Explore Careers - Job Market Report
Geological engineers conduct geological and geotechnical studies to assess suitability of locations for civil engineering, mining and oil and gas projects; and plan, design, develop and supervise programs of geological data acquisition and analysis and the preparation of geological engineering reports and recommendations. Geological engineers are employed in consulting engineering companies, electrical utilities, mining and petroleum companies and in government and research and educational institutions.
- Plan, develop and co-ordinate programs of geotechnical, geological, geophysical or geohydrological data acquisition, analysis and mapping to assist in the development of civil engineering, mining, petroleum and waste management projects or for regional development
- Analyze and prepare recommendations and reports for construction or improvements to foundations of civil engineering projects such as rock excavation, pressure grouting and hydraulic channel erosion control
- Analyze and prepare recommendations and reports on settlement of buildings, stability of slopes and fills, and probable effects of landslides and earthquakes to support construction and civil engineering projects
- Conduct theoretical and applied study of groundwater flow and contamination and develop prescriptions for site selection, treatment and construction
- Plan, develop, co-ordinate and conduct theoretical and experimental studies in mining exploration, mine evaluation and feasibility studies relative to the mining industry
- Conduct surveys and studies of ore deposits, ore reserve calculations and mine design
- Design, develop and implement computer applications for geophysics, geochemistry, geology, mapping and related fields
- Supervise technologists, technicians and other engineers and scientists.
Education & Job Requirements for Geological Engineers in Newfoundland and Labrador
Education and job requirements can vary by region. Workers in regulated occupations require a licence to work legally. Workers in non-regulated occupations do not require a licence, but employers may have other certification requirements.
Employment requirements are prerequisites generally needed to enter an occupation.
- A bachelor's degree in geological engineering or in a related discipline is required.
- A master's degree or doctorate in a related engineering discipline may be required.
- Licensing by a provincial or territorial association of professional engineers is required to approve engineering drawings and reports and to practise as a Professional Engineer (P.Eng.).
- Engineers are eligible for registration following graduation from an accredited educational program, three or four years of supervised work experience in engineering and passing a professional practice examination.
- Supervisory and senior positions in this unit group require experience.
Regulation by Province/Territory
Some provinces and territories regulate certain professions and trades while others do not. If you have a licence to work in one province, your licence may not be accepted in other provinces or territories. Consult the table below to determine in which province or territory your occupation/trade is regulated.
|Newfoundland and Labrador||
|Prince Edward Island||
Programs in the order in which they are most likely to supply graduates to this occupation (Geological Engineers):
- Civil Engineering
- Geological/Geophysical Engineering
- Geological and Earth Sciences/Geosciences
- Engineering, General
- Civil Engineering Technology/Technician
The essential skills profiles can:
- Help determine, based on skill sets, which career may best suit a particular individual.
- Assist job seekers to write a résumé or prepare for a job interview.
- Help employers to create a job posting.
Employers place a strong emphasis on essential skills in the workplace. Essential skills are used in nearly every occupation, and are seen as “building blocks” because people build on them to learn all other skills.
Each profile contains a list of example tasks that illustrate how each of the 9 essential skill is generally performed by the majority of workers in an occupation. The estimated complexity levels for each task, between 1 (basic) and 5 (advanced), may vary based on the requirements of the workplace.
Geological engineers conduct geological and geotechnical studies to assess suitability of locations for civil engineering, mining and oil and gas projects and plan, design, develop and supervise programs of geological data acquisition and analysis and the preparation of geological engineering reports and recommendations. Geological engineers are employed in consulting engineering companies, electrical utilities, mining and petroleum companies and in government and research and educational institutions.
- Read e-mail and letters from co-workers, colleagues and clients. For example, they read e-mail in which co-workers confirm project deadlines and meeting times, clarify assignments and provide suggestions for agenda items. They also read e-mail and letters from colleagues who ask for advice about current projects and clients who provide overviews of work and request project status reports. (2)
- Read articles in trade magazines. For example, a hydrogeological engineer may read an article in MSW Management to learn about ways to reconcile old liner designs of landfills with new liner standards. (3)
- Read research and operating reports. For example, they read reports which describe work processes, field tests, engineering methods and models. They may read reports to review recommendations for designs, construction methods and environmental impact studies. (3)
- Read articles and reviews in professional journals specific to their areas of expertise. For example, they may read articles in journals such as Science of the Total Environment, Engineering Geology and Hydrogeology Journal to learn about engineering developments and processes which may be relevant to their work. They may read articles in publications such as Canadian Consulting Engineer for information on standards being tested in other engineering fields, industry changes, trends and new equipment. (4)
- Read municipal bylaws and provincial and federal regulations and Acts. For example, they read municipal bylaws and zoning regulations of the jurisdictions where they practise. They read provincial and federal building and environmental protection Acts to ensure projects meet regulations. They may read municipal, provincial and federal regulations which outline methods for managing aquifers and specify allowable levels of contaminants in drinking water. They may read regulations specifying the number of boreholes required when testing past landfill sites. (4)
- Read and critique technical reports, research papers and journal articles written by co-workers and colleagues. They read research papers to understand the premises of the studies and to offer their critiques of methodologies, findings and conclusions. They may read textbooks and other professional materials to enhance their understanding of the topics they are critiquing. (5)
- Locate data in lists and tables. For example, they locate contact information of co-workers, clients and contractors in address lists. They scan tables of lab results to identify soil and water compositions and contaminant levels at sites they are investigating. They locate maximum loads for various soil types, stress distribution and rates of consolidation for soils and land movements in specification tables. (2)
- Locate data in forms. For example, they locate legal descriptions and dates of sale in land transfer forms. They review laboratory reports which show concentrations of contaminants in water and soil samples. They identify types of rock and fatigue indicators in sample analysis reports. (2)
- Enter data into various forms. They record times and monies spent on projects in timesheets and reimbursement forms. They may complete questionnaires and copyright release forms when submitting articles to journals for publication. They may complete reporting forms for various government agencies. (2)
- Study historic and current aerial photographs to locate landmarks such as rivers and logging roads and define the limits of ancient and recent slope failures. They use the information obtained for planning purposes and environmental impact assessments. (3)
- Study a variety of maps. For example, they study topographical maps to understand elevation changes and identify features such as rock outcrops, rivers and lakes when planning exploration locations. They study seismic hazard maps when planning land use and determining landslide potentials. (4)
- Write field notes. For example, they write progress notes to record their observations and conversations with team members during field work. (1)
- Write e-mail and letters. For example, they write e-mail to request co-workers' opinions and assistance and to exchange information about ongoing projects. They write letters to provide clients with summaries of work completed, describe problems and request changes to contracts and work plans. (2)
- Write proposals and reports. For example, they write proposals in response to bids for geological exploration projects. They state their qualifications, outline plans and approaches to the work, describe anticipated problems and propose solutions. They also write environmental impact reports in which they present and analyze research data and make recommendations for addressing environmental concerns. (3)
- May write articles for publication in peer-reviewed journals. For example, a geological engineer may write a paper which suggests new standards and practices for assessing landslide susceptibility. The engineer reviews previous studies, critically analyzes research data and synthesizes the information to present and support original ideas and concepts for carrying out slope stability assessments. (4)
- Prepare invoices for clients. They itemize completed tasks and calculate fees using hourly rates. They include travel expenses which are calculated using set rates per kilometre, per diem rates for meals and accommodations. They calculate applicable surcharges, discounts and taxes. (3)
- Create and monitor project schedules. For example, they create schedules for work crews to manage the hours allocated to each project. They monitor schedules and task completions to ensure specified project timelines are met. (2)
- Plan and monitor budgets of large research and exploration projects. They calculate labour costs using different pay rates and pay periods for engineers, junior engineers, technicians and support workers. They calculate costs of contractors and equipment rentals at hourly, daily and monthly rates. They monitor budget categories for cost overruns and make adjustments as appropriate to incorporate new information. They use data from previous projects to estimate budget amounts of new projects. (4)
- Calculate dimensions of geological formations and structures. For example, they calculate areas and volumes of landslides, decontamination sites and landfills. They calculate the permeability of various types of soils to determine how much water can be absorbed before runoff. (2)
- Measure geological features using specialized instruments. For example, they measure distances such as base spread of landslides using handheld global positioning system stations and other survey instruments. They assess ground water quality using measuring instruments to determine levels of contaminants. (3)
- Compare various measurements to standards and specifications. For example, they compare soil and water contaminant readings taken during site investigations to acceptable levels established by regulatory bodies. They calculate and compare average soil density results to municipal guidelines for commercial building foundations. (1)
- Interpret graphs displaying quantitative data. For example, they interpret line graphs displaying water levels over ten year periods and slope histograms displaying data for simulated and observed land slide densities. (2)
- Generate statistics to describe geological sites and phenomenon. For example, they collect data and calculate rates of movement of landslides. They compare slope and angle measurements of landslide areas taken over set periods of time. They calculate distributions of rock types, soil particle sizes and other features of geological samples. They also analyze amounts of gas produced at landfill sites, compositions of various ores, rainfall over long time periods and determine if water levels are sustainable for increasing populations. (4)
- Predict changes to geology over time. For example, they may use mathematical modelling to analyze the effects that variables such as ground slope, water seepage rates and rock mass fracturing have on the stability of dams and building foundations. (5)
- Estimate distances, areas and volumes. For example, they estimate distances between landmarks and the volumes of landfills. (2)
- Estimate times needed to complete job tasks and conduct research, survey and exploration projects when preparing responses to proposals. (2)
- Coach and mentor junior engineers and technicians and offer guidance throughout projects. They provide constructive criticism, build trainees' technical knowledge and offer recommendations for improvement. (2)
- Discuss projects with co-workers and colleagues. For example, they discuss data collected, test results and recommendations with co-workers. They discuss project objectives, timelines and recommendations when collaborating with colleagues on research studies. They critique articles written for publication and discuss changes to the content and organization of their colleagues' writing. (3)
- Discuss ongoing work with contractors, clients and representatives from governments and community groups. For example, they discuss work to be completed and changes to work plans with contractors and clients and explain government regulations which affect work on sites. They may clarify jurisdictional requirements and local development constraints with government agencies and community groups. (3)
- Lead safety and project team meetings. For example, they review safety precautions and work processes at work sites with team members. They lead project team discussions on progress, problems encountered and proposed solutions. (3)
- May make presentations at public consultations and professional conferences. For example, they may present findings and make recommendations on land use and landslide hazard areas. They may present research papers at professional development seminars and conferences. (4)
- Discover testing equipment is malfunctioning. For example, when seismic testing equipment is not working, they refer to manuals for troubleshooting and call manufacturers' help lines for assistance. They may ask for replacement equipment to be delivered to their field sites. (1)
- Cannot complete their work because sites being investigated have high levels of contaminants. They sub-contract environmental services for cleanups, develop new assessment criteria and tests to be conducted, and adjust projects' timelines. (2)
- Find that field data and measurements are inconsistent and unusable. They check their testing equipment and take measurements in other areas to ensure data being captured is consistent. They consult co-workers to determine possible reasons for inconsistent data. They formulate new testing methods. (3)
- Decide team composition for large research and exploration projects. They review the scope of these projects and proposed budgets and consider skill sets and availabilities of junior engineers, technicians and contractors. (2)
- Choose work processes and data collection methods. They review clients' goals and budgets to determine projects' stages, task sequences, data collection methods and testing locations. (3)
Own Job Planning and Organizing
Job task planning and organizing is an important skill for geological engineers as they frequently handle several projects concurrently. Their tasks vary on a day-to-day basis depending on the nature and complexity of their projects. They encounter numerous interruptions such as unexpected meetings with clients and work stoppages. (3)
Planning and Organizing for Others
Senior geological engineers may plan, coordinate and monitor the work of junior engineers, technicians, university students and contractors. On larger projects, engineers coordinate and integrate work plans with junior engineers and technicians. (3)Significant Use of Memory
- Remember municipal and provincial regulations which influence the work they are conducting. For example, hydrologists recall municipal regulations regarding water well drilling methods and provincial regulations for acceptable water quality levels.
- Find information about theories, classification systems and new research by conferring with co-workers and reading textbooks and professional journals. (3)
- Find information about project work sites by speaking with co-workers, reading historical information in company files, viewing maps and searching government web sites. (3)
- Use word processing. For example, they prepare memos for co-workers, letters and reports for clients and draft articles for publication. They may embed photographs, spreadsheets and graphs in operating and research reports. (2)
- Use graphic software. For example, they may adjust sizes and edit colour in photographs using photo-editing software such as Photoshop. They may prepare slide presentations for clients and public forums using software such as PowerPoint. They create line graphs, histograms and contour maps in software programs such as Grapher, Free Flow and Surfer. (2)
- Use databases. For example, they locate clients' histories, pictures, reports, maps and other specific information from previous projects in their organizations' databases. They may record payroll, financial and other data using database entry forms. (2)
- Use spreadsheets. For example, they organize and analyze data collected during research projects. They create timelines, schedules and budgets for projects and track task completions and deliverables using spreadsheets. (2)
- Use communications software. For example, they exchange messages with co-workers, colleagues and clients to share information such as testing results and project timelines. (2)
- Use the Internet. For example, they search for technical information and articles in on-line journals and university libraries and access government and environmental web sites when carrying out research. (2)
- Use statistical analysis software. For example, they use statistical analysis software to conduct mathematical modelling and trend analysis of geological and environmental variables. (3)
- Use computer-assisted design, manufacturing and machining. For example, they may create two and three-dimensional models and basic structural designs using drawing and design programs such as AutoCAD. (3)
Working with Others
Geological engineers work with crews consisting of junior engineers, technicians, university students and contractors. On smaller projects, they may work with partners to inspect and conduct initial tests on sites. They work independently when reading and analyzing data. (3)Continuous Learning
Continuous learning is integral to the work of geological engineers. As members of professional associations, they are required to participate in continuous learning activities to maintain their designations. They attend courses, workshops and conferences offered by employers, professional associations, universities and suppliers of products and equipment. They read textbooks, journals and research articles to learn of new developments, new testing equipment and projects in other areas of the world. They interact with co-workers and colleagues and share methodology, ideology and troubleshooting ideas. (3)
Information for Newcomers
Fact Sheets for Internationally Trained Individuals
Are you an internationally trained individual looking for guidance on foreign credential recognition in your profession in Canada? These occupational fact sheets can help you by providing information on:
- the general requirements to work in your profession
- the steps that you can take to find the most reliable sources of information
Provincial credential assessment services assess academic credentials for a fee. Contact a regulatory body or other organization to determine if you need an assessment before spending money on one that is not required or recognized.
The assessment will tell you how your education compares with educational standards in the province or territory where you are planning to settle can help you in your job search.
- British Columbia - International Credential Evaluation Service (ICES)
- Alberta - International Qualifications Assessment Service (IQAS)
- Saskatchewan - International Qualifications Assessment Service The Government of Saskatchewan provides this service through an interprovincial agreement with the Government of Alberta.
- Manitoba - Academic Credentials Assessment Service – Manitoba (ACAS)
- Québec - Service des évaluations comparatives d’études (SECE)
- Northwest Territories - International Qualifications Assessment Service (IQAS). The Government of the Northwest Territories provides this service through an interprovincial agreement with the Government of Alberta.
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