The science and pharmaceutical industry has been one of the major contributors to the growth of the Irish economy. According to IDA Ireland, Life Science companies located in Ireland in the areas of pharmaceutical, biotechnology, medical devices and diagnostics, employ approximately 47,000 people in a variety of activities. The Irish Pharmacy & Healthcare Association reported that the pharmaceutical industry in Ireland comprises of a mix of international and local companies. Nine of the top ten global pharmaceutical companies have plants situated in Ireland. The life sciences industry has contributed considerably to Irish exports.

How can I get a job in science, research and development?

To secure work in the scientific field, technical ability and a passion for your chosen area are prerequisites. Employers are interested in hiring people who have good interpersonal skills, technically & academically strong, who are ambitious and who strive to get the job done to the best of their ability. A number of major employers have Graduate Development Programs in-house.

What are the different areas of work?

Jobs are available for science graduates in a wide range of areas. Recent years have seen growth in the pharmaceuticals, biotechnology and medical devices industries.

The Pharmachemical industry in Ireland is dominated by global multinational companies. Many of the top pharmaceutical companies in the world have now established facilities in Ireland. Over half of the people employed in Ireland’s Pharmachemical industry are third-level graduates.

Other employers of science graduates are the medical devices, diagnostics and biotechnology industry.

The food industry is Ireland’s single largest indigenous industry and also involves many multinationals.

There are also opportunities in the pharmaceutical industry and in small companies producing medical devices. There is a range of lab jobs available, varying from technician posts in schools to research posts in hospitals, consultancies (especially environmental) and, of course, the universities. Teaching remains a popular option and the voluntary sector is also a major employer, in particular organisations dealing with environmental issues.

What qualifications and skills do I need to work in Science, R&D?

The minimum requirement is an honours Science Degree in a subject area relevant to the post, although some Companies are now seeking Master’s level Graduates with some looking for PhD Qualified. As well as technical skills and abilities, employers would expect potential employees to demonstrate qualities such as communication, teamwork and business acumen.

What are the opportunities for professional development?

There are numerous opportunities for professional development in the science sector, both in industry and in academia. The scope for training and learning is constantly developing due to the growing demand for new and innovative products and materials.

What are the salaries in science, research and development?

According to the Collins McNicholas Database in September 2013, the median starting salary for science (across the Republic of Ireland) is €25,000. This is similar to the average across all sectors.


For a full list of current vacancies in Science, Pharma and Food, click here.



Edel Kelly

Senior Recruitment Consultant

Collins McNicholas Recruitment & HR Services