How does one become a geotechnical engineer?

How does one become a geotechnical engineer?

Reddy Kancharla is currently based in Ossining, NY. He obtained his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Osmania University in Hyderabad, India, and his master’s degree from Texas Tech University at Lubbock. He has more than 25 years of experience in projects involving civil construction, geotechnical consultation, and construction QA/QC, including 10 years of senior management experience. He has extensive knowledge of engineering theories and principles, practical solutions to engineering problems related to civil engineering and construction industry, and developing quality systems in the construction industry per various codes and standards.

Reddy Kancharla has considerable geotechnical engineering experience. A Geotechnical Engineer’s job is to analyze, plan, and see to it that the construction of foundations and support edifices are sound. He also uses every bit of his knowledge to ensure a structure’s safety, even and especially during times of natural calamities.

For today’s blog, Reddy Kancharla shares with everyone what it takes to become a geotechnical engineer to help people who aspire to enter the field one day.

College education

Education is the foundation of engineering. For aspiring geotechnical engineers, they must first get into a college with courses in either civil, geological, geotechnical, or environmental engineering. To get their degree, geotechnical engineers will have to attend courses in computer-aided design (CAD), where they can use advanced principles in creating, analyzing, and reviewing plans.

A master’s degree may not be a requirement to become a geotechnical engineer. However, it can open more doors to further their careers, just like Reddy Kancharla.

Early work experience

Once a person obtains his or her degree in engineering, the next step would be to find work in the industry. Reddy Kancharla mentions that at this stage, their work would probably involve the assessment and development of support structures like embankments, anchoring systems, and retaining walls. Their knowledge in CAD software in designing and examining structural models and elements may also come in handy.

The goal here is to gather more experience for their future where bigger projects and more important positions await.


After gaining experience, aspiring geotechnical engineers should take the state-licensing exam. This license is a requirement of the state, and the exam can be taken after four years of on-the-job training.

Finally, Reddy Kancharla mentions that geotechnical engineers may get their voluntary certification given by the American Society of Civil Engineers.