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How Should Geotechnical Engineers Charge?

Should geotechnical engineers charge by the hour or by the value of what they bring?


I recently had what can be perceived as a heated discussion on LinkedIn with an engineer that insists that his company charges clients by the hour. My approach has always been that for geotechnical engineers (and not only), to charge by the value of what we bring on the table and by the risks that we assume.


As a young engineer in New York, I would see all the financial consultants that were getting paid some much more hourly than us meager entry level geotechnical engineers. I said to myself “there must be a better way”. That way is for us to be more effective in what we do and explore ways for bringing more value to our clients while minimizing risks. In my view, that part involved creating our deep excavation software to help reducing the calculation times. If we could do what took 40 hours in two hours, then the value of this analysis is still 40 hours with old standards. If we can explore more alternatives and find a more optimal solution within the originally allocated hours then we drive more value for our client.


Most of us are aware of ChatGPT writing essays and passing bar exams. In some time from now there will be a GeoReportGPT. If all our work is cookie cutter then all the program would need would be just the boring logs and map locations. The report writing would take 2 minutes. Would you still charge for only 2 minutes of work? I guess not.


My point is that changing times demand that we change as a profession on how we charge for our work. Otherwise geoprofessionals risk becoming a commodity. We at Deep Excavation are here to help you whether you choose to charge by the hour or whether you choose to charge by the value of your work.


Truly yours,


Dimitrios Konstantakos


CEO, Deep Excavation LLC

Should geotechnical engineers charge by the hour or by the value of what they bring?

DeepEX - Shoring & Tunnel Design Software

Design Deep Excavations (2D & 3D Models) with LEM, NL & FEM Design Metro Stations & Tunnels, Embankments, MSE Walls &more! City Building Damage Assessment, Benefit Analysis &more!





Should geotechnical engineers charge by the hour or by the value of what they bring?

DeepFND - Foundation Piles Design Software

Design Any Foundation Pile Type (Helical & Non-Helical) Axial & Lateral Pile Anaysis, Structural & Geotechnical Design Design & Analyze Pile Caps, Groups & Rafts &more!



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