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Salary Range
€28k - €55k
Career Zone

In Brief...

Studies, analyses and collects information about both plant and animal life.

In Summary - Biological / Microbiological Scientist

Career Sectors

Biological / Microbiological Scientists typically work in the following Career Sectors:

Drug Discovery and Development
Biological, Chemical & Pharmaceutical Science
Clinical Trials
Biological, Chemical & Pharmaceutical Science
Biological Sciences
Biological, Chemical & Pharmaceutical Science
Research and Development
Biomedical Technologies & Medtech
Biomedical Technologies & Engineering
Biomedical Technologies & Medtech
Medical Devices
Biomedical Technologies & Medtech
Clinical Trials
Biomedical Technologies & Medtech
Sustainable Energy
Earth & Environment
Protecting the Enviroment
Earth & Environment

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Further Information

The Work - Biological / Microbiological Scientist

Biologists work on research and development projects. Most of this work takes place in universities. Applied research is into specific practical problems: to find a new drug to fight a disease, for example.  
 
Research and development work involves routine testing. Biologists may experiment on laboratory animals to find out if a drug is toxic or has side effects; this work is an aspect of toxicology. Next, trials on human volunteers will test the product's efficiency, and work out the correct dosage.  
 
Not all work is laboratory based. Biologists need to keep up-to-date with new ideas, techniques and developments by reading academic papers and attending conferences and seminars. Some work involves field studies and surveys.  
 
Senior scientists define and guide research projects. Junior scientists and technicians work in small teams, planning and carrying out their own experiments.

Employment opportunities exist in the pharmaceutical and agrochemical industries. Work in the development of biotechnology products and other aspects of Research and Development (R&D) is also available. Biologists are also employed by the HSE. 

Interests - Biological / Microbiological Scientist

This occupation is typically suited for people with the following Career Interests:

Naturalist

Not surprisingly, some aspect of the natural sciences will run through the Naturalist's 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.

Investigative

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 sophiscticated technology. These types prefer mentally stimulating environments and often pay close attention to developments in their chosen field.

Realist

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.

Qualities

You will need to be inquisitive, have an analytical mind, and enjoy solving problems. Research skills are important, as are good written and oral communication skills. You must be patient, methodical and prepared to repeat experiments. A high degree of accuracy is essential for this type of work.

Entry Requirements - Biological / Microbiological Scientist

Undergraduate degree in a general biology or science area, with further training in a specialisation area of biology.  
 
Admission to a science degree course is based on the points system, with a basic entry requirement of Honours Leaving Certificate.  
 
Relevant courses are available at Universities and Institutes of Technology throughout the country.

Last Updated: November, 2014

Pay & Salary - Biological / Microbiological Scientist

Salary Range (thousands per year)* €28k - €55k

Data Source(s):
Morgan McKinley

Last Updated: February, 2017

* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.

Labour Market Updates - Biological / Microbiological Scientist

While the supply of graduates appears to be sufficient to meet the annual recruitment requirement (5,500 graduates in 2017), the demand is arising for roles for those with a high level of experience and/or in niche areas. The demand is for a small number of people given the relatively small size of this occupation (approx. 1% of total employment) and in the areas associated with pharmaceuticals, biopharma and food development.

National Skills Bulletin 2018

Useful Contacts - Biological / Microbiological Scientist

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