Geological engineers identify and try to solve problems involving soil, rock and groundwater, and design structures in and below the ground, using the principles of earth science.
To become a geological engineer you usually have to complete a degree in engineering with a major in geoscience, geoengineering or geotechnical engineering. To get into these courses you usually need to gain your Senior Secondary Certificate of Education. Prerequisite subjects, or assumed knowledge, in one or more of English, mathematics, chemistry and physics are normally required. A number of universities in Australia offer degrees in these areas. Universities have different prerequisites and some have flexible entry requirements. Contact the institutions you are interested in for more information. For full details, refer to the entries on the website at www.goodcareersguide.com.au or university handbooks.
Geological engineers may perform the following tasks:
Outdoor work is an essential aspect of geological engineering investigations. Geological engineers typically spend up to half of their working hours on field investigations and supervising construction of their designs.
Geological engineers are employed by engineering consulting firms; the civil, mining and environmental industries; and federal and state or territory government organisations. They may also work in areas of environmental consultancy and associated rehabilitation works. There are opportunities for promotion within companies and departments, or for self-employment. Geological engineers may work with other professionals, pooling their expertise to solve particular problems. For example, they may work with environmental scientists, geologists and hydrologists on solving land degradation, groundwater and salination problems; with civil engineers in the design and construction of better transportation links; or with mining engineers in designing open-cut and underground mines, and on rehabilitation works on completion of mining. Geological engineers have skills that are readily transferable between employers and may find work interstate or overseas.