Your career as a Geotechnical Engineer

Your career as a Geotechnical Engineer

In your career as a geotechnical (geotech) engineer you will support construction and design professionals by carrying out tests and analysis to ensure risks to both people and the environment are mitigated against when planning a construction project. Let’s take a look at what a career as a geotech engineer actually involves and where a career as a geotech engineer can take you.

Working as a Geotechnical Engineer

In your career as a geotech engineer you will work with engineering and geology professionals, in addition to technology personnel, to determine whether a particular construction project or civil engineering project is feasible. As a geotech engineer, your roles will include the following:

  • Analysing data and making data informed decisions on geology and topography and their implications for construction and engineering
  • Examining construction plans to ensure they are feasible based on the data you have collated
  • Investigating risks or hazards and what risks they will pose to the project, people and the environment
  • Conducting field investigations and presenting reports to management and stakeholders
  • Monitoring progress in the context of the site data and working with others to ensure safe progress.

Career Path

A geotech engineer provides a fundamental role before the project starts, so they will primarily work at a strategic level with other personnel to ensure the construction or engineering project is delivered safely and on schedule. Some of the roles you will work alongside in your career as a geotech engineer would include:

  • Site manager
  • Foreperson
  • Architect
  • Structural engineer
  • Civil engineer
  • Documents controller
  • QA/QC Engineer
  • CAD Technician
  • BIM Engineer
  • Design manager
  • Land surveyor
  • Purchaser
  • Estimator
  • Site clerk
  • Documents controller

Professional Qualifications

For your career in geotech engineering you will need a third level qualification in an engineering discipline. Relevant subjects for a career in geotech engineering would include engineering, civil engineering, geology, geophysics, geotechnology or mineralogy. Geotech Engineers can become chartered through Engineers Ireland, which is also an excellent institute for pursuing CPD, further education is a must for your career in geotech engineering, as is establishing and constantly expanding a strong professional network.

How your Career can Develop

Initially you will need to study hard to earn the proper qualifications that can put you on the path to working on the sorts of projects that best suit your skills. Once you have established yourself by working on successful projects you can take on increased responsibility on larger scale projects, including supervisory or management roles. Geotech engineers can ultimately work on very large scale projects, both in Ireland and overseas and it’s a particularly interesting, challenging and rewarding career if you are interested in the environment, climate change, project management and people management.