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A geotechnical engineer is a civil engineer who performs analysis and assessments on earth materials prior to construction projects. They examine soil, rocks, underground water flow, and other earth materials to determine which materials should be used in the construction. This examination also enables them to provide advice on the overall design of the structure to ensure it meets required safety and quality standards.

Geotechnical engineers work on an array of structures such as tunnels, dams, roads, railways, and bridges. They work closely with structural engineers and architects in order to efficiently execute their role. They can work in engineering firms, petroleum companies, mining companies, and construction companies. A successful geotechnical engineer should have engineering skills, project management skills, analytical skills, and communication skills.

Geotechnical engineers work full time. The role involves traveling from site to site, and so they may go beyond the 40 hours a week due to travel.

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a geotechnical engineer. For example, did you know that they make an average of $36.9 an hour? That's $76,743 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 6% and produce 20,500 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does a Geotechnical Engineer Do

There are certain skills that many geotechnical engineers have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed speaking skills, math skills and writing skills.

Learn more about what a Geotechnical Engineer does

How To Become a Geotechnical Engineer

If you're interested in becoming a geotechnical engineer, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 64.0% of geotechnical engineers have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 24.8% of geotechnical engineers have master's degrees. Even though most geotechnical engineers have a college degree, it's impossible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become a geotechnical engineer. When we researched the most common majors for a geotechnical engineer, we found that they most commonly earn bachelor's degree degrees or master's degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on geotechnical engineer resumes include doctoral degree degrees or associate degree degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a geotechnical engineer. In fact, many geotechnical engineer jobs require experience in a role such as engineering internship. Meanwhile, many geotechnical engineers also have previous career experience in roles such as project engineer or research assistant.

Geotechnical Engineer Career Paths

Average Salary for a Geotechnical Engineer

Geotechnical Engineers in America make an average salary of $76,743 per year or $37 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $106,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $55,000 per year.
Average Geotechnical Engineer Salary
$76,743 Yearly
$36.90 hourly
$55,000
10 %
$76,000
Median
$106,000
90 %

What Am I Worth?

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Geotechnical Engineer Education

Geotechnical Engineer Majors

8.6 %

Geotechnical Engineer Degrees

Bachelors

64.0 %

Masters

24.8 %

Doctorate

4.6 %

Top Colleges for Geotechnical Engineers

1. University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor, MI • Private

In-State Tuition
$15,262
Enrollment
30,079

2. Carnegie Mellon University

Pittsburgh, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,465
Enrollment
6,483

3. California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo

San Luis Obispo, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$9,816
Enrollment
21,047

4. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Cambridge, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,832
Enrollment
4,550

5. New York University

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,828
Enrollment
26,339

6. Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Blacksburg, VA • Private

In-State Tuition
$13,620
Enrollment
27,730

7. Georgia Institute of Technology

Atlanta, GA • Private

In-State Tuition
$12,424
Enrollment
15,201

8. Cornell University

Ithaca, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,188
Enrollment
15,105

9. Texas Tech University

Lubbock, TX • Private

In-State Tuition
$9,080
Enrollment
30,795

10. Columbia University in the City of New York

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$59,430
Enrollment
8,216

Top Skills For a Geotechnical Engineer

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 14.6% of geotechnical engineers listed civil engineering on their resume, but soft skills such as speaking skills and math skills are important as well.

Choose From 10+ Customizable Geotechnical Engineer Resume templates

Zippia allows you to choose from different easy-to-use Geotechnical Engineer templates, and provides you with expert advice. Using the templates, you can rest assured that the structure and format of your Geotechnical Engineer resume is top notch. Choose a template with the colors, fonts & text sizes that are appropriate for your industry.

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Geotechnical Engineer Demographics

Geotechnical Engineer Gender Distribution

Male
Male
83%
Female
Female
17%

After extensive research and analysis, Zippia's data science team found that:

  • Among geotechnical engineers, 17.2% of them are women, while 82.8% are men.

  • The most common race/ethnicity among geotechnical engineers is White, which makes up 68.5% of all geotechnical engineers.

  • The most common foreign language among geotechnical engineers is Spanish at 32.1%.

Online Courses For Geotechnical Engineer That You May Like

Advertising Disclosure  The courses listed below are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the course, we may receive a commission.
Investigative Journalism
udemy
4.2
(299)

How to find hidden sources. How to look for documents and people...

Construction Methodology Basics in Civil Engineering
udemy
4.5
(399)

Learn How Building is Constructed & Designed Step By step with Site Photos, Videos, Architectural & Structural Drawings...

Seismology to Earthquake Engineering
coursera

This course ranges from the earth structure, the generation of earthquakes and seismic waves by faults to the seismic response of soils, foundations and structures as well as seismic risk. It is consequently aimed at undergraduates, graduates and professionals interested in engineering seismology, earthquake engineering or seismic risk. It investigates various technical fields: rock mechanics, soil dynamics, structural dynamics and dynamic soil-structure interaction. Various types of sessions ar...

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Best States For a Geotechnical Engineer

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a geotechnical engineer. The best states for people in this position are Alaska, California, Oregon, and Washington. Geotechnical engineers make the most in Alaska with an average salary of $107,548. Whereas in California and Oregon, they would average $91,577 and $85,432, respectively. While geotechnical engineers would only make an average of $83,402 in Washington, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Alaska

Total Geotechnical Engineer Jobs:
60
Highest 10% Earn:
$139,000
Location Quotient:
1.67 Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. Oregon

Total Geotechnical Engineer Jobs:
289
Highest 10% Earn:
$115,000
Location Quotient:
1.62 Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. Washington

Total Geotechnical Engineer Jobs:
471
Highest 10% Earn:
$112,000
Location Quotient:
1.5 Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
Full List Of Best States For Geotechnical Engineers

How Do Geotechnical Engineer Rate Their Jobs?

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4.0

Suitability of construction materialsSeptember 2019

4.0

Zippia Official LogoSuitability of construction materialsSeptember 2019

What do you like the most about working as Geotechnical Engineer?

I like it because of it is the basis of development Show More

What do you NOT like?

I don't like the fact that it is not well organized Show More

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Top Geotechnical Engineer Employers

Most Common Employers For Geotechnical Engineer

Rank  Company  Average Salary  Hourly Rate  Job Openings  
1Black & Veatch$80,571$38.7428
2Parsons$80,454$38.6814
3Tetra Tech$78,180$37.5918
4Newmont$77,744$37.3814
5Standard Testing and Engrg Co$77,606$37.3112
6Shannon & Wilson$77,601$37.3117
7Haley & Aldrich$77,600$37.3116
8GZA GeoEnvironmental$77,497$37.2613
9Golder Associates$77,435$37.2348
10Froehling & Robertson$77,142$37.0920

Geotechnical Engineer Videos

Becoming a Geotechnical Engineer FAQs

How many years does it take to become a geotechnical engineer?

It takes four years to become a geotechnical engineer. That is the time that it takes to earn a bachelor's degree in engineering. A geotechnical engineer is a type of civil engineer with a primary focus on the topography of the land and the attributes of rocks and soils in the building process.

Is geotechnical engineering a good career?

Yes, geotechnical engineering is a good career. Geotechnical engineering is a lucrative career that is in high demand. Becoming a geotechnical engineer can open the door to a lot of different industries and very different types of jobs.

Is geotechnical engineering hard?

Yes, geotechnical engineering is hard. Compared to just civil engineering, geotechnical engineering requires greater expertise in the nature of materials. The education and training needed to become a geotechnical engineer can be difficult, but once you master the trade, working as a geotechnical engineer can be both fun and incredibly challenging.

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