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Insights 4 skills you’ll develop as a geotechnical engineer

Geotechnical engineers investigate the impact of geological formations on the subsurface and soil conditions and materials. This career path has enormous potential for growth and learning. Through the analysis and investigation of different sites, geotechnical engineers determine the Earth’s future stability for civil engineering and construction projects. These professionals are essential to the planning and design process of projects and according to research, the global geotechnical engineering market is expected to reach a value of around $5.5 billion by 2028.

Atkins, and the wider AtkinsRéalis Group, provide a quality service to projects across the United States and many other regions globally. Over the years, we’ve established great rapport and trust with our clients. We work on some of the most complex projects to tackle today’s most pressing challenges. Our geotechnical engineers lay the foundation for our new construction projects.

Read on to find out about the four essential skills that you’ll develop in your role as a technical engineer and learn more about a career with us.

building site with cranes and diggers


As a geotechnical engineer, one of the key skills you will learn is adaptability. Geotechnical engineers must be able to adapt to different situations as they arise. You’ll need to be ready for any geological hazards and prepared to recommend specific solutions or adjust plans. In regions across the United States, there are often more natural hazards such as landslides, earthquakes, and hurricanes. Therefore, the role of a geotechnical engineer is a challenge because these professionals must study specific hazards to provide information for people who may be at risk. The unpredictable nature of the role is what attracts many professionals to this field of engineering.


When there are issues with a construction project or with the ground conditions, geotechnical engineers are responsible for choosing an effective solution. In this role, you’ll be responsible for making recommendations to construction leaders and guiding staff on how to best approach a specific environment. Through a methodical and thorough approach to research, geotechnical engineers will need to investigate and obtain information from foundations and soil frameworks. Therefore, investigation and problem-solving will be very important elements of your job.

Data analysis skills

As a geotechnical engineer, you’ll also develop data analysis skills as you will be responsible for evaluating data for multiple areas, such as soil quality, geological hazards, bedrock samples, and construction budgets. Geotechnical engineers need to accurately determine conclusions from data sets and problem solve issues on a construction site. You’ll also develop your data collection skills because of the considerable time spent collecting multiple types of new samples, such as soil or water.

Expert research skills

In most engineering roles, professionals will develop a high level of research skills. For example, as a mechanical engineer, you must be highly inquisitive and determine rational solutions to problems that arise. Geotechnical engineers are no different. You’ll be required to accurately summarize and learn about all the relevant data you collect. Geotechnical engineers also monitor changes in soil and rock properties within existing foundations. So you’ll get the chance to analyze closely what’s beneath the Earth’s surface and draw conclusions as to how these properties will react when under pressure from different structures.

The role of a geotechnical engineer requires initiative, creativity, and the ability to identify problems through research and communicate these back to construction professionals. Overall, it’s an exciting time to be in engineering as there are lots of opportunities for growth and development.

Move your geotechnical engineering career forward with Atkins

We’re a diverse and driven community of people, and we connect technology and data to deliver the best global projects across the United States. Atkins and the wider AtkinsRéalis Group provide endless opportunities. We’re an agile, growth-oriented company that helps you develop your career.

At AtkinsRéalis , we’re committed to reaching Net Zero carbon emissions by 2030 and ensuring a more sustainable society. We support our clients across the USA, and we’re focused on applying innovative thinking, strategy, and technologies to create the best outcomes. If you’re looking to advance your career with an ambitious and growth-oriented company, then explore our range of geotechnical engineering opportunities or browse our core roles in the USA.