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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.

Salary Range
€25k - €50k
Career Zone

In Brief...

Toxicologists employ specialist scientific knowledge and equipment to study the impact of toxic and radioactive materials on biological systems, including the human body and the environment.

Knowledge

  • Biology Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
  • English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Medicine and Dentistry Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
  • Administration and Management Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • Chemistry Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.

Skills

  • Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Science Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
  • Active Listening Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Reading Comprehension Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Writing Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

In Summary - Toxicologist

Career Sectors

Toxicologists typically work in the following Career Sectors:

Clinical Trials
Biological, Chemical & Pharmaceutical Science
Chemical Science
Biological, Chemical & Pharmaceutical Science

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The Work - Toxicologist

Toxicologists study the harm chemicals may cause to people, animals and plants. They find ways to avoid or reduce chemical damage to the environment.  
 
Toxicology covers two main areas. One deals with the effects that toxic materials have on humans, and the other with their impact on the environment.  
 
Toxicologists experiment on tissue and cell cultures, animals and human volunteers, to find out if a chemical product is harmful. In pharmaceutical companies, toxicologists help develop new drugs to fight disease. They find out how strong the drug is, and if there are unwanted or dangerous side effects. In the food industry, they may test an additive to make sure it does not cause cancer.  
 
Occupational and industrial toxicologists make sure working conditions are safe and give advice to people who handle chemicals.  
 
Other toxicologists work in hospitals, treating patients who have drug poisoning. They find out the type and amount of drug taken in an overdose.  
 
Toxicologists might look at air pollution caused by the burning of waste, or research the problems some pesticides cause for wildlife.  
 
One area of investigation is the effect chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) have on the Earth's stratospheric ozone layer.  
 
Some toxicologists specialise in ecology. They may trace the movement of pollutants through food chains, or investigate resistance to pesticides in certain insects. They isolate, identify and quantify toxic substances. They also carry out lab and field experiments and advise on the safe handling of toxic substances.

Most commonly reported Work Tasks

  • Plan and direct studies to investigate human or animal disease, preventive methods, and treatments for disease.
  • Conduct research to develop methodologies, instrumentation, and procedures for medical application, analyzing data and presenting findings to the scientific audience and general public.
  • Study animal and human health and physiological processes.
  • Follow strict safety procedures when handling toxic materials to avoid contamination.
  • Write and publish articles in scientific journals.
  • Evaluate effects of drugs, gases, pesticides, parasites, and microorganisms at various levels.
  • Use equipment such as atomic absorption spectrometers, electron microscopes, flow cytometers, and chromatography systems.
  • Prepare and analyze organ, tissue, and cell samples to identify toxicity, bacteria, or microorganisms or to study cell structure.
  • Standardize drug dosages, methods of immunization, and procedures for manufacture of drugs and medicinal compounds.
  • Investigate cause, progress, life cycle, or mode of transmission of diseases or parasites.

Most commonly reported Work Activities

  • Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
  • Analyzing Data or Information Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
  • Documenting/Recording Information Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
  • Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
  • Processing Information Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.

Interests - Toxicologist

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

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.

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.

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 accurate, methodical and able to solve problems. You must be aware of the ethical debate on using animals in scientific research, and be prepared for criticism and protest from members of the public and animal rights groups.  
 
Because toxicologists often handle poisonous materials, you will need to know and follow safety procedures.  
 
Computer skills are essential and keeping up-to-date with technology is important. You must be able to write reports of your findings and be able to work with other scientists. Knowledge of environmental issues may be an advantage.

Entry Requirements - Toxicologist

Pay & Salary - Toxicologist

Salary Range (thousands per year)* €25k - €50k

Data Source(s):
CareersPortal

Last Updated: March, 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 - Toxicologist

Useful Contacts - Toxicologist

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