Job Description:

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

Job Category:
Metals & Mining

What you will do:

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


You’ll need:

  • maths knowledge
  • knowledge of engineering science and technology
  • knowledge of geography
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

As well as:

  • analytical thinking skills
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to use your initiative (drive)
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • teamwork skills
  • the ability to think clearly using logic and reasoning
Illustration of employee looking at workspace

Entry Requirements:

To become a Geotechnician, you’ll need a strong foundation in geology, engineering, and related skills. While there are no specific subjects required for this career, the following subjects and skills can provide a solid foundation for pursuing a career in geotechnical engineering or geotechnician roles:

  1. Mathematics: Strong mathematical skills are crucial for performing calculations, analysing data, and understanding engineering principles.
  2. Science: Coursework in physics, chemistry, and biology can provide a foundational understanding of scientific principles and processes, which are relevant in geotechnical studies.
  3. Design and Technology: Courses in design and technology can help you develop skills in problem-solving, project management, and using tools and equipment.
  4. Geography: Basic geography coursework can provide you with an understanding of earth processes, landforms, and geological features.
  5. IT Skills: Proficiency in information technology (IT) skills is important for data analysis, modeling, and using geotechnical software.
  6. English: Effective communication skills, both written and verbal, are essential for documenting findings and presenting reports.

Post School

You’ll usually need a foundation degree, Higher National Diploma (in the UK) or degree to get into this career. Relevant subjects include:

  • geoscience
  • geology
  • chemistry
  • environmental science
  • maths

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

You’ll find it useful to have work experience in the field or a laboratory.

Working Hours and Environment:

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.

Career Path & Progression:

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.