Environment

Geotechnician

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

Annual Salary

£17,000 to £31,000

Average UK salary in 2018 was £29,588 (source Office for Statistics)

Working hours

40

1%
Future employment

There will be 1% more Geotechnician jobs in 2024.
In your local area

What's it all about?

Your day-to-day duties may include:

  • preparing rock, soil and water samples for testing
  • analysing the chemical and physical properties of samples
  • obtaining and processing geophysical data
  • logging well and borehole drilling activity
  • interpreting data from seismic surveys
  • preparing geological maps sections
  • supporting teaching staff in university
  • training and supervising staff
  • producing reports for engineers and scientists

University

You'll normally need a foundation degree, higher national diploma or degree to get into this career. Relevant subjects include:

  • geoscience
  • geology
  • environmental science
  • Earth sciences

You'll usually need:

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), including maths and a science
  • 2 to 3 A levels for a degree

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

You'll usually need:

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), including English, maths and science

Further Information

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

For this route, 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.

£17,000 to £31,000

Starter salary: £17,000 to £20,000

Experienced salary: £22,000 to £26,000

These figures are a guide.

40

You’ll usually be based in a laboratory, working 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. You may work some evenings and weekends to meet deadlines. If you’re involved in equipment maintenance, you’ll work on an out-of-hours rota system.

In the lab, you’ll wear protective clothing and use safety equipment when carrying out certain tests.

With experience, you could train as a geoscientist.

You could also move into management, or into another sector and become a laboratory technician in a school or college.

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 able to use a computer and the main software packages competently
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