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 Louise Lynch from ESB to give some advice for people considering this job:


Louise Lynch

Structural Engineer


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  Louise Lynch
If you always want to know how things work and are fascinated by structures like grandstands or bridges then a career in civil and structural engineering may suit you. If in school you enjoy subjects like maths and physics, and since these would be the foundations to the engineering college course, you will probably enjoy the course. If you like the idea of working for a company where you could get to travel, then international companies such as ESB International would suit you well. Engineering is a good and challenging career so you have to want to be challenged in your work, to solve problems and to come up with ways to improve designs.

Creative people are drawn to careers and activities that enable them to take responsibility for the design, layout or sensory impact of something (visual, auditory etc). They may be drawn towards the traditional artistic pursuits such as painting, sculpture, singing, or music. Or they may show more interest in design, such as architecture, animation, or craft areas, such as pottery and ceramics.

Creative people use their personal understanding of people and the world they live in to guide their work. Creative people like to work in unstructured workplaces, enjoy taking risks and prefer a minimum of routine.
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These occupations often involve coordinating, training, supervising, or managing the activities of others to accomplish goals. Very advanced communication and organisational skills are required. Examples include librarians, lawyers, aerospace engineers, wildlife biologists, school psychologists, surgeons, treasurers, and most scientists.

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At a Glance... header image

A fully qualified medical doctor who specialises in examining and studing the causes and effects of various diseases and illnesses.

The Work header image

Pathologists investigate the cause and effect of disease. They work in laboratories, supervising the work of other laboratory staff. Their work includes chemical pathology, cytopathology, dental and oral pathology, molecular biology, haematology, histopathology, immunopathology, medical microbiology, molecular pathology and neuropathology.  
Pathology is a lot more than just autopsies. They also work in hospital labs or research institutes.  
Two examples of Pathologists' work are:  
Histopathologists, those who diagnose disease from changes in tissue structure  
Chemical Pathologists, those who look at the biochemical nature of disease.


Tasks & Activitiesheader image

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


Examine microscopic samples to identify diseases or other abnormalities.


Diagnose diseases or study medical conditions using techniques such as gross pathology, histology, cytology, cytopathology, clinical chemistry, immunology, flow cytometry, and molecular biology.


Write pathology reports summarizing analyses, results, and conclusions.


Identify the etiology, pathogenesis, morphological change, and clinical significance of diseases.


Analyze and interpret results from tests such as microbial or parasite tests, urine analyses, hormonal assays, fine needle aspirations (FNAs), and polymerase chain reactions (PCRs).


Communicate pathologic findings to surgeons or other physicians.


Read current literature, talk with colleagues, or participate in professional organizations or conferences to keep abreast of developments in pathology.


Consult with physicians about ordering and interpreting tests or providing treatments.


Plan and supervise the work of the pathology staff, residents or visiting pathologists.


Review cases by analyzing autopsies, laboratory findings, or case investigation reports.

Work Activities header image

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


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


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.


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


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


Analyzing Data or Information:  Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.


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


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


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


Training and Teaching Others:  Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.

Knowledge header image

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


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.


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.


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.


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


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.


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


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


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


Speaking:   Talking to others to convey information effectively.


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.


Science:   Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.

Personal Qualitiesheader image

The life of a Pathologist involves long working hours but is rewarding and stimulating. The work can be tedious with a lot of experimental procedures to follow, step by step.  
A medical career involves a long period of academic and clinical training. This means that you must have considerable physical and mental stamina.

Entry Routesheader image

To become a pathologist, you must first qualify as a medical doctor.  

It is usually during the internship year required for the purposes of registration that most newly qualified doctors decide on which branch of medicine to pursue. Some doctors enter general practice, while others pursue specialisation in hospital practice such as Pathology.  

Practical and Technical Training  
Once a primary degree in medicine has been obtained, and a year of internship has been completed, a training post in a pathology laboratory must be obtained. The duties of a Pathologist include performing autopsies to document causes of death.  
To become a fully accredited Pathologist takes a further five years. After three years training, an examination in the first part of the membership of the Royal College of Pathologists may be taken, and two years later the second examination may be taken  
A successful candidate can then become a member of the Royal College of Physicians in Ireland (Faculty of Pathology) and is eligible to become a Consultant Pathologist in a hospital.

Last Updated: November, 2014

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:

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Go..Pathologist - from:  YouTube Video

Related Occupationsheader image

Contactsheader image


Organisation: Health Service Executive (HSE)
  Address: Dr Steevens' Hospital, Steevens Lane, Dublin, 8
  Tel: 01 635 2000
  Email: Click here
  Url Click here


Organisation: Royal College of Physicians of Ireland
  Address: Frederick House, 19 South Federick Street Dublin 2
  Tel: (01) 8639700
  Email: Click here
  Url Click here


Organisation: Irish Medical Organisation
  Address: 10 Fitzwilliam Place, Dublin 2
  Tel: (01) 676 7273
  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


Organisation: Irish Medical Council
  Address: Kingram House, Kingram Place, Dublin, 2
  Tel: (01) 498 3100
  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:

Security, Defence & Law Enforcement
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