HS2 Ground Investigation Engineer

Is an HS2 Ground Investigation Engineer career right for me?

Do you like working with the natural environment, and applying your scientific and engineering knowledge to find the best solution? Can you work with teams with very different interests and backgrounds? If so, being an HS2 Ground Investigation Engineer could be for you.

Advantages and disadvantages of being a HS2 Ground Investigation Engineer


  • Working towards a common vision of a future railway – you’re literally preparing the foundations for it!


  • When you are on site, you’ll be exposed to the elements – it’s a job for people who don’t mind being outdoors in any weather.

Useful skills and entry qualifications

These skills are useful in this job – you might have them already or you can develop them over your career:

  • Ability to learn and adapt to changing situations
  • Attention to detail
  • Awareness of health and safety
  • Communication and interpersonal skills
  • Following instructions and procedures
  • Measuring skills
  • Problem-solving
  • Self-motivation and ability to work independently
  • Technical skills – especially those related to geotechnics and civil engineering
  • Teamwork
  • Visualisation

What qualifications do you need to be an HS2 Ground Investigation Engineer?

You’ll need to make sure you have good grades at school in maths, sciences and ideally geography before applying for university courses. A range of degree-level qualifications are relevant to becoming a Ground Investigation Engineer. Good subjects include engineering and earth, physical, mathematical and applied sciences. The following subjects are particularly relevant:

  • Geology
  • Geophysics/geotechnology
  • Engineering geology
  • Mineral/mining engineering

If you have a background in civil engineering or the sciences, you may be able to enter the field through the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) or the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (IOM3). Experience within your degree, for example during a placement or through your dissertation, can prove very valuable in securing work.

A postgraduate qualification is desirable – for example, a master’s degree (MSc) in foundation engineering, engineering geology, geotechnical engineering, hydrogeology, or soil or rock mechanics.

What is the workplace of an HS2 Ground Investigation Engineer like?

You’ll spend time both in the office and at the ground investigation sites. During the planning stages, relatively more time is spent in the office, but as the project progresses towards the ‘build phase’ (from 2017), more time will be spent supervising teams on site. While the office is warm and well equipped, as the build gets underway you will be onsite in all weathers.

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