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Working in California as Geotechnical Engineer

Working in California as Geotechnical Engineer

Working in California as Geotechnical Engineer

(OP)
Dear my friends,

I am Chinese with 22 years experience of Slope Stability, Foundation, Deep excavation, Tunnelling etc.. in Hong Kong and Australia as geotechnical engineer. I graduated in University of Warwick in UK. I am very interested to move and work in California. I have got chartered with Engineer Australia in civil discipline.

Grateful, if you guys can give useful information or leave your contact for discussion.

Thank you very much for your help in advance

Eric

RE: Working in California as Geotechnical Engineer

I am not in CA but recommend to look at get your PE and GE licenses...

RE: Working in California as Geotechnical Engineer

(OP)
Okiryu, Thank you very much for your kind reply

Eric

RE: Working in California as Geotechnical Engineer

Eric…

Welcome to California! Here is the link for the California Board for Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, and Geologists: https://www.bpelsg.ca.gov/. This is the agency you will deal with to get an engineering license to practice in California. The laws and regulations for professional engineering in California can be found here: https://www.bpelsg.ca.gov/laws/index.shtml. (Last week I obtained a printed copy of the Board's "2019 Handbook of Laws and Regulations". Every few years I read through the whole thing. I am now up to page 19 and have 183 pages to go.)

You could work in geotechnical engineering here before getting your license, but you would have to work under a current licensee and you couldn't call yourself a professional engineer, etc.

In California, if you were starting from scratch, you would first get a civil license, then add a geotechnical license. I don't know if your Australian license will simplify anything, but please check with the Board.

BTW, in California, Civil Engineering, Electrical Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering are protected practices. This means that only properly licensed professionals are able to practice these disciplines and to use the applicable titles (e.g. Civil Engineer, Professional Civil Engineer, Registered Civil Engineer, etc). Geotechnical engineering, structural engineering, chemical engineering, and several other disciplines are not protected practices, but the applicable titles (e.g. Geotechnical Engineer, Structural Engineer, Chemical Engineer, etc.) are protected. Here is a good explanation: https://www.nspe-ca.org/licensure/pe-licensure. The first two protected titles I listed (Geotechnical Engineer and Structural Engineer) are subsets of Civil Engineering and thus require a Civil Engineering license before obtaining the additional title of Geotechnical Engineer or Structural Engineer.

I hope this helps you.

Fred

==========
"Is it the only lesson of history that mankind is unteachable?"
--Winston S. Churchill

RE: Working in California as Geotechnical Engineer

(OP)
Dear Fred,

Thank you very much for your kind reply and detailed comments. Grateful if you can answer 4 more questions

1. Is it usual for people to get the job first then the working visa? or I should apply immigration before trying to get a job?

2. What website or where would you recommend to find the geotechnical job without license requirement?

3. What area of Geotechnical Engineer is in high demand for people like me? Slope Stabilisation, Foundation? Tunnelling? Geotechnical Instrumentation? Deep Excavation?

4. Would you like to exchange contact number at my email address erictoucan@yahoo.co.uk?

Cheers

Eric

RE: Working in California as Geotechnical Engineer

Eric…

I'm afraid I can't be much more help because your questions are beyond my expertise. I am a natural born citizen of the USA, so I have never had to deal with the immigration/job seeking question and nobody close to me has either. Hopefully, someone else can chime in with good advice.

Also, I am a "general" civil engineer and I don't pay close attention to the geotechnical side of our profession, especially regarding the employment environment. When I engage a geotechnical engineer for a project, it's because I mostly need geotechnical information for designing pavements and small structures (retaining walls, buried vaults, etc.). The topics you mentioned in Q3 are not things I have dealt with.

That being said, my company (Wood Environment and Infrastructure Solutions, part of Wood PLC) has geotechnical teams in several of our California office (mine is not one of them). You might check our company website to see if we are looking for geotechnical engineers.

BTW, Eng-Tip doesn't want email addresses posted. I made that mistake years ago.

Good luck.

Fred

==========
"Is it the only lesson of history that mankind is unteachable?"
--Winston S. Churchill

RE: Working in California as Geotechnical Engineer

Eric, perhaps you can take a look at CALGEO...

https://www.calgeo.org/

RE: Working in California as Geotechnical Engineer

(OP)
Dear Fred,

Thank you very much for your reply and comment so far. It has been great help for me already. I had a good friend from California before. I will do more research in Geotechnical Engineer in Califoria and try to travel California soon.

Cheers

Eric

RE: Working in California as Geotechnical Engineer

(OP)
Dear Okiryu,

Thank you very much for your information. I will try to contact them.

Cheers

Eric

RE: Working in California as Geotechnical Engineer

Isnt it virtually impossible to get a working visa in the US? You have to offer a very unique skill set that the local talent wouldnt have?

I always thought id like to do a few years in the US but after speaking to some people the above was what I concluded. Maybe I am wrong?

Also, you will have to work in imperial measurements which is crazy. I still cant believe that the US still use this system.

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