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Geotechnical Engineer Job Description and Salary Details

Geotechnical Engineer

Last Updated on April 18, 2023 by Admin

This article discusses the geotechnical engineer job description, roles, responsibilities, Salary details, career prospects, and job outlook.


What is Geotechnical Engineering?

Geotechnical engineering is a branch of civil engineering concerned with designing, constructing, and maintaining earthworks, soil stabilization, foundations, and underground structures.

Geotechnical engineers are primarily responsible for creating safe buildings and infrastructure that will not collapse due to soil instability. They also work on rebuilding and reconstructing networks that natural disasters like earthquakes or floods have destroyed.


Who is the Geotechnical Engineer?

Geotechnical engineers are responsible for assessing the stability of the earth. This is done by analyzing the soil and rocks below a building or other structure. They also design foundations that will be able to withstand whatever challenges lie below ground level.

Job description of geotechnical Engineer

A geotechnical engineer focuses on the behavior of soil, rock, and other natural materials. The occupation is in high demand and will grow as the need for new homes, roads and buildings persist. Geotechnical engineers can work for government agencies or private firms.

Day-to-day work may include performing laboratory tests, analyzing data from various sources, monitoring construction sites, and providing feedback to builders.

As a Geotechnical Engineer, you are responsible for entirely exploring and surveying the construction site. You will also perform laboratory tests on soil, rock, and groundwater samples. It would help plan and design projects like building bridges, canals, and other structures.

They possess remarkable knowledge of various climatic conditions and their impact on the projects. It would help to entrust tasks to the technical team for on-site assessments.

A highly motivated and organized with Bachelor’s degree in the engineering field. Apart from investigating, they need to be willing to travel and work for an extended period on the site. Also, they need to have an excellent analytical mind and the ability to think with a strategic mindset.


Major Roles and Responsibilities

  • Developing a strategic investigation plan for the site.
  • Performing the geotechnical investigation as per the plan.
  • Collecting samples such as rock, sand, and similar substances from the site
  • Analyzing the ground stress, which includes capacity and stress levels.
  • Executing tests on the samples and noting down the contamination values.
  • Designing the projects based on the investigation performed.
  • Creating 2D and 3D models using computer applications.
  • Taking care of geological hazards while planning the project.
  • Setting budget and time constraints on ground investigations.
  • Assigning tasks to Geologists, Geotech Engineers, and other fellow consultants.
  • Suggesting necessary changes in the project as and when required.
  • Preserving nature and protecting the environment.
  • Provide input to drawings for earthwork and foundation and can write Geotechnical design reports independently.
  • Perform the duties of a resident geotechnical engineer on a project site and provide technical assistance.
  • Plan, schedule, conduct, and detail coordinate phase of geotechnical engineering work for different business lines in a project or staff group.
  • Perform work that involves conventional engineering practice but may include complex features such as resolving conflicting design requirements unsuitability of traditional materials.
  • Perform work using Standard Application Programs and appropriate computer-aided design and engineering (CAD and CAE) tools.
  • Coordinate geotechnical engineering efforts with the client, suppliers, and contractors in assigned areas with other engineering groups or disciplines.
  • Thorough knowledge of Geotechnical engineering techniques and ability to originate engineering and design calculations.
  • Broad knowledge of applying Geotechnical engineering to plant constructability as applied to construction methods and materials.
  • Understanding engineering planning and control methods, including computerized methods.
  • Performing basic administrative tasks if required.
  • Approving plans designed by other geological Engineers.
  • Collaborate and work cross-functionally with senior practitioners and project managers on projects of all sizes by providing geotechnical design expertise throughout different phases of project development.
  • Perform various tasks such as preparing and executing site investigation programs, geotechnical analyses, earthquake geotechnical engineering analyses, slope stability analysis, and foundation design.
  • Perform soil-structure interaction analysis, seismic geotechnical analysis, and dynamic analysis using advanced finite element software.
  • Perform soil liquefaction assessment, site response analysis, and pile driveability analysis.
  • Perform geotechnical analysis of foundation systems such as driven piles, drilled shafts, shallow foundations, retaining walls and prepare design calculations and drawings.
  • Prepare technical documents, including technical specifications, geotechnical data reports, and design reports following applicable design codes and other technical requirements.
  • Assists in observation and implementation of foundation work during construction.

Education Requirements

  • Bachelors in Civil Engineering, Geotechnical Engineering, Civil engineering, and ME/M.Tech in Geotechnical, Rock Mechanics Engineering, Engineering Geology, GeoScience, or related fields.
  • ME/M.Tech in Geotechnical, Soil Mechanics, and Foundation Engineering.
  • A Science degree or postgraduate degree in geology, geophysics, geo-technology, mineral/mining engineering.
  • M.Sc. degree in Civil Engineering in Geotechnical and Earthquake Engineering.

Experience Requirements

Some of the companies asked for the experience of 3 to 5 years of professional experience in geotechnical analysis, engineering, and design.

Also, through summer internships and placement opportunities, you can gain experience.  Construct the most of site visits and opportunities to carry out investigative groundwork if offered as part of your degree, as these experiences are highly transferable to the role.

Software Proficiency

  • Have experience and familiarity with Finite Element/Finite Difference analysis using programs such as PLAXIS and FLAC.
  • Hold experience and familiarity with foundation design programs such as SHAKE2000, GROUP, LPILE, SLIDE, and GRLWEAP.
  • Preferred software knowledge of gINT, Slide/SLOPE/W, LPILE, GRLWEAP, MSEW, Geo Studio, Geo5, Flac3D., etc.

Skills and Aptitude

  • Have a positive attitude with a detail-oriented work ethic.
  • Possess strong organizational, writing, and verbal communication skills.
  • Be able and willing to travel as project needs require periodically.
  • Hands-on design experience in Underground Metro projects
  • Experience in interpretation of geotechnical investigation data and use of appropriate geotechnical/ geological design parameters
  • Design know-how of ground movement, settlement prediction, and risk assessment of urban structures
  • Good knowledge of Instrumentation and Monitoring schemes
  • Good written and verbal communication skills in English (clear, concise report writing will be expected)
  • A personality compatible with a high degree of collaborative teamwork
  • Ability to relate to clients and peers
  • Demonstrate expertise in Climatology and Mathematics.
  • Excellent physical stamina.
  • Great interpersonal skills.
  • Exceptional oral and written communication skills.
  • Strong organizational skills.
  • passionate about the geological and natural environment
  • knowledgeable about principal soil and rock strata encountered in the UK
  • familiar with water, ground, and soil gas monitoring techniques
  • Able to apply technical knowledge to analyze problems and create solutions
  • Adaptable to different projects and project teams
  • Capable of building and maintaining relationships with clients and operating in a competitive and commercial environment
  • A good communicator with the ability to not only lead but also work as part of a team
  • Confident and outgoing with a ‘can-do’ attitude
  • Detail-orientated with the ability to make correct judgments
  • Good at report writing
  • The type of person who enjoys being outdoors in a variety of circumstances
  • Flexible to travel in the UK and work away from base office
  • Able to drive and hold a full license – many employers require this.
  • Ability to work in a team or individually as and when required.
  • Ability to manage and handle multiple tasks.
  • Outstanding problem-solving skills.
  • Exceptional attention to detail.
  • Good time management abilities.
  • Strong decision-making skills.


Employers Hiring Geotechnical Engineer

There are a variety of employers hiring for geotechnical engineer jobs. They include engineering firms, contractors, consulting companies, and government agencies. Oil and gas, power and energy, and environmental consultancies hire geotechnical engineers.

Career Prospects and Job Outlook

It is expected that the career demand for geotechnical engineers will increase by 4% in 2022. The main reason behind this is the introduction of stricter regulations and standards, which require more professionals to be present to inspect buildings and other structures to ensure they are not unstable or unsafe.

The growing demand for seismic resilience and the emergence of a climate crisis drive architects to seek out geotechnical engineers for their expertise. Earthquakes can cause catastrophic damage, which means that the work of geotechnical engineers will only become more essential in the future.

The demand for geotechnical engineers is projected to be tight in 2022. An engineer will typically examine soil and rock quality to identify potential risks like landslides and sinkholes in this profession.

Salary Details

In India, the average salary for a Geotechnical Engineer is ₹595,976

In the USA, The average salary for a Geotechnical Engineer is $68,244

*Note: the above salary data was recorded on 18th Feb. 2022

Geotechnical Engineering Online Courses

Geotechnical Engineering Courses on Udemy

Advanced Geotechnical Engineering by MIT

Free Civil Engineering and Geotechnical Engineering Courses on Swayam



A geotechnical engineer would ensure that projects are safe and stable. Typical tasks may include implementing remediation measures for site contamination to ensure the structural stability of existing structures and investigating the effects of natural disasters like landslides on infrastructure.

Geotechnical Engineer Job Description FAQs

Q.1. How to become a geotechnical engineer

Ans. The degree requirement is a bachelor in engineering or related degrees such as geology, civil engineering, or basic science.

Q.2. What does a geotechnical engineer do?

Ans: They conduct soil, groundwater, and rock studies. They use this information to create construction plans for large building and development projects. Many of these developments are located in small towns with very little cultural support, contributing to commuter isolation and difficulty for their employees. Independence is another hardship because these engineers have to work wherever their company assigns them.

Q.3. What is the geotechnical engineer salary

Ans: In India, the average salary for a Geotechnical Engineer is ₹595,976; in the USA, The average salary for a Geotechnical Engineer is $68,244

Q.4. What is the role of a geotechnical engineer?

Ans:  Skills needed to be a geotechnical engineer include: Understanding the strains and stresses on Earth materials under static, linear, and nonlinear loading states./Strongly identifying with the ethics and responsibilities of what it means to be a geotechnical engineer/ Being an expert in the ability to gather data and provide accountabilities related to a specific interaction between structures and their environmental surroundings/Many times geotechnical engineers also have to work closely with people that are not part of the engineering field such as land surveyors, lawyers, city planners, and political leaders.

Q. 5. Are our geotechnical engineers in demand?

Ans: The job market for a geotechnical engineer is hot and stable. The reason is that civil engineers are in high demand. A civil engineer typically designs, plans, and evaluates the construction and use of buildings, bridges, highways, waterworks, tunnels, airports, railroads, and roads. Although there are no curiosities with their skillset, many people could get an excellent education that gives them faith in becoming one. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts tremendous employment growth in this profession. They forecast “40% (much faster than average) growth between 2016-2026.”

Q.6. What is the role of geotechnical engineers in civil engineering practice?

Ans: The Role of a Geotechnical Engineer in Civil Engineering practice geotechnical engineer is a civil engineering professional specializing in designing and building slopes, embankments, foundation systems, and construction materials. A geotechnical engineer is also employed by building contractors to support complex engineering projects such as airport runways, dams, and roads.

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