Environmentalist as a Career


There are research opportunities within all industries in the ‘green’ economy, in public, private and notfor-profit organisations. At government level both the North and Republic of Ireland have green research and development (R&D) high on the agenda, with a particular emphasis on the pooling of research expertise, the development of research alliances, the consolidation of R&D funding programmes and the development R&D strategy for the overall green and clean-tech sector. Evidence of this can be seen in the growth and expansion of centres in colleges and universities throughout Ireland, many of which are managing leading-edge research projects contributing to the development of green initiatives worldwide.

Food and retail

Consumers are becoming more environmentally conscious. Shoppers want to know whether food and other retail items, especially footwear and clothing, have been produced and distributed using sustainable practices. Graduate buyers working for ethical retailers will be expected to vet suppliers strictly in considering where to purchase goods. In terms of packaging in particular, and also in terms of the reduction, reuse and recycling of domestic electrical waste, those promoting the drive for sustainability seek to influence manufacturers to invest in sustainable production and to consider the life cycle of their product.

Food exports remain one of the greatest contributors to the Irish economy and the food and drinks industry as a whole is Ireland’s most important indigenous industry. Quality artisan food production is growing steadily. Positions as food technologists, quality control and quality assurance technicians, development chefs and food product development experts are increasingly common for food technology and culinary arts graduates.


The increase in awareness of our personal environmental impact has stimulated growth in the eco-tourism sector, offering jobs for students and graduates of all disciplines. This includes roles promoting eco-holidays and also those helping tourism and travel companies to reduce their negative impact on the planet. Other business functions As with all other careers, organisations in all areas of the environmental goods and services sector of the economy also employ graduates from all disciplines in the day-to-day operational functions such as human resource management, sales, marketing, accounting and finance and IT support.


There are many careers in environmental work:


Eco farming







Useful links









Biotechnology as a Career

Alternative job titles for this role

  • Bioengineer
  • Molecular biologist
  • Biophysicist
  • Biochemist
  • Microbiologist


Working in areas as diverse as food and agriculture, environmental conservation and medicine, a biotechnologist uses biological organisms to create and improve products and processes. They study the genetic, chemical and physical attributes of cells, tissues and organisms, and identify practical uses for this knowledge. Using the techniques of molecular biology, they seek to understand and manipulate the basic building blocks of living things. The mapping of the genomes of living organisms, including human beings, has revolutionised biology while new frontiers are being opened with the study of protein chains and how they can be manipulated, creating a new and exciting field of study called proteomics.

What the job involves

    • Study the genetic, chemical and physical attributes of cells, tissues and organisms
    • Identify applications for this knowledge
    • Work with lab technicians on research, record findings and analyse the results
    • Design and implement research studies
    • Analyse research data
    • Developing new research procedures

How your career can develop

With a degree level qualification, graduates can expect to work as a research associate in a range of industries and sectors or on pure research at a university or scientific institute. Masters-level graduates could expect lead a research project and team or as a lab manager or teacher. Doctorate level candidates can work as research scientists, a lab director or as a university lecturer.

Why biotechnologists matter

Biotechnologists are at the forefront of the continuous search to find new, sustainable food sources. Biotechnology is the use of biological processes, organisms, or systems to manufacture products intended to improve the quality of human life.


      • Complex problem-solving
      • Team work and communication skills
      • Investigative skills
      • Attention to detail
      • Innovative thinking
      • Observation skills
      • Interest in biology and technology

Typical employers

      • Medical technology companies
      • Pharmaceutical companies
      • Universities
      • Scientific foundations and institutions
      • Agriculture and crop production companies
      • Industries working in areas such as biodegradable plastics, vegetable oil


      • Graduate/Starting: €31,000 (approx.)
      • Senior/Potential: €54,000

Typical qualifications

A bachelor’s degree in biotechnology is the most common entry into the biotechnology industry. Students can attain a general science certification or diploma before progressing onto a biotechnology degree. Degrees in the following are also doorways to the biotech sector:

    • Biochemistry
    • Chemistry
    • Microbiology
    • Process engineering
    • Chemical engineering
    • Pharmaceutical sciences
    • Biology
    • Environmental biology
    • Medicine



Below are some useful links in the career and study of biotechnology