Geotechnicians collect and analyse geological data from rock, soil and water samples.
1. Entry requirements
You'll usually need a foundation degree, HND or degree to get into this career. Relevant subjects include:
- environmental science
You may be able to start as a junior technician and work your way up. You'll need a minimum of 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), and 2 A levels, including maths and sciences. Equivalent qualifications may be accepted.
You’ll find it useful to have work experience in the field or a laboratory. The Geological Society has information on careers in geology and how to find work placements.
2. Skills required
- scientific and technical skills
- the ability to pay close attention to detail
- maths skills
- observational skills
- IT skills
- practical skills, to use instruments and technical equipment
3. What you'll 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
Starter: £17,000 to £20,000
Experienced: £22,000 to £26,000
Highly Experienced: £26,000 to £31,000
These figures are a guide.
5. Working hours, patterns and environmentYou’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.
6. Career path and progressionWith 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.
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Last updated: 21 August 2017
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