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 Joyce from Department of Education and Skills to give some advice for people considering this job:


Mary Joyce

Secondary School Teacher

Department of Education and Skills

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  Mary Joyce
Teaching as they say is a vocation, it is a job that requires patience and enthusiasm. If you are considering teaching you need to look beyond the holidays and think of the 9-4 Monday to Friday spent dealing with children or teenagers and the challenges which they might pose.

I would advise anyone thinking of teaching as a career to speak with Teachers and learn of their experiences, both positive and negative. I personally would encourage people to consider teaching as it is an extremely rewarding profession in terms of the interaction you get daily with young people and the colleagues you meet in the job.

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.
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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.

€22k > 50 
Salary Range
(thousands per year)*
€22 - 50 
Related Information:
Entrant: 22 - 32
Experienced Ecologist: 32 - 50
Data Source(s):

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.
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At a Glance... header image

Studies the relationship between living creatures and their environment; from bacterial to global scales.

The Work header image

Ecologists study how organisms relate to one another and to their environment. Human activity can damage the complex and delicate relationships between organisms and their habitats. Ecologists protect the environment, for example, from pollution, intensive farming, road building schemes and city sprawl into the countryside.  
Some ecologists suggest what organisations can do to avoid harming the environment. A local council planning to build a new road might ask an ecologist to find the route least likely to cause environmental damage.  
The ecologist would visit each proposed site and consider types of wildlife living in or near the area, noting any rare or endangered species. They would advise if trees would have to be cut down or marshland drained, and how these actions could affect plants and animals. The ecologist's findings would be presented to the council in a report.  
Ecologists also work as advisers to landowners, industries and water companies. They may advise farmers on the conservation of hedgerows or which trees to plant.  
Ecologists may have long-term responsibility for a conservation area. They protect against pollution and vandalism, and may provide information to visitors. Conservation bodies employ ecologists to manage nature reserves, ranging from ancient woodlands to gravel pits. Ecologists also identify new areas in need of protection.  
In the laboratory, ecologists may analyse river pollution caused by industry and agriculture. They test water samples to find the type, concentration and source of the pollution.  
Occasionally ecologists are called out to assess and advise on pollution incidents. Travelling to remote areas to gather information is also a part of the job. Fieldwork makes up a large part of an ecologist's job, so they have to work outdoors in any weather. 

Tasks & Activitiesheader image

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


Analyze changes designed to improve the environmental performance of complex systems to avoid unintended negative consequences.


Apply new or existing research about natural ecosystems to understand economic and industrial systems in the context of the environment.


Carry out environmental assessments in accordance with applicable standards, regulations, or laws.


Conduct analyses to determine the maximum amount of work that can be accomplished for a given amount of energy in a system, such as industrial production systems and waste treatment systems.


Develop alternative energy investment scenarios to compare economic and environmental costs and benefits.


Evaluate the effectiveness of industrial ecology programs using statistical analysis and applications.


Examine local, regional or global use and flow of materials or energy in industrial production processes.


Examine societal issues and their relationship with both technical systems and the environment.


Identify or compare the component parts or relationships between the parts of industrial, social, and natural systems.


Identify or develop strategies or methods to minimize the environmental impact of industrial production processes.

Personal Qualitiesheader image

As an ecologist, you will need an inquisitive mind, and a desire to protect the environment. You must be patient, accurate and methodical in doing experiments. You will need good communication skills, for example, to tell the public about wildlife and conservation areas, or to help an industry avoid damaging the environment. Physical fitness is very important especially when doing field work. Ability to work on your own and as part of a team is also very helpful.

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..Ecologist - from:  N.C.S. [UK]
Go..Ecologist - from:  icould [UK] Video
Go..Ecologist - from:  GradIreland

Related Occupationsheader image

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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:

Earth Science & Environment
Maritime, Fishing & Aquaculture

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Further Ed & PLC Course Suggestions
If you are interested in this occupation, then the following courses may also be of interest. Note that these course suggestions are not intended to indicate that they lead directly to this occupation, only that they are related in some way and may be worth exploring.

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