This sector represents some of the largest industries operating in Ireland, with high employment and significant research occurring. Work in the sector is highly technical and education standards vary, but most will have a third level qualification in a science subject. Pharma is an especially prominent industry, with most of the worlds largest pharma companies based here producing billions of euro worth of exports.
While the supply of science graduates appears to be enough to meet demand, a need exists for scientists with a high level of experience, especially in niche areas. The demand is for a small number of people given the relatively small size of this occupation (approx. 1% of total employment) and in the areas associated with pharmaceuticals, biopharma and food development.
A significant majority of people employed in the industrial sector were working in manufacturing (250,600 people). Around half of this number were employed in what is classified as low technology, with another 24% employed in high technology manufacturing. Many of those working in high technology manufacturing are employed with pharmaceutical companies.
Chemical science is key to a wide number of industries, as a result an education in Chemistry or Chemical Engineering will open a wide range of career paths.
Clinical trials are a huge part of Pharmaceutical Science. Before any treatment can be provided to the general population, they must go through rigorous testing to ensure they are safe and effective.
Pharmaceuticals manufacturing is one of the largest industrial employers in Ireland. A variety of tasks are undertaken in the production process including chemical synthesis to create the medicine, preparing the medicine by mixing it with other agents and creating the tablets.
Biotechnology is an increasingly important area, featuring in the creation of medical devices, food production, energy creation and even construction.
If you want to know more about working in the in the sector, hear what the experts have to say.