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 Damien Mason from CRH plc to give some advice for people considering this job:

Damien Mason

Mechanical Engineer

CRH plc

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Damien Mason

If you are really interested in people and have good interpersonal skills, you will find this job very rewarding.

Like a lot of jobs, you will not be using all the theoretical knowledge you gained in University or College, but you will develop significant management potential and the environment is stimulating and rewarding.

As an engineer, you will probably spend about 50% of your time in the office, and the other 50% out in the plant.

You should also expect that you may be asked if you are willing to travel abroad. This would be very attractive to most people, and a definite means to gain great experience, but it may not suit everyone.

You should ideally be a balanced person, someone with a good deal of technical knowledge, but also a good ability to deal with people.

Responsibility and challenges will be given to you from day one, and if you can handle the pressure, you will gain more and more responsibilities, ultimately leading you to gain invaluable experience, and undoubtedly onto a successful management position.

With the global nature of ICL's parent company CRH, this could be yours in Ireland or one of many countries worldwide.

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The Investigative person will usually find a particular area of science to be of interest. They are inclined toward intellectual and analytical activities and enjoy observation and theory. They may prefer thought to action, and enjoy the challenge of solving problems with clever technology. They will often follow the latest developments in their chosen field, and prefer mentally stimulating environments.
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Manufacturing Technician
In Summary header image

Manufacturing Technician

The Manufacturing Technician provides a technical support function for manufacturing operations, including troubleshooting equipment and process issues, validation and qualification activities of the manufacturing site through the creation and support of necessary validation documentation for equipment, process and product release.

This is an NFQ Level 6 apprenticeship - Higher Certificate in Engineering in Manufacturing (Apprenticeship). It is anticipated that 64 places will be available each year.

The Irish Medical Devices Association (IMDA), the Ibec group that represents the medtech sector, received approval in July 2015 for the development of a new Manufacturing Technician Apprenticeship. The apprenticeship now has a start date of June 2017.


Training header image

The Manufacturing Technician Apprenticeship is a 2-year programme resulting in a QQI Level 6 Higher Certificate in Engineering in Manufacturing awarded by the HEA.


Apprentice training will include on-site and off-site phases each year. 

Phase Block Release

15 week block per year in one of the participating Institutes of Technology.

Progression: Level 7 Manufacturing Engineer (3-year programme)

Programme Overview




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Personal Qualities header image

An interest in working and learning in the MedTech, plastics and engineering Sector.


Work Activities header image

Working as a team member to provide a technical service to produce product per organisational needs in line with all safety, regulatory and organiational requirements, the work of a Manufacturing Technician includes:

  • Preparing equipment, work areas and materials and ensuring/verifying readiness of manual, automated and ancillary equipment.
  • Operation and technical support of manual, automated assembly and ancillary equipment.
  • Troubleshooting and repair of day to day manufacturing issues which may impact on efficiencies, safety or quality.
  • Performing routine calibration on equipment.
  • Operating of measuring equipment and other advanced metrology equipment.
  • Support product development, validation and improvement projects.
  • Documentation of all activities in line with GMP requirements.
  • Cross train within the team and training of new members.
  • Ability to work on own initiative
The Manufacturing Technician will work both autonomously and cross-functionally with Production, Operations, Engineering Support, Quality, Facilities, and Safety to ensure that the engineering activities/projects are completed as per defined project schedule. 

The manufacturing technician will also work in establishing and coordinating corrective/preventive maintenance activities for Production/Operations equipment within the manufacturing site.


Pay & Fees header image

  • The employer pays the apprentices salary for both on and off the job phases. The salary rate set by the individual company.
  • The college training element  is Government funded
  • Annual apprentice registration fee of €1,500 will apply.


Entry Requirements header image

The Manufacturing Technician Apprenticeship is open to School leavers, production operators and technicians who want to train or retrain in the manufacturing sector and progress along NFQ to levels 6 and 7 with any one of the 450+ Medtech companies currently established in Ireland.

Educational Requirements

  • Leaving Certificate (or equivalent)
  • Grade 06 at ordinary level in 5 subjects, two of which must be maths and a language (English or Irish).


Getting an Apprenticeship header image

The Manufacturing Technician Apprenticeship has a commencement date of June 2017.

It is anticipated that both individual companies and the consortium will advertise through their websites.


Career Opportunities header image

There are opportunities across the Medical Devices sector in Plastics and Engineering companies for Manufacturing Technicians.

IMDA Director Sinead Keogh said: “Employment in manufacturing will be 6,000 higher this year compared to last. But, skill shortages are emerging and need to be urgently addressed. These new apprenticeships will give people new job opportunities and help drive regional growth. Manufacturing is an integral part of the Irish economy and is the second largest employer with 4,000 businesses, both home-grown and international, employing nearly 160,000 people. ”


Occupation Profile header image


Progression Routes header image


Occupation Data

Manufacturing Technician

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