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 Paul Dowling from Teagasc to give some advice for people considering this job:

Paul Dowling



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Paul Dowling
Ideally, try and get a job in the industry for a summer, or get a bit of experience before you go into it. You have to be happy with working outside, and doing physical work. If you are not prepared to work hard or are looking for a soft job, don't go into Landscaping. Design is very sexy at the moment, everyone wants to be a designer, a Landscape Designer. It's different on the ground, you have to be out there on sites in all weather and you have to make sure projects are managed well and you're able to muck in with everyone else. Biology is most important for anyone going into Horticulture or Landscaping as it covers propagation and helps with the identification of plant names, species and families through the universal use of Latin. Chemistry is also helpful as the use of various chemicals is a constant in horticulture. The chemical content and dangers of fertilizers, herbicides and insecticides in use in Amenity Horticulture needs to be understood anyone going into this business. Geography would be a relevant subject as well. Also, the simple things like having a full, clean driving licence, which can make you a lot more employable if you are trying for a job with a Landscape Conractor. This indicates that you are more mobile and can also drive a company van if needed. Be sure you're happy with the outdoor life. Having taken a Horticulture course will give you an advantage. However, it's possible to take a job first and study later, e.g. in IT Blanchardstown it is possible to study at night. I think you cannot beat doing the Diploma Course in the National Botanic Gardens because it is a good practical course which also covers all the theory and is invaluable for gaining plant knowledge.

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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Occupation Details

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Court Usher / Judicial Assistant

Job Zone

Most occupations in this zone require job specific training (vocational training) related to the occupation (NFQ Levels 5 and 6 or higher), related on-the-job experience, or a relevant professional award.

Related Experience
Previous work-related skills, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, several years of full or part-time employment in the area may suffice.

Job Training
Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognised apprenticeship or training program may be associated with these occupations.

Job Zone Examples
These occupations usually involve using communication and organisational skills to coordinate, supervise, manage, or train others to accomplish goals. Examples include restaurant managers, electricians, agricultural technicians, legal secretaries, hairdressers, and web developers.

€18k > 24
Court Usher/Officer
Salary Range
(thousands per year)*
€18 - 24
Related Information:
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.
Occupational Category

Barristers, Judges, Solicitors & Related Professionals

Also included in this category:

Advocates; coroners; circuit and district judges; legal advisers; legal consultants.

Number Employed:


Part time workers: 7%
Aged over 55: 26%
Male / Female: 43 / 57%
Non-Nationals: 6%
With Third Level: 99%
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At a Glance... header image

Court ushers ensure that everyone involved with a court case is present, that they know what they have to do during the hearing, as well as as providing personal assistance to the judges to whom they are assigned.

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The Work header image

Court Ushers or Judicial Assistants provide personal assistance in various forms to the judges to whom they are assigned.

Such assistance was, and in many cases continues to be, provided to each Supreme Court and High Court Judge by his or her Court Usher (in the past also called a Tipstaff), and to Circuit Court Judges by his or her Court Crier.

The work of Court Ushers and Criers is broadly similar but differs in emphasis according to the work of the judge concerned. In brief summary, the function of an usher or crier is:

  • Maintaining proper order in the courtroom and managing the judge’s chambers;
  • collecting and delivery of correspondence and papers for the judge, photocopying, collecting and disposing of court files;
  • to act as a buffer between lawyers, litigants and judge;
  • to protect the independence of the judge from any appearance of partiality;
  • to marshal witnesses, lawyers and litigants to the correct court;
  • to provide a degree of personal security for the judge;
  • to facilitate settlement talks e.g. by communicating requests for more time to the judge;
  • to assist in keeping a diary for the judge of court appointments;
  • to drive the judge when needed.

Tasks & Activitiesheader image

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


Research laws, court decisions, documents, opinions, briefs, or other information related to cases before the court.


Prepare briefs, legal memoranda, or statements of issues involved in cases, including appropriate suggestions or recommendations.


Confer with judges concerning legal questions, construction of documents, or granting of orders.


Draft or proofread judicial opinions, decisions, or citations.


Review complaints, petitions, motions, or pleadings that have been filed to determine issues involved or basis for relief.


Keep abreast of changes in the law and inform judges when cases are affected by such changes.


Attend court sessions to hear oral arguments or record necessary case information.


Verify that all files, complaints, or other papers are available and in the proper order.


Review dockets of pending litigation to ensure adequate progress.


Respond to questions from judicial officers or court staff on general legal issues.

Work Activities header image

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


Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards: Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.


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


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.


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


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


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


Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others: Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.


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


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

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.


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


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


Clerical: Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.


Communications and Media: Knowledge of media production, communication, and dissemination techniques and methods. This includes alternative ways to inform and entertain via written, oral, and visual media.

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.


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


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


Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.


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


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.


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


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


Social Perceptiveness: Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.


Persuasion: Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.

Personal Qualitiesheader image

To be a Court Usher / Judicial Assistant, you should have:

  • good communication and people skills
  • a confident, assertive and tactful manner
  • the ability to deal with people in difficult situations
  • calmness under pressure
  • a tolerant and non-judgemental attitude
  • a clear speaking voice
  • the ability to work well as part of a team
  • respect for confidential information
  • keyboard skills.

Entry Routesheader image

The phasing out of Ushers and Criers and their replacement by Judicial Assistants followed the report of the Special Group on Public Service Numbers and Expenditure Programmes (also known as An Bord Snip Nua), and the subsequent enactment of the Financial Measures in the Public Interest (Amendment) Act 2011.

New appointees as Judges of the Supreme Court, High Court and Circuit Court are no longer entitled to the services of an individual Usher or Crier, but rather are provided with the services of a Judicial Assistant drawn from a panel of such persons on an “as required” basis.

Unlike existing Ushers and Criers who are not, in general, third level graduates, the new Judicial Assistants require a law degree at a minimum of level 8 on the National Framework of Qualifications or an appropriate professional qualification, as well as an extensive knowledge of Irish Law and the Irish legal system.

The new Judicial Assistants are expected to provide personal assistance to any judge to whom they are assigned from time to time of a similar nature to that presently provided by Ushers and Criers, but in addition they must be able to undertake judicial research, draft legal memos and proof-read judgments if required by the judge.

The first Judicial Assistant posts were advertised in July 2012 on

Last Updated: February, 2016

Related Occupationsheader image

Contactsheader image


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: Courts Service
Address: 15-24 Phoenix Street North. Smithfield, Dublin 7
Tel: (01) 888 6000
Email: Click here
Url Click here


Organisation: Department of Justice and Equality
Address: 94 St. Stephen's Green, Dublin 2
Tel: (01) 602 8202
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:

Law & Legal

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