As a key member of a multi-disciplinary engineering team, your
decisions have an impact on the entire project team's actions and
your responsibilities as a Geotechnical Engineer are therefore
Depending on the particular task at hand your duties may be
carried out on-site, offshore or in an office. Geotechnical
Engineers work in areas such as site investigation, foundation
engineering and tunnelling. Activities may include gathering data,
using specialist computer software, creating analytical two and
three-dimensional models, making complex calculations in planning
or assessing structures.
Geotechnical engineers analyse data to provide highly accurate
calculations. Working in a team alongside Geological Engineers
and Hydrogeologists, they focus on providing information for, and
solutions to, a specific client's project.
Excellent analytical and interpretation skills are
essential to the role as you'll be dealing with a lot of data and
information. As such, it's likely that you will enjoy maths
and related subjects. You will need to have a very good eye for
detail, as your ability to make accurate calculations and drawings
will be crucial to the success of the projects that you are working
As you'll be working with a team of other people, you will
need to have good interpersonal and communication skills. You
will be managing a number of tasks at the same time, so you will
need good time management and organisational skills.
There are very specific qualifications that you would need
to take to become a geotechnical engineer, and there are a limited
number of UK universities at which to study. You would need to have
good GCSE and A Level grades in order to go on to study for a
degree in civil engineering, geology, physics or mathematics with a
specialism in one of 10 subjects linked to geotechnical
You might go on to study for a Masters Degree at one of 4
UK universities, and become a member of the Institution of Civil
Starting salaries for a newly qualified geotechnical
engineer typically range from £25,000 to £35,000 per
annum. Salaries for experienced and further qualified
engineers range from £35,000 to £100,000 annually.
Salaries may be supplemented by offshore bonuses, project
bonuses and benefits such as a car allowance and pension fund
contributions, depending on the company and project.
(This information is intended as a guide to average salaries
It is possible for a geotechnical engineer to move into
more specialist areas of geology, such as a Hydrographic Surveyor
or a Structural Geologist. People from the profession also
move into academic work as lecturers or professors at
It's also possible that you could set up your own business
to provide services direct to customers or through other companies
in the industry.