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.


Administrative people are interested in work that offers security and a sense of being part of a larger process. They may be at their best operating under supervisors who give clear guidelines, and performing routine tasks in a methodical and reliable way.

They tend to enjoy clerical and most forms of office work, where they perform essential administrative duties. They often form the backbone of large and small organisations alike. They may enjoy being in charge of office filing systems, and using computers and other office equipment to keep things running smoothly. They usually like routine work hours and prefer comfortable indoor workplaces.
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Occupation Details

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Forensic Scientist

Job Zone

Most of these occupations require qualifications at NFQ Levels 7 or 8 (Ordinary / Honours Degrees) but some do not.

Related Experience
A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, you may need to complete three - four years of college and work for several years in the career area to be considered qualified.

Job Training
Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.

Job Zone Examples
Many of these occupations involve coordinating, supervising, managing, or training others. Examples include accountants, sales managers, computer programmers, chemists, environmental engineers, criminal investigators, and financial analysts.

€25k > 80
Forensic Scientist
Salary Range
(thousands per year)*
€25 - 80
Related Information:
Data Source(s):

Last Updated: April, 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.
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At a Glance... header image

Examines material taken by police from a crime scene using scientific techniques.

Videos & Interviews header image

Follow the links below to watch videos related to this occupation:

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Go..Forensic Consultant - from: iCould [UK] Video
Go..Forensic Science Technician - from: YouTube Video

Go..Search YouTube for Forensic Scientist videos

The Work header image

The Forensic Science Laboratory is divided into three sections:  
This section deals largely with crimes against the person, examining hairs, fibres, blood and other body fluids in cases such as assault, murder and sexual assault.  
Chemistry and Drugs/Toxicology:  
The Chemistry section deals mainly with crimes against property, examining materials such as fingerprints, paint, glass, fire debris, shoeprints, hair, fibres, soil and explosives.  
In the Drugs section, suspected drugs of abuse seized by the Gardai are analysed to see if they are controlled substances. Items that might have come into contact with drugs such as weighing scales, knives to cut up a drug like cannabis resin, or hypodermic syringes used to inject drugs are examined for traces of controlled drugs.  
The Forensic scientist takes full responsibility for the scientific work required in a criminal case. This involves analytical laboratory work using quite a wide range of instrumental techniques. The scientist then writes a report on the results for the Gardai and the Director of Public Prosecutions. The scientist would frequently present the work orally to a court and defend that work under legal cross-examination. Some time could also be spent attending at crime scenes and lecturing to Gardai on the work of the laboratory.  
This course choice should not be based on the TV programme C.S.I. (Crime Scene Investigation) It has been widely emphasised that C.S.I. portrays a fictionalised view of this profession. Forensic scientists spend a lot more time in the laboratory carrying out experiments than working in the field.

A new information leaflet from Forensic Science Ireland (2017) is aimed at secondary school students who have an interest in a future career in forensic science. It provides a general introduction to forensic science, an overview of the work done in Forensic Science Ireland, and recommendations on the path of study for budding forensic scientists. Download here.

Tasks & Activitiesheader image

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


Keep records and prepare reports detailing findings, investigative methods, and laboratory techniques.


Collect evidence from crime scenes, storing it in conditions that preserve its integrity.


Testify in court about investigative or analytical methods or findings.


Use photographic or video equipment to document evidence or crime scenes.


Visit morgues, examine scenes of crimes, or contact other sources to obtain evidence or information to be used in investigations.


Reconstruct crime scenes to determine relationships among pieces of evidence.


Operate and maintain laboratory equipment and apparatus.


Confer with ballistics, fingerprinting, handwriting, documents, electronics, medical, chemical, or metallurgical experts concerning evidence and its interpretation.


Prepare solutions, reagents, or sample formulations needed for laboratory work.


Train new technicians or other personnel on forensic science techniques.

Work Activities header image

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


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


Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events: Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.


Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates: Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.


Documenting/Recording Information: Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.


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


Handling and Moving Objects: Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.


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.


Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings: Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.


Getting Information: Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.


Performing for or Working Directly with the Public: Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.

Knowledge header image

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


Law and Government: Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.


Public Safety and Security: Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.


English Language: Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.


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.


Computers and Electronics: Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

Skillsheader image

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


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


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.


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


Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.


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


Instructing: Teaching others how to do something.


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


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


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


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

Personal Qualitiesheader image

As a forensic scientist, you must be accurate, methodical and thorough in your investigations. Patience, attention to detail and problem solving skills are very important.  
Although you will spend large amounts of time routine testing in laboratories, you must also be prepared to visit disturbing murder scenes, or to identify the drug taken in a fatal overdose.  
Good communication skills are very important. In court, you need to be able to explain your findings clearly to lawyers, jurors and the public. You may also be cross-examined.  
A Forensic Scientist has a large responsibility for examining substances carefully and accurately and presenting detailed results clearly. They must keep up to date with technical developments.

Entry Routesheader image

To be a Forensic Scientist, the minimum academic qualification is an honours degree (level 8) in an area such as chemistry, analytical science or an appropriate biological subject such as biochemistry, biology or molecular biology, or an equivalent qualification. 

Most forensic scientists will also have a postgraduate qualification in forensic science, and may also have done further study in a forensic-related subject such as genetics ore advanced analytical methods for example.

A formal qualification in forensic science is not always required as all new staff members will be fully trained on the job. 

In Ireland, all staff employed at  the Forensic Science Labratory (Forensic Science Ireland) are civil servants, therefore, any vacancy must be advertised in the national papers and recruitment is by competitive interview. The Public Appointments Service, places the advertisements and organises the recruitment process. Vacancies are also posted on

For the post of Forensic Analyst, the minimum academic qualification is a level 7 qualification in an appropriate Science subject.

Last Updated: April, 2017

Further Informationheader image

A detailed description of this occupation can be found on a number of online databases. Follow the link(s) below to access this information:

Note: you will be leaving the CareersPortal Site

Go..Forensic Psychologist - from: N.C.S. [UK]
Go..Forensic Scientist - from: N.C.S. [UK]
Go..Forensic scientist - from: GradIreland

Related Occupationsheader image

Contactsheader image


Organisation: Forensic Science Laboratory (Eolaíocht Fhóiréinseach Éireann)
Address: Garda HQ, Phoenix Park, Dublin 8
Tel: (01) 666 2910
Email: Click here
Url Click here


Organisation: Public Appointments Service
Address: Chapter House, 26/30 Abbey Street Upper, Dublin 1
Tel: (01) 858 7400 or Locall: 1890 44 9999
Email: Click here
Url Click here


Organisation: Department of Justice - State Pathologists Office
Address: Fire Brigade Training Centre, Malahide Road, Marino, Dublin 3
Tel: (01) 853 4871
Email: Click here
Url Click here

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