Geological Engineers

(NOC 2144)

in All Engineering, Math, Science, and Information Technology

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.

Job Outlook

Undetermined

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  • Estimate change in employment not available for this occupation.
  • Estimate openings due to growth and retirements not available for this occupation.
  • Estimate rate of unemployment not available for this occupation.

Compared to: All Engineering, Math, Science, and Information Technology

  • Estimate Strong growth employment change, 2017-2019
  • Estimate 3095 openings due to growth and retirements, 2017-2019
  • Estimate Low rate of unemployment in 2016

This is not a large occupation in Nova Scotia so job opportunities may not be that frequent. With a large percent of workers being 55 years of age and older, retirements are expected to be a key contributor to employment opportunities over the coming years. Geological Engineers most commonly work full-time hours. Furthermore, the jobs are typically permanent positions. Also, a fair portion of the workforce is self-employed, so having the option to "work for yourself" may appeal to some individuals’ interests/motivations.

In 2015, the median employment income for Geological Engineers was $96,662. In comparison, the median employment income among all occupations in Nova Scotia was $33,187
(Source: 2016 Census)

Hourly Pay

N/A

Minimum

N/A

Median

N/A

Maximum

Annual Pay

N/A

Minimum

$96,662

Median

N/A

Maximum

Compared to: All Engineering, Math, Science, and Information Technology

Hourly Pay

$17.69

Minimum

$31.35

Median

$47.18

Maximum

Annual Pay

$13,568

Minimum

$60,422

Median

$107,009

Maximum

About the job

Nature of work

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.

Job duties

Geological engineers perform some or all of the following duties:

  • Plan, develop and coordinate 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, coordinate 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, and geology mapping, and related fields.
  • Supervise technologists, technicians and other engineers and scientists.

Sample job titles

  • geological engineer
  • geophysical engineer
  • geotechnical engineer
  • hydrogeological engineer
  • hydrogeology engineer

Skills

To work in these jobs, you need persistence and good judgement. The ability to think analytically and logically is important. You must be able to communicate and cooperate with others, as engineers often work in teams. Leadership and problem-solving skills are also necessary. Computer experience is an important asset.

Job requirements

  • 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 practice 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.

Other considerations

There is considerable mobility between engineering specializations at the less senior levels. Geological engineers work closely with geologists and other scientists and engineers, and mobility is possible between some fields of specialization. Supervisory and senior positions in this group require experience. Engineers often work in a multidisciplinary environment and acquire knowledge and skills through work experience that may allow them to practice in associated areas of science, engineering, sales, marketing or management.

By the numbers

Quick look

< 50

employed in 2016

100.0%

employed full-time

25.0%

self employed

0.0%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
100%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
45.3

median age

Compared to: All Engineering, Math, Science, and Information Technology

25,875

employed in 2016

93.6%

employed full-time

6.9%

self employed

20.0%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
80%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
42.8

median age

Where will I likely work?

85.7%

Halifax

Compared to: All NS Occupations

47.0%

Halifax

15.6%

Northern

12.9%

Annapolis Valley

12.7%

Cape Breton

11.8%

Southern

Top Industries of Employment

55.6%

Professional Business Services

22.2%

Support for Mining and Oil and Gas Extraction

22.2%

Public Administration

What is the age of Employment?

54.5%

25-34

27.3%

35-44

18.2%

55-64

Compared to: All Engineering, Math, Science, and Information Technology

32.5%

35-44

32.0%

45-54

18.0%

55-64

13.5%

25-34

3.5%

65+

Top levels of education

50.0%

Doctorate

N/A
33.3%

Bachelor's degree

$111,687 median annual income

Compared to: All Engineering, Math, Science, and Information Technology

33.7%

College certificate or diploma

$52,476 median annual income
29.7%

Bachelor's degree

$58,011 median annual income
12.1%

High school

$35,125 median annual income
9.7%

Master's degree

$37,706 median annual income
6.8%

Trades certificate

$54,923 median annual income

Education & training

Engineering - General

This program is typically offered at the university level.

This instructional program class comprises any program that generally prepares individuals to apply mathematical and scientific principles to solve a wide variety of practical problems in industry, social organization, public works, and commerce.

Institutions providing this program

Acadia University

15 University Avenue

Wolfville, NS B4P 2R6

(902) 542-2201

Dalhousie University

Office of the Registrar

Halifax, NS B3H 4R2

(902) 494-2450

St. Francis Xavier University

PO Box 5000

Antigonish, NS B2G 2W5

(902) 867-2219

Saint Mary's University

923 Robie Street

Halifax, NS B3H 3C3

(902) 420-5400

Cape Breton University

PO Box 5300 1250 Grand Lake Road

Sydney, NS B1P 6L2

(888) 959-9995

Dalhousie University Faculty of Agriculture

PO Box 550

Truro, NS B2N 5E3

(902) 893-6600

Geological/geophysical engineering

This program is typically offered at the university level.

This instructional program class comprises any program that prepares individuals to apply mathematical and geological principles to the analysis and evaluation of engineering problems, including the geological evaluation of construction sites, the analysis of geological forces acting on structures and systems, the analysis of potential natural resource recovery sites, and applied research on geological phenomena.

There are no schools in Nova Scotia offering this program.

Mathematics - General

This program is typically offered at the college or university level.

This instructional program class comprises any general program that focuses on the analysis of quantities, magnitudes, forms, and their relationships, using symbolic logic and language. These programs include courses in algebra, calculus, functional analysis, geometry, number theory, logic, topology and other mathematical specializations.

Institutions providing this program

Dalhousie University

Office of the Registrar

Halifax, NS B3H 4R2

(902) 494-2450

University of King's College

6350 Coburg Road

Halifax, NS B3H 2A1

(902) 422-1271

Mount Saint Vincent University

166 Bedford Highway

Halifax, NS B3M 2J6

(902) 457-6117

St. Francis Xavier University

PO Box 5000

Antigonish, NS B2G 2W5

(902) 867-2219

Saint Mary's University

923 Robie Street

Halifax, NS B3H 3C3

(902) 420-5400

Cape Breton University

PO Box 5300 1250 Grand Lake Road

Sydney, NS B1P 6L2

(888) 959-9995

Physical sciences - General

This program is typically offered at the college or university level.

This instructional program class comprises any program that focuses on the major topics, concepts, processes, and interrelationships of physical phenomena as studied in any combination of physical science disciplines.

Institutions providing this program

Saint Mary's University

923 Robie Street

Halifax, NS B3H 3C3

(902) 420-5400

Surveying engineering

This program is typically offered at the university level.

This instructional program class comprises any program that prepares individuals to apply scientific and mathematical principles to the determination of the location, elevations, and alignment of natural and man-made topographic features. These programs include courses in property line location, surveying, surface measurement, aerial and terrestrial photogrammetry, remote sensing, satellite imagery, global positioning systems, computer applications, and photographic data processing.

Institutions providing this program

Acadia University

15 University Avenue

Wolfville, NS B4P 2R6

(902) 542-2201

Employment requirements & contacts

Regulations

Professional Engineer

Right to Title and Practice: This job is regulated and the job title is protected in Nova Scotia (you may not use this job title without holding a provincial licence). A licence shows that the holder has met provincial requirements and is required to work in this job.

Regulating body:
Engineers Nova Scotia
1355 Barrington Street
Halifax, NS B3J 1Y9
(888) 802-7367
(902) 423-9769

Contacts

Consulting Engineers of Nova Scotia
PO Box 613, Station "M"
Halifax, NS B3J 2R7
Tel: (902) 461-1325
Fax: (902) 461-1321
Association of Consulting Engineering Companies Canada
130 Albert Street, Suite 420
Ottawa, ON K1P 5G4
Tel: (613) 236-0569
Fax: (613) 236-6193

Additional resources

Job postings

There are currently no job postings for this occupation.