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 Keith Hayes from Health Service Executive to give some advice for people considering this job:

Keith Hayes

Ambulance / Paramedic

Health Service Executive

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Keith Hayes
At a minimum get your Leaving Cert, that’s required anyway. But don’t sell yourself short aim for a third level college qualification, something like a science degree. It may not have obvious benefits now but the career is changing direction so fast it could stand to you big time.

Take your time in applying I joined the service when I was 25 yrs old and looking back I think around that age is the right time. When you consider some of the calls we attend and things we may need to deal with, joining at 17 or 18 after the Leaving Cert with little or no life experiences may turn you off because it is very demanding physically, mentally and emotionally.
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Investigative?
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 clever technology. They will often follow the latest developments in their chosen field, and prefer mentally stimulating environments.
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Tip: Use the links on this page if you know what type of course you are looking for.

Courses and Awards

There are tens of thousands of courses on offer throughout Ireland. With the exception of 'Hobby' courses, most courses lead to some form of qualification from an accredited authority. In Ireland, most qualifications fit into what is known as the The National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ). This framework divides all qualifications into ten levels. It can be useful to think of it as a ladder system; entry at the bottom is at Level 1 and Level 10 is at the top.

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The range of Levels include different types of qualifications from Basic Education (Level 1-3) Certificates and Diplomas (Levels 4-7) Undergraduate Degrees (Levels 7-8) and Postgraduate Qualifications (Levels 9-10)

Completion of each level usually means you can progress to the next, so the framework helps you to build up your education and training, thus improving your employment prospects.

Education Levels and Job Zones

Entry into many jobs and occupations usually requires a certain standard of education (e.g. Level 6 Certificate, or a Level 8 Honors Degree), and often specific courses or awards. To assist you in your career research, we have categorised all our occupations according to a general classification known as Job Zones.

Job Zones are a classification according to the level of education, training and experience generally required for each job. There are 5 Zones, Zone 1 refering to a basic level of education or experience (up to Level 4 on the NFQ above), and Zone 5 indicating the higher education Levels (Levels 9 & 10 on the NFQ). 

Note that employers value a persons previous employment experience highly, and often regard a persons experience as equal or more important to qualifications. So for older experienced people, the extent of their experience may play a very significant part in being accepted for a job. This is reflected in the classifications system as it refers to education or experience in many cases.

To search for information on each Occupation and the Job Zones associated with them click here.

Unemployed and looking to upskill

If you are currently unemployed it is important to be aware of the many upskilling and employment initatives available to you. These initiatives aim to encourage engagement in employment opportunities.

For more information click here.