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Occupation Details

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Biological / Microbiological 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.

€28k > 55
Salary Range
(thousands per year)*
€28 - 55
Related Information:
Data Source(s):
Morgan McKinley

Last Updated: February, 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.
Shortage Indicator

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

Occupational Category


Also included in this category:

Analytical chemists; industrial chemists; biomedical scientists; forensic scientists; microbiologists; geologists; medical physicists; meteorologists.

Number Employed:


Part time workers: 6%
Male / Female: 60 / 40%
Non-Nationals: 21%
With Third Level: 95%
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At a Glance... header image

Studies, analyses and collects information about both plant and animal life.

Videos & Interviews header image

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

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Go..Biomedical Scientist - from: iCould [UK] Video

The Work header image

Biologists work on research and development projects. Most of this work takes place in universities. Applied research is into specific practical problems: to find a new drug to fight a disease, for example.  
Research and development work involves routine testing. Biologists may experiment on laboratory animals to find out if a drug is toxic or has side effects; this work is an aspect of toxicology. Next, trials on human volunteers will test the product's efficiency, and work out the correct dosage.  
Not all work is laboratory based. Biologists need to keep up-to-date with new ideas, techniques and developments by reading academic papers and attending conferences and seminars. Some work involves field studies and surveys.  
Senior scientists define and guide research projects. Junior scientists and technicians work in small teams, planning and carrying out their own experiments.

Employment opportunities exist in the pharmaceutical and agrochemical industries. Work in the development of biotechnology products and other aspects of Research and Development (R&D) is also available. Biologists are also employed by the HSE. 

Personal Qualitiesheader image

You will need to be inquisitive, have an analytical mind, and enjoy solving problems. Research skills are important, as are good written and oral communication skills. You must be patient, methodical and prepared to repeat experiments. A high degree of accuracy is essential for this type of work.

Entry Routesheader image

Undergraduate degree in a general biology or science area, with further training in a specialisation area of biology.  
Admission to a science degree course is based on the points system, with a basic entry requirement of Honours Leaving Certificate.  
Relevant courses are available at Universities and Institutes of Technology throughout the country.

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..Biologist - from: N.C.S. [UK]

Related Occupationsheader image

Contactsheader image


Organisation: Science Recruitment Ireland
Address: 40 Grand Canal Street Upper, Dublin 4
Tel: (01) 667 5008
Email: Click here
Url Click here


Organisation: Irish Society of Clinical Microbiologists (ISCM)
Email: Click here
Url Click here


Organisation: Institute of Biology of Ireland
Address: School of Biology and Environmental Service,University College Dublin,Belfield,Dublin 4
Email: Click here
Url Click here


Organisation: Life Science Recruitment
Address: 12 Fitzwilliam Square Dublin 2.
Tel: (01) 685 4848
Email: Click here
Url Click here


Organisation: Academy of Medical Laboratory Science (ALMS)
Address: 31 Old Kilmainham, Dublin 8
Tel: (0)1 9059730
Email: Click here
Url Click here

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Career Guidance

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

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

Biological, Chemical & Pharmaceutical Science
Earth & Environment
Biomedical Technologies & Medtech

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