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 John Traynor from CRH plc to give some advice for people considering this job:


John Traynor

Development Analyst

CRH plc

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  John Traynor
This is a job that you must be really interested in to succeed in. At times the hours can be very long and the work can be very challenging. You must be prepared to put up with the hard work in order to get the real experience and career progress that the job can offer you. If you are not really interested in this work you will be letting yourself and your colleagues down.

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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Sector Organisation

Health Service Executive

Health Service Executive

Health Service Executive Organisation Profile Organisation Profile

Contact details:
Contact Name:
Dr Steevens' Hospital
Steevens' Lane
Dublin 8
+353 (01) 6352000
What the Experts Say...
Go Questions about the sector
Go Questions about the career opportunities
Go Questions about education and training
Go Questions about global opportunities
Go Advice for people interested in this area

 Questions about the sector
What advice do you have for school leavers?
Please give an overview of your sector?
What are the main occupations in this sector?
What qualifications are required?
Are there overseas opportunities available?
What advice do you have for graduates?
What are the typical routes into this sector?
Are there opportunities in this sector for non-Irish nationals?
What types of employment contracts are there?
What is the size and scope of the sector?
What advice do you have for career changers?
What are the typical earnings of these occupations?
What are the current issues affecting this sector?
How do you get a job in this sector?
What changes are anticipated over the next 5 years
What advice do you have for non-Irish nationals?
What advice do you have for those wishing to go back to work?
Do you have any statistics relevant to the sector?
What advice do you have for older workers?
Are there any areas in your sector currently experiencing skills shortages?

What are the main occupations in this sector?

When thinking of the Health Sector one might assume that it is mainly Doctors and Nurses, however there are vast number of career areas within the sector.  The types of careers are categorised as follows:

Nursing includes all:

  • General Nurses
  • Midwives
  • Psychiatric Nurses
  • Public Health Nurses
  • Nurse Managers

Medical/Dental - included in this category are all Doctors & Dentists.

Allied Health Professionals:  Included in this category are all therapies e.g. :

  • Physiotherapy
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Speech & Language Therapy
  • Radiography
  • Psychology
  • Social Workers
  • Audiology etc.

Management/Administration:  There is a broad range of careers in this category including

  • Finance
  • General administration
  • HR
  • Procurement
  • Service Management
  • Health Promotion
  • Project Management and
  • ICT

Support: Included in this category is:

  • The Ambulance Service
  • Support staff in hospitals e.g Catering, Attendants
  • Technical staff
  • Trade Staff

Patient & Client Care - Included in this category are:

  • Care Assistants
  • Family Support Workers
  • Dental Nurses
  • Chaplains
  • Occupational Therapy Assistants etc.

Please give an overview of your sector?

The Health Services provide thousands of different services in hospitals, health facilities and communities throughout Ireland.  These range from public health nurses treating older people in the community to caring for children with challenging behaviour, from educating people how to live healthier lives to performing highly-complex brain surgery, from planning of major emergencies to controlling the spread of infectious diseases.

At some stage every year, everybody in Ireland will use one or more of the services provided. They are of vital importance to the whole population.


What qualifications are required?

All positions within the health sector have minimum qualifications attached to them. Certain professions, e.g nursing, medicine, and therapies require that you study and qualify in that particular area. 

There are many positions within the health sector with very varied qualifications, therefore there is something for everybody.  To check out the eligibility criteria for many positions in the HSE, please click here.

All positions are advertised on and  job specifications will outline the minimum qualifications required for that particular post. 


Are there overseas opportunities available?

Healthcare is an international sector and therefore qualified healthcare professionals generally will be able to find suitable and relevant employment abroad. 

What advice do you have for school leavers?

If you are currently doing your Leaving Certificate but do not want to go to college there are still some opportunities within the HSE.  All opportunities will be advertised when they arise. Some examples are:

  • Trainee Emergency Medical Technician,
  • Some general support roles

It should be noted that many roles in the HSE require a third level qualification and also that many employees who have obtained a third level qualification end up working in an area unrelated to their original qualification. e.g. nurses, teachers, social workers etc frequently move into management and other positions.  Therefore having a third level qualification can open up many possibilities for career advancement in the HSE.

Click here to search available vacancies.


What is the size and scope of the sector?

The Mission of the Health Services in Ireland is to 'Improve the Health and Wellbeing of People in Ireland'

It is the largest organisation in the State, employing over 103,000 people, with expenditure in the region of of €13 billion, operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Almost every one of us will use a service provided by the HSE during any given year.  An employee of the Health Services could be working in an Acute Hospital setting, a community based setting, a residential care home, a regional office or a corporate function to name but a few

The following are the categories of staff employed by the HSE.


  • Consultants - Specialty areas
  • Area Medical Officers
  • Chief Medical Officer
  • Senior House Officers
  • Registrars
  • Psychiatrists
  • Public Health Doctors


  • Dental Surgeon
  • Dental Craftsman
  • Dental Nurse 


  • Clinical Nurse Managers
  • Clinical Nurse Specialists
  • Clinical Nurse Managers - Specialty areas
  • Staff Nurses - All Disciplines
  • Staff Nurses - Speciality Areas
  • Public Health Nurses
  • Midwives

Allied Health and Social Care Professionals

  • Physiotherapists (Basic Grade, Senior, Manager)
  • Radiography (Basic Grade, Senior, Manager)
  • Speech and Language Therapy (Basic Grade, Senior, Manager)
  • Occupational Therapy (Basic Grade, Senior, Manager)
  • Social Work (Basic Grade, Senior, Manager)
  • Emergency Medical Technicians
  • Audiologist
  • Dietitian
  • Orthoptics
  • Psychologist

Science / Laboratory

  • Analytical Chemist
  • Biochemist
  • Medical Scientist
  • Pathology technician
  • Physicists

Management /Admin / ICT

  • General Administration
  • Specialist Areas:
  • Finance
  • Human Resources
  • ICT
  • Corporate Affairs etc

General Support Staff

  • Attendants
  • Drivers
  • General Operatives
  • Nurses Aides (Care Assistant)
  • Homehelps
  • Supplies Officers

Technical and Maintenance

  • Draughtsman/Technician
  • Electrician
  • Engineer/Engineering Officer
  • Maintenance craftsman/technican
  • Mechanic
  • Plasterer
  • Plumber
  • Technical Services Officer

Catering and Housekeeping

  • Catering Officers
  • Chefs
  • Cooks
  • Dining Room Staff
  • Housekeeping Staff
  • Porters
  • Laundry Staff

All our positions are advertised on .


What types of employment contracts are there?

For the most part, the health service generally offers permanent and pensionable employment.  However, specified purpose contracts may also be available in certain cases.

There are opportunities for flexible working within the health sector - some of the main initiatives are:

  • Job Sharing
  • Shorter Working Year Scheme / Term Time
  • Part time hours / flexible working

What are the typical routes into this sector?

Because of the amount and varied nature of the types of roles available, there are no typical entry routes. Opportunities are available for school leavers, college graduates, return to work adults and so on.

Explore Occupations in the Medical and Healthcare area here


Are there opportunities in this sector for non-Irish nationals?

While the HSE is an equal opportunities employer, in line with current Department of Enterprise, Jobs and Innovation work permit requirements, applications from non European Economic (EAA), Bulgarian or Romanian citizens will only be considered in the event that an EAA citizen cannot be found to fill a vacancy. However, we welcome applications from holders of the following documents;

  • Work Visa
  • Work Permit
  • Work Authorisation

EEA nationals who do not require work permits / visas / authorizations are nationals of the following countries: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, Bulgaria and Romania.

Non- European Economic Area applicants who reside within the State

In order that the National Recruitment Service can process your application it will be necessary for you to submit the following scanned documentation:

A scanned copy of your passport showing your identification i.e.the first page of your passport showing your photograph and personal details and current immigration stamp showing you have permission to be in this State


A scanned copy of your current Certificate of Registration (GNIB card) showing Stamp 1, Stamp 4/ 4EUfam, Stamp 5


A scanned copy of your current Certificate of Registration (GNIB card) showing Stamp 3 and scanned copy of the following:
Marriage / Civil Partnership Certificate


Spouse's passport showing their identification and current immigration stamp and their current GNIB card showing Stamp 1,4, or 5.


If your spouse holds a Stamp 2 for the purposes of PhD study, please include a copy of their passport showing their identification and current immigration stamp and their current GNIB card showing Stamp 2 and documentary evidence from the relevant educational institution showing that they are a PhD student.

Applications that are not accompanied by the above documents where necessary will be considered incomplete and will not be processed any further. This means that your application will not be submitted for the ranking exercise and subsequent invitation to interview.
For more details on EEA countries please see visit the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation website

Please note:
The HSE welcomes applications from suitably qualified Non-EEA Nationals that have refugee status. We would be grateful if such applicants would provide documentary evidence confirming their status.



What are the typical earnings of these occupations?

There are too many careers within the health sector to outline what the salary scale for each one is, however the Health Service pay scales can be found on the the HSE Website.

Please click here to view.


  Continue to...
  Go Questions about the sector
  Go Questions about the career opportunities
  Go Questions about education and training
  Go Questions about global opportunities
  Go Advice for people interested in this area

  Health Service Executive

Siobhan Canny
"We also attend to Caesarean deliveries and assist the mothers and fathers with the immediate care of the new born"
Siobhan Canny
Dr Jan Steiner
"I believe that it would be very helpful for every doctor to work as a nurse or nursing aid, at some stage in their career."
Dr Jan Steiner
Keith Hayes
"The role of a paramedic is very demanding and it is challenging to ensure the patient receives the best level of care"
Keith Hayes
Rachel Berry
"I enjoy the fact that there is a lot of patient contact and that we have the opportunity to make a real difference to people's lives"
Rachel Berry
Speech and Language
Lisa Kelly
"I spend four mornings a week in a local primary school where there are two language units"
Lisa Kelly
Clinical Nurse Manager 2
Ejiro O'Hare Stratton
"The person coming into the job would need to be patient, able to negotiate and work under pressure, as well as work on their own initiative"
Ejiro O'Hare Stratton
Social Worker
Mary Ita Heffernan
"Our main aim is to maintain a child in the care of its parents and all supports and interventions are given in an effort to achieve this"
Mary Ita Heffernan
Care Assistant
Lydia Peppard
"I could be on the wards assessing staff performance or assessing the practical skills of those staff doing their FETAC Level 5 training"
Lydia Peppard
Recruitment Manager
Frank Morrison
"Work within the HSE is usually very challenging and tends to keep you on your toes. You won't get bored"
Frank Morrison