Typically the staff in each college consists of a college principal and four to eight college lecturers, who are assisted by technicians in setting up and delivering practical training for students.
New lecturers tend to be recent graduates and they will normally spend five to eight years in a college before moving to a different type of work in Teagasc, mainly the advisory services. On recruitment, lecturers are given in-service training and they are also encouraged to do postgraduate courses in teaching methods or in relevant areas.
They support the lecturers and are mainly involved with the day to day management and running of the college enterprises. They attend updating courses, open days at research centres and are also encouraged to undertake post-graduate courses in teaching methods.
These work at local Teagasc Training Centres. They deliver courses on a part-time basis at Teagasc offices and use local farms for teaching practical skills as well as the home farms of students. They work closely with the agriculture advisers. It is common for them to interchange jobs.
Advisors are generally graduates in Agriculture, Horticulture or Forestry who work as part of a local team to develop agricultural resources in the area. Contact is made with farmers through farm visits, discussion groups, office and phone consultations and training courses. They play a vital role in ensuring that farmers can participate in development schemes and assist with applications for EU and national programmes to support farm incomes.
The work of agricultural and food scientists in Teagasc plays an important part in maintaining the nation's food supply through ensuring agricultural productivity and the safety of food.
Scientists work to a required programme, interpret and adapt research findings from elsewhere and act as specialist advisors to our advisory services and other interested parties.
Research staff must be of the highest calibre and the minimum qualification necessary for a research post is a good honours university degree.
The majority of technicians are employed as laboratory or field technicians. However, Teagasc also employs technicians as farm data recorders and data analysts. IT specialists, supplies officers and in the provision of statistical support services.
The job is more practical orientated than that of scientists. As laboratory instrumentation and procedures have become more complex in recent years, the role of technicians has expanded.
Technicians set up, operate and maintain laboratory instruments, monitor experiments, calculate and record results. Many technicians also develop and adapt lab procedures, interpret data and devise solutions to problems, under direction of scientists.