Geotechnicians collect and analyse geological data from rock, soil and water samples.
Salary range: £17,000 to £31,000
How to become a geotechnician
You can get into this job through:
- a university course
- a college course
- working towards this role
You’ll normally need a foundation degree, higher national diploma or degree to get into this career. Relevant subjects include:
- environmental science
- Earth sciences
You’ll usually need:
- 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English, maths and science
- 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
- equivalent entry requirements
- student finance for fees and living costs
- university courses and entry requirements
You could do a college course, which would teach you some of the skills and knowledge you need in this job. Relevant subjects include:
- Level 3 Certificate in Laboratory Technical Skills
- Level 3 or 4 Diploma in Laboratory and Associated Technical Activities
You’ll usually need:
- 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English, maths and science
You may be able to start as a junior technician with an organisation and work your way up.
For this route, you’ll need a minimum of 5 GCSEs grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), and 2 A levels, including maths and sciences. Equivalent qualifications may be accepted like the Level 3 Diploma in Applied Science.
Volunteering and experience
Work experience in the field or a laboratory may give you an advantage when applying for courses and jobs. For example, you could join your local geological group or contact companies listed in The Geologist Directory to find out about work placement opportunities.
The Geological Society has information about getting work experience.
Professional and industry bodies
You can get recognition of your technical skills by registering with the Science Council as a Registered Science Technician (RSciTech).
You can get more advice about careers and training in geoscience from The Geological Society.
What it takes
Skills and knowledge
- maths knowledge
- knowledge of engineering science and technology
- analytical thinking skills
- to be thorough and pay attention to detail
- the ability to use your initiative
- excellent verbal communication skills
- the ability to think clearly using logic and reasoning
- knowledge of geography
- to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently
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
You could work in a laboratory.
You may need to wear protective clothing.
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.