I worked at Terracon full-time (More than 3 years)
NOA is no longer recognised, but they were 1 of the best geotech companies you could work for. As an inspector you would work for engineers who would actually help you get your job done. Special inspectors sometimes get forgotten on jobs-you end up handling everything on your own, which is never good in a business sense. As a sac area inspector, that was never the case for me. And I cant speak for corporate offices, but in CA (Sacramento) the boss figures seem to genuinely care about their employees. The pay is not amazing but it is comparable to what you will get around sac valley and lets be honest, you dont do special inspections to retire 1 day, you do it because you enjoy the work.
As I mentioned NOA was this amazing company which brought together some of the best engineers in the state to pick up work and help the inspectors get things done. After being acquired by terracon, new rules applied. The difference between a big company and smaller 1 is money. Big companies have money, but you always lose the "family feel" as you grow. Terracon has rules for just about every activity, from driving to climbing a ladder to wearing shoes, violate them and you are "written up." Also those rules are not local, they are set by corporate offices away from west coast. So thats about the worst of it, but every big company works that way, so its not surprising.
Advice to Management
Theres a lot of graveyard work, maybe offer an incentive (slight pay increase) to work those shifts
I applied online. I interviewed at Terracon.
Interview was more of a conversation that kept me wondering how I did in the end. There was no questions, and I had to direct the entire interview. Brought lots of projects and technical reports I had previously made