What does a Geotechnical Engineer do?

Geotechnical engineers ensure the foundations for a built object, including a street, building, runway, or dam, are solid. They primarily focus on how structures and the earth interact, including with soil and rocks. Geotechnical engineers design and plan for slopes, retaining walls, and tunnels. They review the organic features of a proposed construction site and its surroundings to verify the appropriateness of the location.

Geotechnical engineers also account for factors including weather or traffic before delivering their ultimate decisions about the safety of a proposed or existing site. When inspecting a proposed site, geotechnical engineers examine the composition of naturally occurring formations and take an array of samples to study in a laboratory and determine the likelihood of consequential movement in the land at the proposed site. They suggest effective fixes for geotechnical obstacles including slopes and calculate the required cost in material resources and share a final evidence-based verdict with stakeholders. Geotechnical engineers need a bachelor’s degree in geotechnical engineering.

What responsibilities are common for Geotechnical Engineer jobs?
  • Assign, review, and evaluate laboratory or field data for inclusion in reports.
  • Assist with business development for new projects and clients.
  • Provide guidance to systems owners for compliance, standards, and policies.
  • Review drawings and construction to assure compliance with plans and specifications.
  • Perform regular client engagement resulting in continually expanding client trust relationships.
  • Conduct geotechnical engineering on local projects.
  • Communicate effectively and efficiently with contractors, clients, and team members.
  • Mentor and train senior and junior professional staff professionals.
  • Aggregate field data in concise figures or charts and perform analysis and calculations alongside project engineers.
  • Assist and perform laboratory testing work under the direction of a senior engineer/technician.
  • Lead safety efforts for team and ensure team follows safety rules and guidelines.
  • Develop and maintain strong working relationships with mine geology, mine operations, dewatering, and mine engineering groups.
  • Ensure adequate geotechnical instrumentation is deployed, read, maintained, and data reported.
  • Support underground and open pit mine engineering at various levels from conceptual studies to detailed engineering and closure.
  • Assist in hiring and training staff and expand the teams' capabilities.
  • Perform, train and oversee highwall data collection, design, and slope management.
  • Actively participate and direct business development and marketing efforts while establishing and maintaining, client relationships.
  • Exercise judgment and seek alternative solutions to adapt, as necessary, when unanticipated circumstances arise.
  • Proficient with performing functional analysis, timeline analysis, detail trade studies, requirements allocation and interface definition studies to translate customer requirements into hardware and software specifications.
  • Development and supervision of pavement subgrade investigations and pavement design reports for flexible and rigid pavements.
  • Site planning, design, permitting, and construction phase services for civil projects, primarily involving geotechnical and environmental investigation services.
What are the typical qualifications for Geotechnical Engineer jobs?
  • Bachelor's or Graduate's Degree in civil or geotechnical engineering.
  • Fluent in geotechnical design processes including feasibility studies, proposal preparation, planning and scheduling, and numerical modeling.
  • Experience with change orders and AutoCAD.
  • Prior experience as a consultant.
  • Demonstrated attention to detail and sound work ethic.
  • Can deploy critical thinking and leadership skills during client interaction.
  • Demonstrated time management capabilities .
Education--
Work/Life Balance
3.5 ★
Total Pay--
Career Opportunity
3.7 ★
Avg. Experience5-7 years

How much does a Geotechnical Engineer make?

Confident
$89,254 /yr
Total Pay
$73,043
 /yr

Base Pay

+
$16,210
 /yr

Additional Pay

$89,254

 / yr
$13K$869K
Most Likely Range
Possible Range
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Geotechnical Engineer Career Path

Learn how to become a Geotechnical Engineer, what skills and education you need to succeed, and what level of pay to expect at each step on your career path.

Average Years of Experience

0 - 1
9%
2 - 4
27%
5 - 7
35%
8+
29%
Not including years spent in education and/or training
See Career Path

Geotechnical Engineer Insights

Read what Geotechnical Engineer professionals have to say about their job experiences and view top companies for this career.
TerraconTerracon
Geotechnical Engineer
Apr 22, 2022

“I learned a lot and gained experience in technical engineering fields which was great for my career growth.”

Fugro GeoServicesFugro GeoServices
Geotechnical Engineer
Aug 26, 2020

“effectively just being paid your base rate but doing twice as many hours on it.”

Nando's UK & IRENando's UK & IRE
Graduate Geotechnical Engineer
Nov 5, 2020

“reliable and good pay”

GHDGHD
Geotechnical Engineer
Nov 14, 2021

“Well organised system and good work life balance”

Navarro & Wright ConsultingNavarro & Wright Consulting
Project Geotechnical Engineer
Jun 21, 2021

“Good pay and perks.”

Dar GroupDar Group
Geotechnical Engineer
Jul 6, 2021

“It is good to work”

ExxonMobilExxonMobil
Geotechnician
Jan 11, 2021

“Generally a competitive salary but on the lower end of the scale”

ArupArup
Graduate Geotechnical Engineer
Jun 4, 2020

“One of the best employee benefits package in the industry”

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Geotechnical Engineer Interviews

Frequently asked questions about the roles and responsibilities of a Geotechnical Engineer

The most similar professions to Geotechnical Engineer are:
  • Structural Engineer
  • Stress Engineer
  • Civil Engineer
  • Structural Design Engineer

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Geotechnical Engineer Jobs