- Introduction — What you need to know and why
- Where are geotechnical jobs located?
- Outlook for geotechnical engineers
- What types of jobs are available for geotechnical engineers?
- What are the earnings for a geotechnical engineer?
- Working as a geotechnical engineer in Britain
- Important information for your CV
Are you a qualified geotechnical expat looking for overseas engineering positions? Have you considered gaining world-class engineering experience?
This page is designed to provide geotechnical engineers with all the information they need to successfully transfer their career.
The information below will tell you everything you need to know, including:
- Where you will be able to find work as a geotechnical engineer.
- What sorts of projects you will work on.
- How much money you can earn.
- Any technical specifications that you should be aware of.
Geotechnical job vacancies were surprisingly numerous prior to the financial crisis. Whilst the demand is not as strong, due to the relatively specialist nature of the industry suitable positions can still found. Generally speaking, Greater London is most likely your best bet having the greatest demand for geotechnical engineers.
Geotechnical engineering jobs may be found in such locations as:
- Central London
- Greater London (just outside the M25)
Tip: Most agencies have specialists for different locations, however because Geotechnical engineering is so specialist the London office may deal with Midlands geotechnical engineering recruitment. If you have a preference for a particular part of the UK, make your wishes clear from the start.
In London there are only around 7000 working geotechnical engineers.
There is however, a surprising range of opportunites for many geotech engineers with experience including embankment stabilisation projects to tunneling. The outlook for qualified and experienced geotechnical engineers is relatively solid even in softer economic environments. The majority of heavy civil projects are continuing and longer term this is expected to continue
In terms of size and diversity, the scope for geotechnical engineering projects is surprising. The UK's two-fold need to maintain old and develop new infrastructure and the demands of an expanding population.Geotechnical engineers are required for a whole range of projects involving underground construction, such as geotechnical tunnel jobs. Common roles as a geotechnical engineer:
- Site investigation
- Site analysis
- Sampling and testing
- Geotechnical analysis
- Report writing
- Project management
- Business development
- Earthwork design
- Soil mechanics
- Engineering geology
Geotechnical engineers with 3 or more years experience will have potential to finding work.
As your level of experience increases so to will your job prospects. Geotechnical engineers with 2 - 6+ years experience will find a greater range of opportunities available to them in both contract and permanent positions.
Recruitment agencies don't normally represent graduate geotechnical engineers. Graduates wishing to move to the UK should directly apply for a graduate position with a company based there. (This will be a lot easier if you have a British or EU Passport) In times of economic slowdown however, recent graduates should consider non-professional employment or gaining experience at home.
Recruitment agencies play a critical role in the engineering industry. A recruitment agency's business is built on its ability to provide quality candidates for employers while simultaneously facilitating the candidate's development and career progression.
WORKgateways manages a network of the best agencies providing geotechnical engineering recruitment services. Register with expert engineering recruiters to help you reach your potential!
To find your perfect geotechnical engineering job:
- Register with recruitment agencies up to 2 years before you arrive. In order to find the best job for you, recruitment agencies may wish to contact you for further discussions before submitting your CV to potential employers.
- Begin applying for jobs about three months before you arrive. If you register with an agency, your recruitment consultant will begin the process of arranging interviews around three months before your arrival.
- Don't register with more than 2 recruitment agencies. In an industry such as geotechnical engineering recruitment — where demand is so high — over spreading yourself can create a negative impression with potential employers.
- If your arrival date or travel plans or change, make sure you inform your recruitment consultant immediately.
- Having detailed examples of your experience can be very advantageous during the interview process. Having an example of a written report completed by you in a previous position can be an effective way of highlighting your knowledge, skills and experience.
- Learn how to get the most out of your job search in our FAQs.
Geotechnical engineering jobs generally follow this hierarchy:
- Graduate geotechnical engineer
- Assistant geotechnical engineer
- Geotechnical engineer
- Senior geotechnical engineer
- Principal geotechnical engineer
Around 80% of geotechnical engineers will work in the private sector. Geotechnical engineers work on either a contract or permanent basis.
Geotechnical engineering jobs are generally well payed. As always, however, your earnings will correspond to your experience and new arrivals should not expect to earn premium rates immediately. That said, your earnings can relatively quickly increase even with just a few months employment
This engineer salary scale can be used as a general guide for all specialties that fall within the category of geotechnical engineering jobs:
|Grade||Experience (yrs)||Salary Range £/hr (Contract)||Salary range p/a (Permanent*)|
|Graduate Engineer||-||NA||£20-22K + benefits|
|Assistant Engineer||1-3||£17-24||£15-25K + benefits|
|Engineer / Senior Engineer||4-8||£24-28||£25-40K + benefits|
|Principal Engineer||8+||£26-35||£40K plus + benefits|
*Contract positions for geotechnical engineers are often awarded on a fixed-term basis offering pro-rata salaries.
The earnings you receive as a geotechnical engineer may also be affected by a number of work factors, such as:
- The particular project experience you posses
- The size and financial strength of the company
- The level of urgency to complete a project and
- The location in which you work.
The European Committee for Standardization (CEN) — of which the UK is a member — has been developed a set of Eurocodes, which ensures consistency of design and specifications throughout Europe.
Since 2004, the Eurocodes have been (slowly) introduced throughout the UK so they are relatively new to everyone. The general rules for Eurocode 7: Geotechnical Design were first published in 2004, though the implementation of these codes and the publication of project-specific standards is now largely complete.
The Eurocodes have completely replaced existing national standards by 2010. Until this time, as different sections of the code are rolled out, an interim period of co-existence will mean that both sets of standards are in use.
The introduction of the Eurocodes represents an exciting opportunity for overseas geotechnical engineers to gain valuable experience in what will fast become one of the most used standards in the world.
Kick-start your career and register with a geotechnical engineering recruitment agency now.
To work as a geotechnical engineer, you will likely have experience in the use of industry-specific software, for example:
- Finite Element Analysis (FEA) software
- Geographic Information System (GIS) software
It is not expected that you should have previous experience with UK-specific applications. Training for new software packages is usually offered for those taking on a new position.
The Engineering Council currently holds the following agreements with overseas engineering organisations for the mutual recognition of accredited academic engineering programmes:
- Sydney Accord
- Washington Accord
- Dublin Accord
Make sure you remember to bring a copy of your degree certificate with you. Chartership or Holding a Masters of Science may also be advantageous, though this is certainly not required.
Geotechnical engineers are chartered by the Engineering Council. The Council also recognises the chartered status awarded by many other national engineering bodies.
Be sure your CV includes a list of the projects you have worked on, including specific details of the scope of the projects and your responsibilities on these projects.
Information such as scope, type of work and a description of the work completed will ensure that the full depth of your experience is communicated to recruitment consultants and future employers.
Be sure to list your experience in reverse-chronological order (i.e. most recent experience first). Use lists and bullet points in order to enable the reader to quickly scan and understand your experience and abilities.
|Mar 2006 — Present||Company Name, Country