Recommendations on how to get into geotech design?

Hi there! I've been working a total a 7 years and I'm 3 years out of grad school. My career has taken me some weird places but in the end I realized there's a great divide on what I thought Geotech was when I was in school. Basically, I find that most projects here are actually geo-environmental. There isn't much design going on at consulting firms and it hasn't been easy finding out who is actually designing these projects, especially when it comes to buildings (not so much for big infrastructure). 

I'm wondering if anyone has recommendations as to how to approach job searches to break into geotech design. I have pretty good experience doing the whole consulting thing and pretty much none in design. I feel like I'll have to learn/review a whole lot to be comfortable in designing/assessing since I haven't used any of it since grad school. I also have a sense that companies are looking for fresh out of college people (most likely a pay grade thing) or very senior people (most likely business development and design experience). Any advice for someone trying to break in about where to look and steps to take?




Soil Mechanics / Geotechnical Analysis Design Construction Education Employment Shallow Foundations Deep Foundations

Asked 19/12/2013 09:49, updated: 14/03/2017 14:08
Gabrielle Rigaud

2 Answers

Votes: 1

Claudio Marques de Almeida Prado


Geotechnical design is required in every civil engineering design, at least in foundation design, but there are the road design, tunnelling market, not to mention dam design. People with certain experience like you shouldn't have difficult to find jobs in geotech.


Cláudio Prado

Votes: 1

Gabrielle Rigaud

Thanks for the encouragement Cláudio. I'm not worried about getting a job if I wanted to keep doing consulting which I think is a trap for me and a misuse of 6 years of education.

What I've noticed in my area is that there are few design engineering companies. Firms that call themselves "Geotech" don't do studies and designs anymore. Those go to small firms up north or one-man show licensed PEs. I'm really considering taking the year off to find an apprenticeship. At this point, I've rarely used my design education and need to train. Now my main problem is finding someone who will take me on and how to go about finding that someone. I get loads of interests for my past experience but finding a place where I would even be in an entry level geotech design position is hard to come by.