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Salaries soar as workload boom puts geotechnical engineers at a premium

A BOOMING WORKLOAD and the resulting skills shortages are boosting engineers' salaries, according to consultants and recruitment agencies.

Graduate geotechnical engineers can expect to earn a third more than three years ago because of rising demand driven by a boom in city centre redevelopments, said consultant WSP.

Recruitment consultant Leda said companies were offering staff more money to stop them from leaving for better paid work.

WSP Environmental director Jeff Ingman said demand had outstripped supply over the last four years. The company was now looking to Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong to boost numbers.

Leda recruitment consultant Mark Lockwood added that the ground engineering industry was busier now than it had been for 15 years.

Another recruitment consultant, Calco, said it could virtually guarantee to find a geotechnical engineer a job within two weeks because demand was so high.

Consultants Arup and Halcrow said they were looking to recruit 20 and 30 geotechnical engineers respectively. Arup director Tim Chapman said a boom in design work for London office developments, plus Crossrail and Olympics-related work, were the main drivers for increased demand for geotechnical engineers.

'We're having to be a lot more energetic selling ourselves to candidates during interviews - it isn't a buyer's market any more, ' Chapman said.

He added that Arup was also actively recruiting in Australia and New Zealand to meet demand in the UK.

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