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....


Realists are usually interested in 'things' - such as buildings, mechanics, equipment, tools, electronics etc. Their primary focus is dealing with these - as in building, fixing, operating or designing them. Involvement in these areas leads to high manual skills, or a fine aptitude for practical design - as found in the various forms of engineering.

Realists like to find practical solutions to problems using tools, technology and skilled work. Realists usually prefer to be active in their work environment, often do most of their work alone, and enjoy taking decisive action with a minimum amount of discussion and paperwork.
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Cork Energy Firm to Create 70 New Jobs

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Cork Energy Firm to Create 70 New Jobs

Monday, May 14, 2018 

Cork Energy Firm to Create 70 New Jobs

The Cork firm, NRG Awareness,  which focuses on reducing heating costs for homes and businesses, said it expects to “expand significantly” and grow its direct staff numbers from seven to 30 by the end of next year.

It said this growth would be responsible for up to 50 new heating installer jobs around the State.

NRG Awareness already works directly with up to 150 heating installers on a regular basis around the State, and said it was predicting a turnover of €5 million by the end of 2020. The company has already started marketing and selling its patented products into the UK market.

State grants have delivered energy upgrades for more than 375,000 Irish homes, with many more expected in the coming years. By the end of 2019, NRG Awareness will have sold approximately 6,000 units and it expects to reach 20,000 by the end of 2020.

NRG Awareness managing director Patrick Hogan said the company’s product range and service model was developed with an understanding that not all clients will have the same requirements.

“They won’t possess the specialised expertise needed to support the enormous amount of energy efficient-but-complex innovations arriving almost daily in the heating industry marketplace,” he said.

“At NRG Awareness it is our aim to ensure we make heating homes and businesses as efficient and cost-effective for our customers as possible, while maximising comfort.”

The company said it helps its customers reduce their home and commercial heating bills by between 15 to 60 per cent. Offering a “hands-on, on-site” approach, they work directly with customers and hundreds of heating installers.

NRG Awareness is an Irish company, headquartered in Cork city. It has worked with many commercial businesses in the Republic, including a number of community hospitals across Munster where it said heating bills were reduced on average by 40 per cent per annum.


Article sourced from, 14th May 2018, Colin Gleeson