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Geotechnician

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

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £17,000 to £31,000 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: 40 per week

1. Entry requirements

You'll usually need a foundation degree, HND 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 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

You’ll need:

  • 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

4. Salary

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 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.

6. Career path and 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.

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Last updated: 13 September 2018