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 Mary Ita Heffernan from Health Service Executive to give some advice for people considering this job:

Mary Ita Heffernan

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Health Service Executive

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Mary Ita Heffernan

Whilst in secondary school, I changed my mind many a time regarding the career path I wanted to pursue! I always knew that I wanted to work with people but was unsure about the profession which would most suit my interests and skills in this regard.

While in school, I definitely found that being unsure about the type or area of work you want to pursue is a very difficult and confusing position to be in, especially given the array of career choices now available and the pressure one feels in trying to make one’s mind up.

To this end, I would strongly advise anybody in this position to research courses and job descriptions well in order to make the most informed decision possible at that time in your life. 

I recommend one tries to gain as much work experience as possible as it will provide you with valuable insight into your skills, ability, likes/dislikes for certain areas of employment!!!!

Also I would research the courses and job areas as much as possible so that you can make an informed decision regarding your choices. If you can't gain enough information in school, contact the college directly or arrange to talk to somebody who facilitates the course. In particular, it would be really valuable to talk to somebody in the profession to gain a realistic and practical insight into the job.

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Occupation Details

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Architect - Conservation

Job Zone

Education
Most of these occupations require post-graduate qualifications. For example, they may require a masters degree, and some require a Ph.D., or M.D.

Related Experience
Extensive skill, knowledge, and experience are needed for these occupations. Many require more than five years of experience plus specialist training to be able to do their job.

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Employees may need some on-the-job training, but most of these occupations assume that the person will already have the required skills, knowledge, work-related experience, and/or training.

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These occupations often involve coordinating, training, supervising, or managing the activities of others to accomplish goals. They may also require very specialist skills. Very advanced communication and organisational skills are required. Examples include lawyers, aerospace engineers, wildlife biologists, school psychologists, surgeons, treasurers, and most scientists.

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At a Glance... header image

A fully qualifed Architect skilled in the principles and practice of the Conservation of old buildings and heritage sites.


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The Work header image

A Conservation Architect is a fully qualified Architect with additional Conservation Accreditation from the RIAI. 

Works to be carried out on any building that is classified as a ‘Protected Structure’ or in an ‘Architectural Conservation Area’ requires the advice of an architect with skills in conservation.

Protected Structures are designated by the Planning Authority as a buildings of International, National, Regional or Local importance.

A Conservation Architect can advise on he general condition of the building, the nature and extent of the works to be undertaken or the category of the building. Some conservation architects have specialist expertise in particular building types - churches, for example or whether specialist conservation input is needed for a particular aspect of the work, such as the stonework.

The services of Conservation Architects are employed by the Planning Departments of Local Authorites or organisations such as The Heritage Council or the Irish Georgian Society.


Tasks & Activitiesheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported tasks and activities for this occupation

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Consult with clients to determine functional or spatial requirements of structures.

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Prepare scale drawings.

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Plan layout of project.

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Prepare information regarding design, structure specifications, materials, color, equipment, estimated costs, or construction time.

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Integrate engineering elements into unified architectural designs.

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Prepare contract documents for building contractors.

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Direct activities of workers engaged in preparing drawings and specification documents.

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Conduct periodic on-site observation of work during construction to monitor compliance with plans.

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Seek new work opportunities through marketing, writing proposals, or giving presentations.

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Administer construction contracts.

Work Activities header image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported work activities in this occupation.

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Thinking Creatively: Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.

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Making Decisions and Solving Problems: Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.

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Communicating with Persons Outside Organization: Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.

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Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge: Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.

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Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work: Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.

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Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships: Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.

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Drafting, Laying Out, and Specifying Technical Devices, Parts, and Equipment: Providing documentation, detailed instructions, drawings, or specifications to tell others about how devices, parts, equipment, or structures are to be fabricated, constructed, assembled, modified, maintained, or used.

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Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards: Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.

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Processing Information: Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.

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Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others: Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.


Knowledge header image

The following is a list of the five most commonly reported knowledge areas for this occupation.

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Design: Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.

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Building and Construction: Knowledge of materials, methods, and the tools involved in the construction or repair of houses, buildings, or other structures such as highways and roads.

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Engineering and Technology: Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.

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Customer and Personal Service: Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.

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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.


Skillsheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported skills used in this occupation.

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Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

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Judgment and Decision Making: Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

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Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

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Operations Analysis: Analyzing needs and product requirements to create a design.

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Active Learning: Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.

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Complex Problem Solving: Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

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Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

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Writing: Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

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Mathematics: Using mathematics to solve problems.

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Monitoring: Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

Entry Routesheader image

To become a Conservation Architect you must first get a degree from a recognised school of Architecture followed by two years of approved practical experience and an examination in professional practice. Once you have your degree, you will be eligible to become an Associate member of the Royal Institute of Architects of Ireland (RIAI). RIAI Accreditation is recognised by the Irish Government and EU legislation. After a minimum of two years of approved experience, at least one of which must be in an EU country, you can take your Examination in Professional Practice. You are then eligible to apply for Registered Membership of the RIAI. [See also entry routes for Architect]

There are three Grades of Accreditation for Conservation Architects, Grade I being the highest and Grade III the basic entry level to the System. An RIAI Member or Practice can progress up through the Grades by acquiring additional qualifications, experience and/or staff and applying for Accreditation at the higher Grade. Full details of the RIAI Conservation Accrediation System are available here.

It is the responsibility of any professional to ensure that his or her professional skills are kept up to date. Scientific knowledge, technology and the law, for example, keep changing. So you will be expected to have a continuing involvement in courses and personal study throughout your working life.

Last Updated: August, 2015


Related Occupationsheader image

Contactsheader image

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Organisation: The Institute of Conservation (ICON)
Address: 1.5 Lafone House The Leathermarket Weston Street London SE1 3ER
Tel: 00 353 20 3142 6789
Email: Click here
Url Click here

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Organisation: Royal Institute of Architects of Ireland
Address: 8 Merrion Square, Dublin 2
Tel: (01) 676 1703
Email: Click here
Url Click here

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Organisation: The Heritage Council
Address: Church Lane, Kilkenny
Tel: (056) 777 0777
Email: Click here
Url Click here

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Organisation: OPW - The Office of Public Works
Address: Head Office Jonathan Swift Street Trim Co. Meath C15 NX36
Tel: (046) 942 6000
Email: Click here
Url Click here

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Organisation: National Monuments Service
Address: Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Custom House Dublin 1
Tel: (01) 888 2178
Email: Click here
Url Click here

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This occupation is popular with people who have the following Career Interests...


...and for people who like working in the following Career Sectors:

Art, Craft & Design
Building, Construction & Property
Classic Arts, Languages & Culture

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