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  3. Geological Engineer

Geological Engineer

NOC #21331

  • Environment Primarily indoor/office work
  • Education Post-secondary degree
  • Average salary $87,000 to $165,000

Career profile

Geological engineers conduct geological and geotechnical studies to assess the suitability of locations for civil engineering, mining and oil and natural gas projects. They plan, design, develop and supervise programs of geological data collection and analysis and the preparation of geological engineering reports and recommendations for a variety of projects such as access roads, landscape sculpting and remediation, tailings and fresh water reservoir construction, pipeline construction and well site placement.

Geological engineers may recommend the ground support systems, processes and equipment required for safe, economical and environmentally-sound drilling, mining or underground construction activities. They may also inspect areas for unsafe geological conditions, equipment and working conditions.

Exploration and production, Oil and gas services, Offshore, Oil sands, Pipelines

When you start in this occupation activities may include:

  • Examining maps, deposits, drilling locations or mines to determine the location, size, accessibility, contents, value and potential profitability of oil and gas deposits
  • Conducting field investigations
  • Conducting analyses (for example, pore pressure, wellbore stability, image and caliper log analysis, fracture permeability, fault seal analysis)
  • Preparing technical reports for use by mining, engineering and management personnel

As you advance in this career, you may take on additional tasks including:

  • Designing open pit walls, mine waste dumps and dams
  • Designing and developing earthworks and structure foundations and monitoring site conditions
  • Providing technical guidance to civil engineers, technologists, technicians and construction personnel during the lifecycle of a project
  • Providing geological expertise in a wide variety of physical and containment hydrogeology projects


  • A post-secondary degree in civil, geotechnical or geological engineering (or a related discipline) from an institution accredited by Engineers Canada is typically required.


  • Specific health and safety certifications will be determined by job requirements


  • To obtain a license as a professional engineer (P.Eng) you must obtain a degree from an accredited engineering program, pass a professional practice exam and have three or four years of engineering experience, of which one year must be gained in Canada. You must also have Canadian citizenship or proof of permanent residency in Canada.
  • Once licensed, engineers receive a seal to stamp their designs and drawings.
  • Unlicensed engineers must work under the supervision of a P. Eng.
  • Travel likely required
  • Primarily indoor/office work
  • Work not physically demanding
  • Work away from home/in camps

Your challenge is dealing with uncertainty and no amount of expertise can eliminate that entirely. But, your training and experience allows you to work around potential issues. Independent, analytical and detail-oriented, you bring a depth of skills and knowledge to the job.

  • Engineering and technology
  • Critical thinking
  • Selecting the right equipment
  • Monitoring operations
  • Attention to detail
  • Physics
  • Design
  • Complex problem solving
  • Judgment and decision making
  • Active listening