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Not surprisingly, some aspect of the natural sciences will run through the Naturalist's 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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Chemical Science

Chemical Science

What’s It About

Chemists investigate chemicals to develop new knowledge of their properties and applications. A career in chemical science means learning about the properties of chemicals and how they react with each other and applying that knowledge to the creation of vital goods, such as medicines or fuel. Chemical science is key to a wide number of industries, as a result an education in Chemistry will open many career paths.

Industries involving chemical science include healthcare, petrochemicals, agrichemicals, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology. There are areas of focus within chemical science, including organic chemistry, physical chemistry and inorganic chemistry. Chemistry science is a creative science that can involve everything from designing tougher mobile phone screens to developing new drug molecules for the pharmaceutical industry.

Many of the goods that we use on a day to day basis were created by chemists, these include adhesives, cosmetics, key components in electronic goods or clothes and tens of thousands of other goods. Chemists are central to vital services such as energy production, mining and recycling, applying their knowledge to keeping the lights on.    

Chemical Science in Ireland

The chemical and biopharmaceutical industries continue to be among the fastest growing sectors in Ireland. Chemical scientists will find themselves in demand in many Irish industries. Biopharma and MedTech business have great need for chemists, hiring them to work in either manufacturing or research. In healthcare chemists are needed in hospital labs to perform tests on samples taken from patients, so doctors can correctly diagnose patients.

They are also employed in many Irish manufacturing industries, including plastics & polymers, agrochemicals and cleaning products, as well as in resource extraction, for example in the natural gas industry. In the food industry the increasing importance of food science in the development of new food products is providing opportunities for chemical scientists. Another field in which chemical scientists are needed is teaching, at both second and third level, developing the skills and knowledge of the next generation.

Nature of the Work

The wide variety of industries Chemical Scientists can find work in means the day to day routine of any two chemical scientists may be completely different. They may be working on topics as broad as developing new medicines, exploring threats to the environment, diagnosing patients, performing forensic tests or teaching chemistry in schools.

But for many there will be certain tasks core to their work, for example designing and conducting laboratory experiments which will be a skillset every chemical scientist will have worked on from their first days studying the subject. Directly related to this activity is noting results, writing reports and communicating your findings. Good judgement and logical thinking are key to drawing the correct conclusions from experiments.

As with other science subjects, mathematical ability, especially statistical knowledge, and attention to detail are highly important.

Occupations in Chemical Science
(sorted by Job Zone)

Chemical Plant Process Technician

Chemical plant process technicians monitor the equipment and machinery used to make chemical products including colourants like dyes and paints, drugs and medicines and fertilisers.

Chemistry Laboratory Technician

Provides technical assistance to chemists by setting up equipment, preparing and carrying out experiments and taking measurements.

Toxicologists employ specialist scientific knowledge and equipment to study the impact of toxic and radioactive materials on biological systems, including the human body and the environment.
Colour Technologist

Colour technologists research, develop and manage the production and application of dyes and pigments.

Environmental Chemist

Examines the presence and impact of certain chemicals in soil and water.

Geochemists monitor developments in the earth's chemical composition by undertaking analysis of rock and other environmental samples.
Laboratory Technician

Works in a laboratory assisting scientific and technical staff with day to day duties.

Water Treatment Plant Operator
Operates machinery through the various stages of water treatment, and performs chemical tests on sewage or industrial waste water to ensure compliance with regulations.
Analytical Chemist

Analytical Chemists study the exact chemical composition of natural and artificial materials.

Biochemical Engineer

Biochemical engineering is a branch of chemical engineering which applies technological advancements to biological materials.


Studies the chemistry of animals and plants and analyses their cells and tissues.

Chemical Engineer

Researches, designs and plans the processes involved in the production of chemicals.


Researches and analyses the content and structure of chemical substances.

Flavourist / Food Chemist

Develops artificial and natural flavors for food and creates new flavour combinations by mixing and matching specific chemicals.


Industrial Chemist / Pharmacist

Studies the make-up and behaviour of chemicals, the way they react with each other and how they can be used in industrial processes such as producing plastics, pharmaceuticals or silicon chips.

Medical Scientist

Works in clinical pathology (hospital) and research laboratories performing and interpreting tests for the diagnosis, monitoring and treatment of disease.

Studies the effects of chemicals and medicine on both animals and humans.
Production & Process Engineer

Develop economical industrial processes that make the huge range of products on which modern society depends, e.g: food and drink; fuel; artificial fibres; pharmaceuticals; chemicals; electronics, plastics; and clean water.

Fragrance Chemist

Discovers new fragrance chemicals, improves how fragrance ingredients are produced and analyses fragrances and their ingredients.

Gas Engineer

Gas engineers are responsible for extracting and treating gas, and installing and maintaining the gas network from source to customer.

Hazardous Waste Specialist
Specialises in the design, treatment and disposing of Hazardous materials used in industry.
Medicinal Chemist

An expert chemist with particular expertise in molecular design, the synthesis of drugs and understanding of biological functions.

Materials Scientist / Technologist

Studies the properties and uses of a range of materials, such as metals, glass, plastics and electronics.

Studies the mining, uses and treatment of metals and alloys.
Laboratory Manager

Manages all aspects of the laboratory service in chemical, research or clinical laboratories and ensures appropriate staffing, equipment, quality and safety.