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 Jonathan Pugsley from Sustainable Energy Authority to give some advice for people considering this job:


Jonathan Pugsley

Energy Manager

Sustainable Energy Authority

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  Jonathan Pugsley

Communication and team skills are probably the most important aspect overlooked.

In energy management, it is not I that saves the energy, but often it is folks on the ground using the equipment.

It is the energy managers job to educate by communication, the importance of doing the right things, savings then come as a result.


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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Subject Choices from Todays Workers
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What do todays workers say about the subjects they chose when they did their Leaving Cert (or equivalent exam)?

Select workers from the list of Career Interviews to read what each person answered to the question "What subjects did you take in school and how have these influenced your career path?"

Elaine Dillon, STEPS

The subjects I took in school were: English, Irish, Maths, Physics, Music, Social and Scientific, History and  French. Having not realised until late in 5th year that I wanted to study engineering in college, I then took physics as an 8th subject at the minimum required pass level. As I had an interest in engineering and the right mindset, the pass physics course was relatively straight forward. As my wise physics teacher advised me, if I didn't enjoy the physics course I most likely would not enjoy engineering.

In hindsight, I should have chosen a science subject as part of my core subjects - all students should. But sometimes school timetables can simply not facilitate everybody's preferences and choices must be made - the important thing is to choose the subjects that are right for you. It is also important to note that it is not essential to have either science subjects or honours maths to achieve a degree in engineering. There are many routes of entry to suit all levels and skills. However, the important thing is to have an interest and enjoyment of these subjects in order to become a good engineer.