Survey: Impact of COVID-19 on Geotechnical Engineering Businesses & Professionals

It has been a bit more than year since the COVID-19 pandemic emerged internationally. After a disrupting year with unprecedented circumstances, leaders around the world are finally laying out the plan to beat the pandemic and gradually bring it to an end. During the pandemic’s time, many fields of practice were affected and, without doubt, so did geotechnical engineering.

ARGO-E, conducted a survey through GeoWorld, to quantify the impact the pandemic had on their profession. Our data analysis sheds some light on how geotechs globally, felt COVID-19 impacted their income.

Corporate Income:  COVID has negatively affected the geotechnical engineering industry. Only a third of companies responded that there was no COVID impact on their revenue. 18% reported that there has been a drop of at least 10% of the company’s revenue, whereas twenty one percent stated that the drop was between 10% and 25%. One out of five participants reported that their company suffered a revenue drop that was greater than 25%. Overall, the majority of companies was affected negatively.

Salary Reductions: Despite challenges, the majority of geotechnical engineers (63%) of participants stated that they did not experience any cuts at all. One in ten reported that their salary cut was up to 10% whereas 14% stated that their reduction ranged from 11 to 20%. 8% of the participants reported that the salary cut they experienced was greater than 20% and 5% eventually lost their job because of COVID-19.

Disaggregating the data on salary reduction as a function of the years of experience, we can see that cuts appear to be higher for junior level engineers compared to senior ones. 46% of juniors stated they experienced no cuts whereas the same answer was given by 68% of senior professionals. The same percentages were reported for cuts up to 20% . 9% of junior engineers lost their job whereas that was the case for 3% of senior professionals.

Comparing these results to the earlier ones, it is clear that despite the significant challenges COVID imposed on companies, companies appeared to have absorbed a significant part of their losses, and only transferred a portion of these losses to their employees. The cuts were higher for younger employees though.

In total nearly 400 participants took part in the survey.  Professionals from the USA provided most of the answers, followed by Indians, Canadians, Colombians, Greeks, Brazilians, Mexicans and the British. The rest of countries represented nearly 15% in total, but each of them represented <3% of total responses.

The survey is part of ARGO-E’s Geo-Business Analytics. Earlier in February, we analyzed last year’s findings from GeoWorld’s Geotechnical Business Confidence Index (GBCI) that were related to the first year of the pandemic.

Stay tuned for more analyses!

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