A career in geotechnical engineering is as exciting as it is challenging. Most engineers in this field love that no two days are ever the same, and many relish the numerous opportunities they get to create innovative solutions to problems.
A typical day for a geotechnical engineer involves:
Proposals are the only way that an engineer can attract and keep clients, so a good chunk of your working time will be spent on this task. If you want to keep your business going, you must be good at drafting proposals.
If you thought that lab work as a geotechnical engineer ended with your days in university, then you are in for a surprise. After graduation, you may find yourself spending more time in the lab than you expected. This is especially true for those who work in educational institutions post-graduation. You could be testing for moisture content, proctors, or even maintaining equipment in a laboratory.
Another task that you will spend lots of hours on is writing reports. A typical report includes reviews of drilling logs, the results of your lab tests, the limits of development, your analysis, and recommendations. Reports may be tiresome to write, but they are the only way to communicate your findings to your clients.
If you love hands-on work, no doubt you will enjoy the fieldwork aspect of geotechnical engineering. Some clients may require your presence on-site, especially on construction sites. That way, you can provide better insight into their dilemmas as well as testing materials and mass grading. Fieldwork is arguably the most exciting part of engineering since you get to put theory into practice and to create inventive solutions to your client’s problems.
Your day as an engineer could also involve various small tasks that are incidental to your job. For instance, you should expect to spend some time cleaning up in the lab, or training interns at your office. Some days could be dedicated to research and refreshing your knowledge of the concepts you learned in school.
For a geotechnical engineer, each day is different and brings with it exciting opportunities for growth and innovation. Sure, some tasks, like writing reports and drafting proposals may be somewhat dreary, but you still get plenty of chances to work on stimulating projects that use your hands as well as your brain!