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Naturalist?

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
€28k - €60k
Job Zone

In Brief...

Conducts research into physical phenomena, develops theories and laws on the basis of observation and experiments, and devises methods to apply laws and theories to industry and other fields.

Knowledge

  • Physics Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub- atomic structures and processes.
  • Mathematics Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • 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.
  • Computers and Electronics Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

Skills

  • Science Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
  • Mathematics Using mathematics to solve problems.
  • 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.
  • Reading Comprehension Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

In Summary - Physicist

Career Sectors

Physicists typically work in the following Career Sectors:

Maths and Your Career
Physics, Mathematics & Space Science
Space Science and Technology
Physics, Mathematics & Space Science
Physics
Physics, Mathematics & Space Science
Data Analysis
Physics, Mathematics & Space Science

Videos & Interviews

Dr Arlene O'Neill, Physicist

Arlene's favourite subject in school was physics, so when it came to choosing an undergraduate degree programme she choose physics in Dublin City University (DCU). From there she decided to specialise in Nano Science and went to Trinity College Dublin (TCD) to completed a PHD.

Shane Bergin, Physics Lecturer

Shane Bergin is a physics lecturer in Trinity College Dublin. He studied Advanced Materials (now Nanoscience) at Trinity College Dublin and then completed a PhD in Physicsfollowed by the Marie Curie Fellowship, in the Dept. of Chemistry, Imperial College London. 

Nuala Caffrey, Research Fellow in Computational Physics

Nuala Caffrey is a research fellow in Computational Physics. Nuala's work involves investigating how useful certain materials could be for applications in the energy industry. 

Videos on the Web

Further Information

The Work - Physicist

Physicists study the Earth and the universe, in terms of matter, force and energy. They explain the world around us, for example, by finding out more about the particles we are made of. Physicists also develop the use of science and technology in everyday life.  
 
Research into energy is increasingly important to the environment. Physicists may study and develop alternative ways to produce energy, for example, from solar, tidal or wind power. Some physicists make sure nuclear energy is produced safely. Research into energy sources involves fieldwork, for example, to measure wave energy. They work in medicine and engineering.  
 
Most opportunities for physicists are in manufacturing, technology and engineering. For example, in the transport industry, some physicists develop cars that make better use of fuel, or are safer and quieter. In the aerospace industry, physicists research and develop lighter, stronger and safer aircraft, spacecraft and satellites. They may work on commercial or military equipment.  
 
Physicists play an important role in health services. Medical physicists prevent, diagnose and treat disease. They use calculated and measured doses of radiation to treat cancer, avoiding damage to healthy tissue. They may work with lasers to treat blindness, cancer, or to support surgery.  
 
Some physicists work with universities to develop computer models of parts of our bodies, for example, the heart, using their knowledge of biophysics to design new materials to be used in 'spare part' surgery.

Most commonly reported Work Tasks

  • Perform complex calculations as part of the analysis and evaluation of data, using computers.
  • Describe and express observations and conclusions in mathematical terms.
  • Analyze data from research conducted to detect and measure physical phenomena.
  • Report experimental results by writing papers for scientific journals or by presenting information at scientific conferences.
  • Design computer simulations to model physical data so that it can be better understood.
  • Collaborate with other scientists in the design, development, and testing of experimental, industrial, or medical equipment, instrumentation, and procedures.
  • Direct testing and monitoring of contamination of radioactive equipment, and recording of personnel and plant area radiation exposure data.
  • Observe the structure and properties of matter, and the transformation and propagation of energy, using equipment such as masers, lasers, and telescopes to explore and identify the basic principles governing these phenomena.
  • Develop theories and laws on the basis of observation and experiments, and apply these theories and laws to problems in areas such as nuclear energy, optics, and aerospace technology.
  • Teach physics to students.

Most commonly reported Work Activities

  • Thinking Creatively Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
  • Interacting With Computers Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
  • Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
  • Processing Information Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
  • Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
  • 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.
  • Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.

Interests - Physicist

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.

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

As a physicist, you will need strong analytical skills, numerical, reasoning, communication and problem solving skills. Mathematical ability and strong computing skills to work with specific software programmes are aslo valuable.

To design complex experiments, you will need to be both practical and imaginative. You must have a logical, enquiring mind, and good powers of concentration, observation and perseverance.  
 
You need to be able to explain ideas clearly, both verbally and in writing, and work as part of a team. Physics, Maths and Chemistry are essential subjects for this career. Analytical and high numerical ability would be an advantage.

Entry Requirements - Physicist

Most careers in physics require graduate-level education, especially in theoretical physics. Degrees in relevant disciplines such as astronomy, astrophysics, medical physics or geophysics may also be acceptable.

Increasingly employers expect candidates to have a postgraduate qualification. 
 
Continuing professional development (CPD) is expected throughout your career.

Last Updated: November, 2014

Pay & Salary - Physicist

Salary Range (thousands per year)* €28k - €60k

Data Source(s):
Payscale.com

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 - Physicist

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 - Physicist

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