What is geotechnical engineering?
Geotechnical engineering is the branch of civil engineering concerned with the engineering behavior of earth materials.
Geotechnical engineers help build safe, stable, and sustainable infrastructure.
Geotechnical engineers will play an important role in climate change mitigation and adaptation, particularly by assessing the sustainable development and resilience of structures.
Geotechnical engineers can work in many fields, including:
- Engineering consulting
- Coastal Engineering
- Oil & gas
The projects that geotechnical engineers work on include:
- Retaining walls
- Dam sites
- Slope stability
- Pavement evaluations
- Pile design studies
The typical entry-level education is a Bachelor’s Degree in geotechnical engineering. Many geotechnical engineers pursue a Masters or PhD, or licensing.
Geotechnical engineers can take the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) Exam after graduating from an EAC/ABET-accredited program.
After 4 years of post-college work experience, geotechnical engineers can take the Practice of Engineering (PE) exam to earn their Professional Engineer license
Duties and Skills
Geotechnical engineers work in offices or in the field. Some of their regular duties include:
- Perform geotechnical analysis to assess site condition
- Perform field & environmental investigations
- Plan & conduct geotechnical exploration
- Review construction design proposals and approve geotechnical aspects
Some valuable skills of geotechnical engineers include:
- Data collection, analysis
- Geological mapping
- Soil & rock mechanics
- Foundation design
- GIS, gINT