager - Dry Stock
Marianne Cusack Garda Sergeant
Deirdre Sayers Primary School Teacher
Brendan Cavanagh Ships Engineer
Aishling Butler Garda Trainee
Kevin Moran Insurance Administrator
Oisin McGrath Lieutenant - Pilot - Air Corp
Yvonne Brady HR Manager
Damien Dollard Clerical Officer
Bryan Daniels Farmer - Dairy
Damien Mason Mechanical Engineer
Siobhan Canny Midwife
Gary Lamph Oyster Farmer
Nicole Feighery Customer Care Manager
Liz O'Toole Skipper
Kerrie Horan Engineer - Process
Gail Sterio Corporate Accountant
Elaine McGarrigle Mechanical Engineer
Lisa Kelly Speech and Language
John Traynor Development Analyst
Orla Gallagher Spa Manager
Margaret Donaghue Prison Officer
Linda Byrnes Pensions Administrator
Luke Drea Event Rider
Donal Og Cusack Automation/Energy Engineer
Hugh Heraghty Fish Farm Manager
Noel O'Sullivan Skipper
Lydia Peppard Care Assistant
Oisin	Murphy Apprentice Carpenter
Stephen Landers Internal Auditor
Darryl Day IQ Engineer
Mary Ita Heffernan Social Worker
Elva Bannon Mechatronic Engineer
Brian O'Connor Analytical Chemist
Elaine MacDonald Psychologist - Clinical
Dr Arlene O'Neill Physicist
Brian Macken Science Communicator
Anna Holohan Tax Trainee
Claire Hanrahan Auditor
Rebecca Tighe Process Engineer