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 Paul Dowling from Teagasc to give some advice for people considering this job:


Paul Dowling



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  Paul Dowling
Ideally, try and get a job in the industry for a summer, or get a bit of experience before you go into it. You have to be happy with working outside, and doing physical work. If you are not prepared to work hard or are looking for a soft job, don't go into Landscaping. Design is very sexy at the moment, everyone wants to be a designer, a Landscape Designer. It's different on the ground, you have to be out there on sites in all weather and you have to make sure projects are managed well and you're able to muck in with everyone else. Biology is most important for anyone going into Horticulture or Landscaping as it covers propagation and helps with the identification of plant names, species and families through the universal use of Latin. Chemistry is also helpful as the use of various chemicals is a constant in horticulture. The chemical content and dangers of fertilizers, herbicides and insecticides in use in Amenity Horticulture needs to be understood anyone going into this business. Geography would be a relevant subject as well. Also, the simple things like having a full, clean driving licence, which can make you a lot more employable if you are trying for a job with a Landscape Conractor. This indicates that you are more mobile and can also drive a company van if needed. Be sure you're happy with the outdoor life. Having taken a Horticulture course will give you an advantage. However, it's possible to take a job first and study later, e.g. in IT Blanchardstown it is possible to study at night. I think you cannot beat doing the Diploma Course in the National Botanic Gardens because it is a good practical course which also covers all the theory and is invaluable for gaining plant knowledge.

Creative people are drawn to careers and activities that enable them to take responsibility for the design, layout or sensory impact of something (visual, auditory etc). They may be drawn towards the traditional artistic pursuits such as painting, sculpture, singing, or music. Or they may show more interest in design, such as architecture, animation, or craft areas, such as pottery and ceramics.

Creative people use their personal understanding of people and the world they live in to guide their work. Creative people like to work in unstructured workplaces, enjoy taking risks and prefer a minimum of routine.
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200 New Jobs with Department of Agriculture

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200 New Jobs with Department of Agriculture

Tuesday, February 16, 2016 

200 New Jobs with Department of Agriculture

Now that the public sector recruitment embargo has been lifted, the Department of Agriculture is recruiting again – and recruiting significantly writes Mary Phelan in the Irish Farmers Journal:

The Department of Agriculture is recruiting to fill 200 positions in 2016, across a range of areas within the Department.

These job opportunities will span a range of disciplines, and should appeal to a wide range of people – from new graduates to more experienced professionals, and include:

  • Technical officer roles
  • Agricultural inspector roles
  • Administrative posts
  • Food and microbiology laboratory scientists
  • Marine engineers
  • Vets
  • Molecular biologists
  • ICT roles including applications development, GIS specialists and IT infrastructure development experts.

Since 2007, the Department has lost almost 1,500 people but now that the recruitment embargo has been lifted, it is hiring again and is seeking to fill 200 positions this year alone.

The Department of Agriculture will be at the Irish Farmers Journal and open eir Agri Careers Fair (which takes place in the RDS on 3 March. Register here  free if you wish to attend).

The Department of Agriculture’s assistant secretary Ann Derwin said the Department offers opportunities which allow people to make “a real difference”.

She said the possibilities include influencing policy in a range of areas such as food safety, animal health, environmental sustainability, food security, forestry and the marine sectors, contributing to shaping the next Rural Development Plan for Ireland or negotiating the next CAP.

The Department also facilitates continuous professional development and representing Ireland at both national and international level.


A competition for technical Agricultural Officers will begin soon. The educational requirements are five subjects in the Leaving Cert and an Advanced Level 6 diploma. There will also be jobs coming up for marine engineers, vets and lab staff in the areas of bioscience, biomedical lab science and molecular science. Various administrative and ICT posts will also be advertised.

Many jobs with the Department involve field work and visiting farms and food businesses throughout the country. It has over 3,000 staff working in locations all around the country from Clonakilty to Raphoe, Galway to Dublin, Sligo to Wexford. Department staff also work in cities such as Beijing, Brussels, Geneva, London, Moscow, Paris, Rome, and Washington.

Find out more

Register with the Public Appointments Service (PAS) for notifications about upcoming jobs in the department and the wider civil service.

The Department also publishes information in relation to all upcoming competitions on its website here.

Meet the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and many more at the inaugural Agri Careers Fair brought to you by the Irish Farmers Journal and open eir.

The event takes place in the RDS on 3 March and if you wish to attend, register here.


The CareersPortal Team