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 Maria O'Neill from STEPS to give some advice for people considering this job:


Maria O'Neill

Civil Engineer


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  Maria O'Neill

If you like working with others, and like problem solving then its definitely worth considering. Do you ever look at a bridge/skyscraper etc. and wonder how they did that? Or better still, are you looking at the way the road at home is laid out and thinking if they had of done something differently it would have been better.

Engineering is not a career people think about and say its helping people, but in many ways it is rewarding and just as much about helping people. Engineers design things used everyday that help people get to work, provide clean water, provide sewerage systems, care for the environment....


The Social person's interests focus on some aspect of those people in their environment. In all cases the social person enjoys the personal contact of other people in preference to the impersonal dealings with things, data and ideas found in other groups.

Many will seek out positions where there is direct contact with the public in some advisory role, whether a receptionist or a counsellor. Social people are motivated by an interest in different types of people, and like diversity in their work environments. Many are drawn towards careers in the caring professions and social welfare area, whilst others prefer teaching and other 'informing' roles.
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Undergraduate awards typically reflect three to five years of study after secondary school and include Ordinary (Level 7) and Honours Bachelor Degrees and Higher Diplomas (Level 8's).

Undergraduate awards may be achieved directly or through a series of progression steps. Learners may choose to progress upwards from a Level 5 to a Level 6, Level 7 and finally a Level 8.

Undergraduate awards are awarded by the HETAC or Higher Education Institutes.

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3rd level Graduates are qualified for a wide range of occupations, and their education prepares them for roles involving specific skills, and for coordinating, supervising, managing, or training others. Examples include accountants, sales managers, computer programmers, teachers, chemists, environmental engineers, criminal investigators, and financial analysts.

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4 Years
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Optometrists (Ophthalmic Opticians) are health care professionals who provide primary eye care services. They carry out eye examinations to diagnosis vision defects including myopia (shortsight), hyperopia (longsight), astigmatism and presbyopia and prescribe spectacles. The optometrist’s eye examination will detect eye diseases such as cataract, glaucoma and age related macular degeneration. Optometrists are also able to detect ocular signs of systemic conditions such as multiple sclerosis, high blood pressure and diabetes. Patients are referred to doctors by optometrists if medical attention is required. Optometrists in Ireland do not treat eye disease - this is done by the medical profession.

The first year of the Optometry course focuses on the relevant science subjects necessary for optometric training. Clinical teaching commences in year 1 with Vision Science, which aims to equip the student with some of the core clinical skills necessary for the routine eye examination. The clinical training increases throughout the course.

In the third and fourth year of the programme students are taught how to apply their scientific knowledge in a modern, purpose built clinic, the National Optometry Centre (N.O.C.), based at the DIT Kevin Street, with state of the art facilities and equipment.

Students at the end of the 4th year spend a period of 5 months (January - May) working in an Optometric practice under supervision (Students are responsible for their own upkeep during this period). This is designed to give the student workplace experience and skills and to provide them with future employment prospects.

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Optometrists (Ophthalmic Opticians) are health care professionals who provide primary eye care services.

Course Details header image

From College Website...
DT224 - Optometry

From Qualifax...
DT224 - Optometry
Qualifax - The National Courses Database
DISCLAIMER: These links are to official sources of information for this course - we accept no responsibility for the information on them.

Entry Requirementsheader image

To view the Leaving Certificate minimum entry requirements for this course, Click Here [Source: Qualifax]

To view Mature Entry requirements, or alternative requirements, please visit Qualifax or the Colleges' website from the links available in the Course Details section above.

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This course does not appear to accept applicants with Further Education and Training (FET) awards. Please check with the college directly - sometimes this data is not published openly, or special arrangements may be available.

Career Progression header image

After graduation, you are required to pass the clinical examinations run by the Association of Optometrists, Ireland. Success in these examinations earns you the qualification F.A.O.I. (Fellow of the Association of Optometrists, Ireland). This qualification allows you to register with the Irish Opticians Board and enables you to practice as an optometrist. The majority of newly qualified Optometrists work in established practices in Ireland or the UK. Registration in the UK is possible once you are registered in Ireland.

Some graduates chose to start their own optometric practices
Opportunities also exist to undertake industrial research and to work in hospitals (usually abroad). Graduates have pursued higher research degrees (Masters and Doctoral degrees) through DIT.

The U.S.A. and Canada do not accept Irish (or British) qualifications. North American Optometrists treat eye disease and further study is therefore required.

Related Coursesheader image

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