Careers in Geotechnical Engineering

How To Go Into A Career as a Geo-technical Engineer and What is Involved

Geotechnical engineers are people whose job is to employ engineering applications and principles to examine sites for engineering projects so as to ensure that the man-made structures that will be erected in a particular site will be stable.

As a geotechnical engineer, you will need to have a firm grasp of geology and engineering principles as you would be required to apply the principles daily.

To get into the career as a geotechnical engineer you will need to possess a bachelor’s degree in geotechnical, structural or civil engineering. Alternatively, you can also pursue a degree in a related field such as geology. However, pursuing a degree in a related field may take you longer to finally meet the requisites of becoming a professional geotechnical engineer. But if you really want to be a geotechnical engineer and the only way you can succeed in becoming one is to follow the alternative route, then just follow your heart.

In school, geotechnical engineers receive the necessary skills to competently perform their jobs. For example, a geotechnical engineer needs to have sound knowledge of the different Computer Assisted Design software; a firm grasp of geology and engineering principles; a knowledge of the properties or qualities of geological materials; an awareness of the impact some design ideas could have on the environment; and a good understanding of the different construction methods, materials and tools.

Once you graduate with a geotechnical degree or acquire the qualifications of becoming a geotechnical engineer, you will need certification and licensure to work as a geotechnical engineer. Without a license, you will not get very far. As a cardinal rule, you cannot perform any unsupervised engineering work which affects public safety if you do not have a license. However, if getting a license proves to be arduous and daunting, you can still work on any engineering projects but under the supervision of a certified and licensed engineer.

To be licensed to operate as a geotechnical engineer you will need to pass a special exam, possess relevant work experience, in addition to possessing a bachelor’s degree from an accredited engineering program.

As a geotechnical engineer, your work will be to ensure the rock and soil of a site proposed for the construction of a foundation is stable and will remain stable when structures to be built will exert their pressure on the ground. The geotechnical engineer ought to also ensure that the structures will be stable in case of mudslides, earthquakes, and other natural phenomena.

So as to determine the stability of a particular site, the geotechnical engineer collects and analyzes the proposed construction site’s geological data. This exercise also gives the engineer some insight into the appropriate tools, materials, and methods to use during the construction process.

Finally, the geological engineer will prepare reports, designs as well as recommendations based on his findings. This he will present to the project stakeholders.

The work shouldn’t be daunting if geotechnical engineering is your passion. Beside, geotechnical engineers are in most cases paid well. However, the salary varies depending on a number of factors which include the level of experience, the level of education, the region where you work, as well as the specific responsibilities of your job.

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