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 Lydia Peppard from Health Service Executive to give some advice for people considering this job:

Lydia Peppard

Care Assistant

Health Service Executive

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Lydia Peppard
The advise that I would give to someone considering this job is to do their Leaving Cert and do the Transition year as this would give an opportunity to get some job experience or do some voluntary work within the community.

Do a Level 5 FETAC health related course. The skills and qualities that are needed to do this type of work are a real sense of caring for other people, communication skills, listening skills, be able to take and give constructive criticism without causing or taking offence, patience a willing to give your best effort to your work.
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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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Is engineering for me?

Are you naturally curious about how things work? Love solving problems? Enjoy making, breaking or designing things? If you answered yes, engineering might be right for you.

Is engineering for me?

Are you naturally curious about how things work? Love solving problems? Enjoy making, breaking or designing things? If you answered yes, engineering might be right for you.

Career Opportunities... header image
What are the main occupations in this sector?


Electronic engineering offers a wide variety of exciting career opportunities from design, to research & development, and production to quality.

As an Electronic Engineer, Technologist or Technician you can work for:

  • ICT and Telecommunications companies
  • Civil Service and Government
  • Network infrastructure companies
  • Radio and television broadcasters and developers
  • Electronic component manufacturers
  • Electrical power utilities
  • Research and educational centres

Electronics is a fast-paced, forward-looking industry, offering the opportunity to work on the latest technology. Electronics are everywhere in the modern world, so this industry encompasses many areas, including consumer goods, medical and communications equipment.

There are two main types of organisation:

Component manufacturers - the companies who make integrated circuits and semiconductors

Original equipment manufacturers - companies who produce equipment such as televisions, MP3 players and mobile phones.

Control systems and automation is another area within the electronics sector. Engineers develop equipment to aid transport and the control of automated systems in the industry, including robots, navigational control systems and radars.

 

What types of employment contracts are there?


As part of the electrical engineering team, you can play an important role in the future development of a sustainable environment. There is a wide range of challenging career paths available. As an electrical engineer, technologist or technician, you can work in:

  • Industrial research and development labs
  • Energy supply corporations
  • Software and services companies
  • Civil service
  • Technical monitoring agencies
  • Research institutes and educational institutions.

As an electrical engineering graduate you can:

  • Design electrical systems for a wide range of devices including video game consoles and DVD players.
  • Create the systems that can operate industrial robots or control aviation machines.
  • Develop the latest in modern applications such as broadband modems or new wireless technology.

Employers of electrical engineering graduates include ABB, ESB, Analog Devices, EirGid, IBM, Siemens, BT, Eircom, Xilinx and Airtricity to name but a few.

 

What are the typical earnings of these occupations?


Angineers across all types of engineering enjoy excellent salaries. According to the Hayes Ireland Salary Guide typical salaries for graduate Mechanical and Electrical Engineers fall in the €28,000 to €32,000 range.

 

How do you get a job in this sector?


Sector companies typically recruit directly via the company website - it is always worth visiting their careers area.

Larger engineering companies tend to approach academic institutions directly, through specific engineering departments or college career services, as well as attending recruitment fairs. You should make a point of attending recruitment fairs if one is held on your campus, and make a note of crucial milk-round visits from organisations that interest you.

Some companies will recruit by advertising in National Newspapers or with sector representative bodies.

A placement or work experience is not a requirement to get a graduate job in engineering, but it can help. Companies may specify for example, that applicants should have a minimum of one year’s relevant experience in a manufacturing environment or ‘consideration will be given to applicants with relevant industrial placements’.

 


Education and Training... header image
What qualifications are required?


There are many routes into a career in engineering. The most direct route to becoming a Chartered Engineer qualification is to undertake a Level 9 Masters degree in engineering, leading to a specialism in one of the engineering disciplines.

To achieve a technician or technologist title, students can take a Level 6 or Level 7 degree course in engineering.

There are many engineering courses available throughout Ireland at Levels 6,7,8,9 and 10. Students can begin at Level 6 and progress through the different levels, or qualify with their preferred level and apply for their professional title.

 

What are the typical routes into this sector?


A qualification/degree at Level 6 - 10 is typically required for those working in this sector. 

 


Advice... header image
What advice do you have for school leavers?


Engineers who graduate and wish to become Chartered Engineers (C.eng) now need to hold an accredited masters degree (Level 9), or equivalent. Only a Level 8 bachelor degree satisfies the requirements for Institution of Engineers of Ireland membership.

Specific degree subjects required:

  • Electrical/Electronic engineering.
  • Communications engineering.
  • Telecommunications engineering.

 

What advice do you have for graduates?


Engineers who graduate and wish to become Chartered Engineers (C.eng) now need to hold an accredited masters degree (level 9), or equivalent. A Level 8 bachelor degree will, from 2013 forward, only satisfy the requirements for Institution of Engineers of Ireland membership.

Specific degree subjects required:

  • Electrical/Electronic engineering
  • Communications engineering
  • Telecommunications engineering.

 

What advice do you have for career changers?


There continues to be demand for Electrical engineers.

 


Global Opportunities... header image
Are there overseas opportunities available?

Yes.  If the engineering course you choose is accredited by Engineers Ireland, the qualification received will be internationally recognised.

An engineering qualification travels well because technical skills have a universal language of their own.

Irish engineers have an excellent reputation and have contributed to projects all over the world. Engineers Ireland is a signatory to both the Washington Accord and the Sydney Accord, which means that accredited engineering programmes are recognised internationally by other signatories. These include Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa, the USA and the UK.

Chartered membership of Engineers Ireland is a requirement in some countries.

The EU Services Directive works to ensure the mobility of skills within EU member states. Level 8 engineering degrees are eligible for inclusion with Fédération Européenne d’Associations Nationales d’Ingénieurs (FEANI). Even if you choose to remain based in Ireland, a career in engineering provides many opportunities to travel. Proficiency in a second language greatly increases opportunities to apply your skills abroad.

See Engineers Ireland International Passport

 

Are there opportunities in this sector for non-Irish nationals?

Yes. Based on current skills shortages in Irish Industry, there are several Engineering Professional job roles eligible for Employment Permits currently listed on the Highly Skilled Eligible Occupations List from the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation as follows:

2122: Mechanical engineers specialising in:

• Quality control, or validation and regulation engineering (high tech industry; food and beverages), or

• Mechanical engineering (especially polymer engineering skills in the areas of pharmaceuticals, medical devices or green economy), or

• Chemical process engineering, or

• Process automation engineering, or

• Power generation, transmission and distribution, or

• Related and relevant specialist skills, qualifications or experience

 

2123: Electrical engineers specialising in:

• Chip design, test engineering, or application engineering, or

• Process automation engineering, or

• Power generation, transmission and distribution, or

• Related and relevant specialist skills, qualifications or experience

 

2124: Electronics engineers specialising in:

• Chip design, test engineering, or application engineering, or

• Process automation engineering, or

• Power generation, transmission and distribution, or

• Related and relevant specialist skills, qualifications or experience

 

2126: Design and development engineers specialising in:

• Quality control, or validation and regulation engineering (high tech industry; food and beverages), or

• Chip design, test engineering, or application engineering, or

• Process automation engineering, or

• Power generation, transmission and distribution, or

• Related and relevant specialist skills, qualifications or experience

 

2127: Production and process engineers specialising in:

• Quality control, or validation and regulation engineering (high tech industry; food and beverages), or

• Chemical process engineering, or

• Process automation engineering, or

• Power generation, transmission and distribution, or

• Related and relevant specialist skills, qualifications or experience

 


About this Sector... header image
Please give an overview of your sector?


Electronic engineering is a rapidly advancing profession and is the driving force behind the development of the world’s information technology. Electronic engineers create, design and develop everyday devices like the mobile phone, portable music devices and computers. Electronic engineering offers a broad range of exciting career challenges including producing new innovations and developments in telecommunications, robotics, computing hardware, and power and electrical equipment.

As an Electronic Engineer, Technologist or Technician, you will have the opportunity to be creative, innovative and to make a contribution to our rapidly advancing technological world. This sector is experiencing significant growth both at home and abroad. Electronic engineering offers a wide variety of exciting career opportunities and as an Electronic Engineer, Technologist or Technician you can work for:

  • Telecommunications companies and corporations
  • Civil Service and Government
  • Network infrastructure companies
  • Radio and television broadcasters and developers
  • Electronic component manufacturers
  • Electrical power utilities
  • Research and educational centres

 As an Electronic engineering graduate you could:

  • Be responsible for a new advanced control system used to launch and navigate the next spaceship
  • Create the next audio-visual technology
  • Design a robot to drive a car!

Employers of Electronic engineering graduates include Analog Devices, Boston Scientific, EirGrid, IBM, Intel, Siemens and government bodies, to name but a few.

Electrical engineering surrounds us everywhere in modern society. The Electrical engineer supplies us with the ability to harness electricity which has transformed our lives. It gives us light, heat, entertainment, communication systems and comfort. Electrical engineers create and design products and information systems using scientific principles combined with natural curiosity, problem-solving and innovation. It covers a wide range of careers including energy and power development and supply, automation and communications engineering, microelectronics and technical informatics.

As part of the electrical engineering team, you can play an important role in the future development of a sustainable environment. There is a wide range of challenging career paths available and as an electrical engineer, technologist or technician, you can work for:

  • Industrial research and development labs
  • Energy supply corporations
  • Software and services companies
  • Civil service
  • Technical monitoring agencies
  • Research institutes and educational institutions

As an electrical engineering graduate you can:

  • Design electrical systems for a wide range of devices including video game consoles and DVD players.
  • Create the systems that can operate industrial robots or control aviation machines.
  • Develop the latest in modern applications such as broadband modems or new wireless technology. 

Employers of electrical engineering graduates include ABB, ESB, Analog Devices, Eirgid, IBM, Siemens, BT, Eircom, Xilinx and Airtricity, to name but a few.

 

What is the size and scope of the sector?


According to the report “Engineering a Knowledge Island 2020”, compiled by Engineers Ireland, Ireland needs to increase the number of engineers on the Island from 40,000 to 110,000 in order to become a top 5 global economy.

Electrical and Electronic Engineers will play a crucial part in ensuring that Ireland can become a top 5 global economy. Many large multinational companies have set up operations here as a result of our highly qualified engineers and technicians.

 

What are the current issues affecting this sector?


Engineering is primarily about problem solving and these skills can be used in many different areas, particularly as new areas of work develop.

New degree subjects such as energy engineering reflect the growing interest in fields such as environmental engineering and renewable energy.

 

What changes are anticipated over the next 5 years


The electronics, ICT and telecommunications areas are rapidly developing, with new innovations impacting on every aspect of daily life, from healthcare to computers to transport.

Each innovation brings the possibility of entirely new product developments. These are robust and exciting sectors to work in, with new specialisms constantly emerging.

There will continue to be opportunities for engineering graduates in the electronic and electrical engineering sectors as Ireland competes internationally as a top 5 global economy. Students studying engineering must also remember that there are plenty of opportunities for engineering graduates outside of the traditional engineering sector, in areas such as finance and consulting.

Many students who begin studying one discipline of engineering may continue their studies in another discipline. All engineering graduates and technicians are encouraged to continually develop their skills as they progress through their career by attending training courses and applying for professional titles from Engineers Ireland.

 

Do you have any statistics relevant to the sector?


The engineering sector has a combined turnover of over €14.2 billion, equating to 9.5% of manufacturing turnover in Ireland.

Engineering forms a significant part of the economy in the Irish Republic, with approximately 26,000 people employed within the engineering sector, representing 1.4% of national employment (National Skills Bulletin).

There are some 1,500 engineering enterprises in Ireland. Over 170 engineering firms are multinational, working in key sectors such as automotive, electrical engineering, aerospace, materials handling and automation.

Many leading firms are also expanding into areas such as advanced manufacturing, research and development, supply chain management and shared services.

Ireland also has an expanding indigenous clean technology industry, with companies such as Ocean Energy developing ocean energy prototypes around the country. The food and forestry sectors also offer great potential for Ireland to boost exports.

Electrical engineering has been a significant growth area. It has seen a growth of +13.2% on average annually according to the National Skills Bulletin. Production, design and quality control engineering, has seen a +9.7% average annual growth. Manufacturing has rebounded significantly in recent times in Ireland - the sector is now showing the strongest growth seen in the past 20 years.

 

Are there any areas in your sector currently experiencing skills shortages?


Engineering skills currently in demand according to the National Skills Bulletin:

Production & process engineering roles: These include computer aided design, process safety and system control.

Product development and design: These roles include the areas of chemical, biotechnology, pharmaceutical, food and medical devices.

Precision engineering roles:  areas such as tool making and design for the automotive, pharmaceutical and medical device sectors

 


About Us... header image

STEPS was established in 2000 to encourage primary and post primary students to explore the world of science and engineering. The STEPS programme encourages primary and post-primary students to explore the world of science, technology, engineering and mathematics while also promoting engineering as a career choice.

The value of the programme has been formally recognised by Government and is a key element of the national Discover Science & Engineering programme. It is managed by Engineers Ireland and is supported by the Department of Education & Science, Forfás, FÁS and a number of major engineering employers.

The aims of the STEPS programme are:

  • Raise awareness among students about engineering as a career choice
  • Encourage a positive attitude towards careers in engineering, science and technology
  • Promote a greater understanding of the role/contribution of engineering in society and how engineering is relevant to our everyday lives
  • Highlight the advantages, diversity, opportunities and excellent rewards offered by a career in the engineering profession