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What Does it Take to Be a Hydrologist?

Hydrologist Job Description Research the distribution, circulation, and physical properties of underground and surface waters; and study the form and intensity of precipitation, its rate of infiltration into the soil, movement through the earth, and its return to the ocean and atmosphere.

A Day in the Life of a Hydrologist

  • Study public water supply issues, including flood and drought risks, water quality, wastewater, and impacts on wetland habitats.
  • Install, maintain, and calibrate instruments such as those that monitor water levels, rainfall, and sediments.
  • Administer programs designed to ensure the proper sealing of abandoned wells.
  • Compile and evaluate hydrologic information to prepare navigational charts and maps and to predict atmospheric conditions.
  • Coordinate and supervise the work of professional and technical staff, including research assistants, technologists, and technicians.
  • Review applications for site plans and permits and recommend approval, denial, modification, or further investigative action.

What a Hydrologist Should Know

Below is a list of the skills most Hydrologists say are important on the job.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Science: Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

  • Geologist
  • Water Resources Program Director
  • Source Water Protection Specialist
  • Volcanologist
  • Research Hydrologist

Is There Going to be Demand for Hydrologists?

In the United States, there were 6,700 jobs for Hydrologists in 2016.

New jobs are being produced at a rate of 9.9% which is lower than average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 700 new jobs for Hydrologists by 2026. The BLS estimates 700 yearly job openings in this field per year.

Forecasted Number of Jobs for Hydrologists in U.S.

The states with the most job growth for Hydrologists are Colorado, Washington, and Utah.

Watch out if you plan on working in Wyoming, South Dakota, or Maryland. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Do Hydrologists Make A Lot Of Money?

The average yearly salary of a Hydrologist ranges between $48,820 and $122,890. The median salary is $79,370.

Salary Ranges for Hydrologists

How much do Hydrologists make in different U.S. states?

Annual Mean Salary by State
State Annual Mean Salary

New Jersey

$109,910

Georgia

$105,230

Maryland

$100,280

California

$99,080

New Hampshire

$95,520

Colorado

$93,750

Virginia

$90,330

New Mexico

$88,640

Washington

$88,370

Oklahoma

$88,370

Alaska

$88,050

Indiana

$87,930

Nevada

$87,640

Tennessee

$87,440

Utah

$86,270

Oregon

$86,020

Illinois

$82,150

Florida

$81,170

Ohio

$79,680

Texas

$78,240

Maine

$77,910

Michigan

$77,050

New York

$75,560

Minnesota

$75,110

Montana

$74,660

Massachusetts

$73,640

Arizona

$72,380

North Dakota

$71,890

North Carolina

$71,450

Wisconsin

$66,850

Wyoming

$65,690

Louisiana

$64,370

Nebraska

$63,440

South Carolina

$54,220

Idaho

$47,990

Tools & Technologies Used by Hydrologists

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Hydrologists:

  • Scientific Software Group 3DFATMIC
  • Microsoft Word
  • Scientific Software Group 3DFEMFAT
  • Microsoft Office
  • Geographic information system GIS software
  • Autodesk AutoCAD MAP3D
  • Scientific Software Group EVS
  • Microsoft Access
  • BOSS International Visual Groundwater
  • Microsoft Visual Basic

Who Employs Hydrologists?

Hydrologist Sectors

You May Also Be Interested In…

Those thinking about becoming Hydrologists might also be interested in the following careers:

  • Cartographers and Photogrammetrists

Those who work as Hydrologists sometimes switch careers to one of these choices:

  • Mining and Geological Engineers, Including Mining Safety Engineers
  • First-Line Supervisors of Aquacultural Workers

References

Bureau of Labor Statistics

College Factual

O*NET Online

Image Credit: Via Wikimedia Commons

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