Unlocking Opportunities: Life Science & Engineering Job Market Overview 2024

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Are you a professional seeking exciting opportunities in the thriving fields of Life Science...

Are you a professional seeking exciting opportunities in the thriving fields of Life Sciences and Engineering? As we step into 2024, the Life Science and Engineering sectors are buzzing with diverse opportunities and trends that could shape your career path.​Life Science Sector in Ireland:Ireland's Life Science sector remains a beacon of innovation, covering pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, medical devices, and healthcare. The country hosts several multinational companies engaged in cutting-edge research, development, and manufacturing of pharmaceuticals and medical products.Dive into roles such as bioprocess technicians, quality control analysts, regulatory affairs specialists, clinical research associates, and production managers. The sector thrives on research, innovation, and compliance with stringent regulatory standards.​Current Trends and Challenges:1. Sustainability and Green Engineering: Both Life Science and Engineering sectors emphasise sustainable practices, valuing professionals with expertise in environmentally friendly technologies.2. Healthcare Innovation:The intersection of Life Sciences and Engineering is creating new frontiers in healthcare innovation, with a focus on developing medical devices and technologies to enhance patient care.3. Regulatory Compliance: Navigating evolving regulatory standards, especially in pharmaceuticals and medical devices, remains a key challenge and a crucial skill in demand.4. Biopharmaceuticals:There's a particular emphasis on the production and development of biologics and biosimilars, driving demand for specialists in this niche.5. Health and Safety: Both sectors prioritize health and safety, making professionals with expertise in occupational health and safety essential for securing work environments.​Skills in Demand:Life Sciences: Bioprocessing, regulatory affairs, quality control, clinical research, and expertise in biopharmaceuticals.​Engineering Sector: Pioneering the FutureIreland's Engineering job market spans various disciplines, including mechanical, electrical, chemical, and environmental engineering. Manufacturing, energy, and environmental sustainability contribute to the demand for engineering professionals.Explore roles like manufacturing engineers, process engineers, environmental engineers, and maintenance engineers. The sector is increasingly focused on sustainable engineering practices.​Current Trends and Challenges:1. Sustainability and Green Engineering: A growing emphasis on sustainable practices, especially in industries beyond construction.2. Health and Safety: Continued prioritization of health and safety, particularly in manufacturing environments.​Skills in Demand:Engineering: Depending on the field, skills may include project management, environmental impact assessment, manufacturing process optimization, and expertise in sustainable engineering practices.​Salary Insights: Rewarding Your ExpertiseSalaries in the life science and engineering sectors in Ireland are often competitive, reflecting the importance of these industries to the country's economy. Salaries can vary based on factors such as experience, education, and the specific sub-sector or discipline. Professionals in roles such as research and development, regulatory affairs, quality control, and bioprocessing may command competitive salaries. Senior positions and roles requiring specialized expertise, such as in biopharmaceuticals, may attract higher compensation. Salaries for roles in health and safety, project management, and sustainable engineering practices can also be competitive. Salaries are expected to increase by around 3% to keep pace with inflation. However, highly sought-after professionals may witness salary rises of up to 10 to 15%.​The Rise of Remote Work: A Paradigm ShiftCompanies have tightened up on remote working but still offer some flexibility where possible. Some companies have returned to fully on-site models but are struggling to attract and retain talent on that basis. 90% of candidates expect the option to work from home at least 1-2 days a week (unless the particular position does not allow for that) and if the same position presented itself but one was fully on-site, the candidate would choose to apply for the company offering the hybrid approach.​Contractor OpportunitiesDue to economic uncertainty, we've seen an increase in demand for contractors in 2023 and this trend is set to continue into 2024 as employers prefer the flexibility of a contingent workforce. Skill gaps and demand for talent are important factors in the increase in demand also with companies looking to contractors to fill gaps in their teams in tandem with permanent positions - another trend we foresee continuing throughout 2024.It is no longer just large organisations leaning on contractors. SMEs are also now tapping into the contractor talent pool as a way of supplementing their workforce- especially now that permanent salaries are catching up with contractor hourly rates due to market inflation.In terms of skills, we foresee an increase in demand of contract roles across QA/QC, Regulatory Affairs, Validation, Automation & Control, Commissioning & Decommissioning and Manufacturing. Contractors are brought in to address specific manufacturing challenges, improve efficiency, implement new processes, ensure processes meet industry standards, assess, and improve quality systems, conduct audits or to assist with compliance and navigate regulatory processes.As a result of the increase in demand, contract rates have been on the rise and will continue to increase in 2024. It is now common practice for a contractor to ask and receive rate increases when their contracts are up for renewal. Recruitment and retention therefore remain high priorities for companies using contractors.With organisations now comfortable with remote work arrangements, the market has opened up to all areas of Ireland and further afield. A big trend is seeing Contractors based in the regions now being able to work for the large organisations in the cities and even in other countries. Therefore, rates in the regional areas of Ireland are now catching up with those of the main cities.​The Life Science and Engineering job markets in 2024 present abundant opportunities for skilled scientists, engineers, and specialists. For help with your job search contact technical@sigmar.ie.