What is a Geotechnical Engineer?
A “geotech” is an Engineer Licensed by the State.
Like Structural, Hydraulic, or Transportation Engineering, Geotechnical is a branch of Civil Engineering, with the root word “Civil”–as in–anything to do with the design and construction of mankind’s Civilization and Infrastructure.
It is the specialized focus involving the interaction of soils with the construction of … virtually anything on earth. As a matter of fact, every building built on earth is either “in”, “on”, or “of” soil!
There are many pathways to expertise in the profession, including several tiers, graduate levels, and types of examinations.
At a minimum, in order to become a Licensed Engineer, one must make the decision to study this specialized field during the time spent pursuing a four to five-year Baccalaureate Degree from an accredited school. Once the engineer graduates, they must then pass a Nationally-managed exam called the Fundamentals of Engineering Exam (FE), now called the “EIT” (Engineering Intern In Training) exam. They must then practice under a Licensed Engineer for a minimum of four years, be certified through a State application process, and then pass another Nationally-managed exam, the Principles of Engineering Exam (PE), in order to be licensed by the State in which the engineer practices.
Owner and Principal, Stephen Eagar, PE explains in his own words what a “geotech” is, and what they do.