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Environment

Geotechnician

Geotechnicians collect and analyse geological data from rock, soil and water samples.

Annual Salary

£15,000 to £31,000

Average UK salary in 2022 was £33,200
(source Office for National Statistics)

Working hours

38 to 40 a week

You could work: evenings / weekends; occasionally

0.5%
Future employment

There will be 0.5% more Geotechnician jobs in 2027.

Day to day tasks

You could:

  • prepare rock, soil and water samples for testing
  • analyse the chemical and physical properties of samples
  • obtain and process geophysical data
  • log well and borehole drilling activity
  • interpret data from seismic surveys
  • prepare geological maps
  • support teaching staff in university
  • train and supervise staff
  • produce reports for engineers and scientists

Working environment

You may need to wear protective clothing.

You could work in a laboratory or visit sites.

Your working environment may be outdoors some of the time and dirty.

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role
University

You could do a higher national diploma, foundation degree or degree in a relevant subject like:

  • geoscience
  • geology
  • environmental science
  • Earth sciences
  • mineral or mining engineering

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English, maths and science
  • 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
For more information
College

You could do a college course, which would teach you some of the skills and knowledge you need in this job. Relevant subjects include:

  • Level 3 Certificate in Laboratory Technical Skills
  • Level 3 or 4 Diploma in Laboratory and Associated Technical Activities

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English, maths and science
For more information
Apprenticeship

You may be able to get into this role through an advanced laboratory technician apprenticeship.

This apprenticeship takes 24 months to complete.

Entry requirements

To get onto an apprenticeship, you'll find it useful to have:

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship
For more information
Work

You may be able to start as a junior technician with an organisation and work your way up.

To do this, you'll need a minimum of 5 GCSEs grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), and 2 A levels, including maths and sciences. Equivalent qualifications may be accepted like the Level 3 Diploma in Applied Science.

Volunteering and work experience

Work experience in the field or a laboratory may give you an advantage when applying for courses and jobs. For example, you could join your local geological group or contact companies listed in The Geologist Directory to find out about work placement opportunities.

The Geological Society has information about getting work experience.

Requirements and restrictions

You'll need to:

  • Being able to drive may be an advantage in roles where you need to visit sites.
  • Having a Construction Skills Certification scheme (CSCS) card, though not essential, is useful if you are working for geotechnical companies that specialise in work for construction projects.

More information

Professional and industry bodies

You can get recognition of your technical skills by registering with the Science Council as a Registered Science Technician (RSciTech).

Further information

You can get more advice about careers and training in geoscience from The Geological Society.

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With experience, you could train as a geoscientist.

You could also move into management, environmental engineering work, or become a laboratory technician or science teacher in a school, college or university.

Work experience in the field or a laboratory may give you an advantage when applying for courses and jobs. For example, you could join your local geological group or contact companies listed in The Geologist Directory to find out about work placement opportunities.

The Geological Society has information about getting work experience.

You can get recognition of your technical skills by registering with the Science Council as a Registered Science Technician (RSciTech).

You can get more advice about careers and training in geoscience from The Geological Society.

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You'll need:

  • maths knowledge
  • knowledge of engineering science and technology
  • analytical thinking skills
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • the ability to think clearly using logic and reasoning
  • knowledge of geography
  • to be flexible and open to change
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently
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