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

Brian Howard

Guidance Counsellor

Department of Education and Skills

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Brian Howard

This career involves working with people in a caring capacity. If you have no interest in helping people personally or educationally then this may be the wrong profession for you.

Empathy, patience and respect are important qualities for this job, in addition to be able to relate well to the person you are dealing with. As there is also a large amount of information to be handled in the job, good organisational, IT and time management skills are also quite important.


Not surprisingly, some aspect of the natural sciences will run through the Naturalists interests - from ecological awareness to nutrition and health. People with an interest in horticulture, land usage and farming (including fish) are Naturalists.

Some Naturalists focus on animals rather than plants, and may enjoy working with, training, caring for, or simply herding them. Other Naturalists will prefer working with the end result of nature's produce - the food produced from plants and animals. Naturalists like solving problems with solutions that show some sensitivity to the environmental impact of what they do. They like to see practical results, and prefer action to talking and discussing.
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Organisation Profile - Insurance


Insurance is about delivering peace of mind.

Being part of the insurance industry means you're there to protect people, communities and businesses when they are at their most vulnerable.

Insurance is about delivering peace of mind.

Being part of the insurance industry means you're there to protect people, communities and businesses when they are at their most vulnerable.

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

What types of employment contracts are there?

What are the typical earnings of these occupations?

How do you get a job in this sector?

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

What are the typical routes into this sector?

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

What advice do you have for graduates?

What advice do you have for career changers?

What advice do you have for non-Irish nationals?

What advice do you have for those wishing to go back to work?

Meet our People...
"You need to be a problem solver, think outside the box."
Customer Care Manager
Nicole Feighery
"You have to have a willingness to learn and to start at the bottom."
Insurance Practitioner Apprentice
Paddy Power
"Insurance is a fast paced and evolving sector, whether you like working on your own or in a team there is a job in insurance for you"
Finance Operations
Sarah Tenanty
"I would highly recommend this job but I’d say to start taking insurance exams as soon as possible and get them done while you’re young."
Associate Director
Karl Curran
"The insurance sector is so broad there are so many different career opportunities and directions you can go in."
Insurance Administrator
Kevin Moran

Employer Insights... header image
Getting the job...
Main challenges...
Typical day...
Further training...
Advice if considering this job...
The lifestyle...
Whats cool...
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Global Opportunities... header image
Are there overseas opportunities available?
Are there opportunities in this sector for non-Irish nationals?

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

What is the size and scope of the sector?

What are the current issues affecting this sector?

What changes are anticipated over the next 5 years

Do you have any statistics relevant to the sector?

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

About Us... header image

Insurance makes a major contribution to Ireland’s economic growth and development and is a cornerstone of modern life for all of us. One of the most important aspects of insurance is to provide financial security to individuals and businesses, allowing them to take risks and encouraging innovation. Each year the insurance industry pays out more the €5.4 billion in claims to Irish customers.

The sector is highly regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland. Customers are at the heart of the insurance sector and as such there are systems in place to ensure that those advising insurance customers are fully qualified, competent and confident to do so. The Central Bank of Ireland's Minimum Competency Code sets out the minimum standards for individuals providing services to consumers and as a result, insurance professionals working in consumer-facing roles must make sure they are compliant with its rules.

There are a number of organisations across the insurance industry that represent the interests, education, compliance and professional development of the individuals who are working in the sector and the companies who employ them. The following are three of the main professional bodies in the insurance industry;



The Insurance Institute is the leading provider of education, training and Continuing Professional Development (CPD) for the general insurance industry in Ireland. With an experienced, highly qualified team committed to the professional development of over 12,500 members, they design and deliver courses and qualifications of the highest calibre through a fully supported framework.
Some of the III's qualifications include:

  • Professional Certificate in Insurance (APA): This is the entry level qualification on the III's framework and is ideal for New Entrants to secure their regulatory license and meet the requirements of the Central Bank of Ireland's Minimum Competency Code. The Professional Certificate in Insurance is a level 7 diploma on the National Framework Qualifications (NFQ) and is awarded by UCD through the Institute of Banking College of Professional Finance
  • Professional Diploma in Insurance (CIP): This is the industry benchmark qualification and is the expected standard across the industry. It equips graduates with the competencies to be competitive. The Professional Diploma in Insurance is also a level 7 diploma on the National Framework Qualifications (NFQ) and is awarded by UCD through the Institute of Banking College of Professional Finance.
  • Management Diploma in Insurance (MDI): As an advanced qualification, the Management Diploma in Insurance (MDI) meets industry demand for more in-depth and specialised insurance expertise, as well as greater business acumen at management level.

 Contact Name: Naomi Gaffney

  • Address: Insurance Centre, 5 Harbour Master Place, IFSC, Dublin 1, D01 E7E8
  • Email:
  • Web: 
  • Phone:  +353 1 645 6629



LIA is the professional education and development association for over 10,000 professionals working in the Financial Services industry in Ireland. Its members work primarily in the Life Assurance, Pensions, Investments and Mortgage sectors across advisory, support, administrative and consultancy roles. In addition, 10% of LIA’s members work in the Credit Union movement.

LIA’s mission is “to enhance the knowledge, competence and skills of our members and students who work in all areas of the Financial Services industry” and it assists its members and students in the following three distinct ways:

  1. Helping them attain educational qualifications and resulting MCC (Minimum Competency Code) recognised designations through its various educational courses – in other words, helping members attain their licence to provide financial advice e.g. Accredited Product Adviser (APA) and Qualified Financial Adviser (QFA) designations;
  2. Helping them retain their designations by keeping up to date with legislative, regulatory and industry changes – through its annual Regional and National 'face-to-face' CPD seminars (40+ events annually) and its online CPD facility, MyCPD (28 online modules available via;
  3. Helping them develop themselves personally and professionally through its specialist courses (e.g. Retirement Planning Adviser, Specialist Investment Adviser), its Regional and National non-CPD seminars and workshops, and regular relevant articles published on its website ( and in its quarterly journal, The Financial Professional.

All LIA educational courses are run in conjunction with UCD’s College of Professional Finance and are on the National Framework of Qualifications, ranging from Level 7 (Professional Certificate / Diploma) through Level 9 (Graduate Diploma / MSc).

 Contact Name: Rebecca McGee



As the Voice of Insurance actively promoting the highest standards, Insurance Ireland represents the domestic insurance and international life insurance market. This business generates €25bn in premium income (domestic and overseas), employs 27,000 people, with thousands more in ancillary services and contributes over €1.6bn in tax to the Irish exchequer. Insurance makes a major contribution to Ireland’s economic growth and development and is a cornerstone of modern life. One of the most important aspects of insurance is to pay claims to customers at times when they need it most. Each year the insurance industry pays out more than €5.4bn in claims to Irish customers.

As the voice of the industry, Insurance Ireland's key functions include:

  • Representing its members’ interests to government, state agencies, regulatory bodies, public representatives, other national interest groups, the media and the general public
  • Representing the position of members at a European level, particularly via Insurance Europe, the European association for national insurance company representative bodies, and at a global level via the Global Federation of Insurance Associations (GFIA);
  • Keeping members abreast of relevant policy and regulatory developments and providing a forum for member debate on such issues;
  • Providing information to government, the wider policy-making community and the public about insurance.

Contact Name: Laura Farrell