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Working as a Geotechnical Engineer

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 $31.49 an hour? That's $65,497 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.

When it comes to the most important skills required to be a geotechnical engineer, we found that a lot of resumes listed 14.6% of geotechnical engineers included civil engineering, while 9.5% of resumes included geotechnical analysis, and 6.7% of resumes included project management. Hard skills like these are helpful to have when it comes to performing essential job responsibilities.

When it comes to searching for a job, many search for a key term or phrase. Instead, it might be more helpful to search by industry, as you might be missing jobs that you never thought about in industries that you didn't even think offered positions related to the geotechnical engineer job title. But what industry to start with? Most geotechnical engineers actually find jobs in the professional and construction industries.

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 35.6% of geotechnical engineers have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 46.1% 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 master's degree degrees or bachelor's degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on geotechnical engineer resumes include doctoral degree degrees or high school diploma 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 project engineer. Meanwhile, many geotechnical engineers also have previous career experience in roles such as staff engineer or civil engineer.

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Average Salary$65,497
Job Growth Rate6%

Geotechnical Engineer Career Paths

Top Careers Before Geotechnical Engineer

Top Careers After Geotechnical Engineer

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Average Salary for a Geotechnical Engineer

Geotechnical Engineers in America make an average salary of $65,497 per year or $31 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $78,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $54,000 per year.
Average Salary
$65,497

Best Paying Cities

City
Average Salary
Anchorage, AK
Salary Range103k - 140k$121k$120,793
San Francisco, CA
Salary Range72k - 104k$87k$86,820
Seattle, WA
Salary Range66k - 91k$78k$78,460
Baton Rouge, LA
Salary Range62k - 92k$76k$76,393
Reno, NV
Salary Range64k - 90k$76k$76,115
Austin, TX
Salary Range62k - 91k$75k$75,281
$52k
$140k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyCompanyStart DateSalary
Geotechnical Engineer
Geotechnical Engineer
State of Florida
State of Florida
01/27/2021
01/27/2021
$63,14901/27/2021
$63,149
Geotechnical Engineer
Geotechnical Engineer
Florida Department of Transportation
Florida Department of Transportation
01/27/2021
01/27/2021
$63,14901/27/2021
$63,149
Geotechnical Engineer P.E.
Geotechnical Engineer P.E.
Randstad
Randstad
12/02/2020
12/02/2020
$90,00012/02/2020
$90,000
Staff Geotechnical Engineer
Staff Geotechnical Engineer
Aerotek
Aerotek
11/25/2020
11/25/2020
$50,00011/25/2020
$50,000
Geotechnical Engineer
Geotechnical Engineer
Aerotek
Aerotek
11/25/2020
11/25/2020
$100,00011/25/2020
$100,000
See More Recent Salaries

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Geotechnical Engineer Demographics

Gender

male

75.6 %

female

16.4 %

unknown

8.0 %

Ethnicity

White

69.9 %

Asian

14.9 %

Hispanic or Latino

9.1 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

32.1 %

French

16.1 %

Arabic

10.7 %
See More Demographics

Geotechnical Engineer Education

Majors

Geology
6.1 %

Degrees

Masters

46.1 %

Bachelors

35.6 %

Doctorate

12.4 %

Top Colleges for Geotechnical Engineers

1. University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor, MI • Public

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 • Public

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 • Public

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

7. Georgia Institute of Technology

Atlanta, GA • Public

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 • Public

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
See More Education Info
Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

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.

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, Washington, and Louisiana. Geotechnical engineers make the most in Alaska with an average salary of $120,625. Whereas in California and Washington, they would average $81,163 and $77,805, respectively. While geotechnical engineers would only make an average of $76,228 in Louisiana, 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:
44
Highest 10% Earn:
$160,000
Location Quotient:
1.54
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. Washington

Total Geotechnical Engineer Jobs:
588
Highest 10% Earn:
$104,000
Location Quotient:
1.28
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. Texas

Total Geotechnical Engineer Jobs:
1,335
Highest 10% Earn:
$106,000
Location Quotient:
1.08
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
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How Do Geotechnical Engineer Rate Their Jobs?

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4.0

Suitability of construction materialsSeptember +0000

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

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Top Geotechnical Engineer Employers

1. Terracon
4.4
Avg. Salary: 
$67,317
Geotechnical Engineers Hired: 
87+
2. Langan Engineering & Environmental Services
4.4
Avg. Salary: 
$67,982
Geotechnical Engineers Hired: 
67+
3. AECOM
4.5
Avg. Salary: 
$77,374
Geotechnical Engineers Hired: 
49+
4. Mueser Rutledge Consulting Engineers
4.0
Avg. Salary: 
$68,475
Geotechnical Engineers Hired: 
41+
5. Golder Associates
4.5
Avg. Salary: 
$67,402
Geotechnical Engineers Hired: 
40+
6. GeoEngineers
4.2
Avg. Salary: 
$67,315
Geotechnical Engineers Hired: 
30+

Geotechnical Engineer Videos

Updated October 2, 2020