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Hydrologist Job Description, Career as a Hydrologist, Salary, Employment - Definition and Nature of the Work, Education and Training Requirements, Getting the Job

hydrologists water hydrology government

Education and Training: Advanced degree

Salary: Median—$61,510 per year

Employment Outlook: Excellent

Definition and Nature of the Work

Hydrologists examine the physical characteristics, distribution, and circulation of water above and below the earth's surface. They study rainfall and other precipitation, the paths precipitation takes through the soil and rocks underground, and its return to the oceans and air. The government and private industry use this information about water properties and movement patterns for a variety of purposes.

Many hydrologists assist in water conservation. The work they do is very important for environmental preservation; for instance, they may project water shortages, analyze the quality of potential water sources, or monitor the inflow and outflow of reservoirs. Some hydrologists forecast and help to prepare a region for conditions such as flooding, snowmelt, drought, and the formation and melting of river ice. Hydrologists often serve as consultants to scientists, engineers, developers, and governing bodies. They may study the feasibility of water reclamation or routing projects, or they may determine the possible effects of activities such as drilling, land development, and bridge construction on local waters.

Hydrologists generally perform research at a variety of outdoor sites, but they also work in laboratories. Hydrologists may monitor wells, record water depths, and measure stream flows or runoff rates. They frequently collect and analyze water samples and research historical data on storms and floods.

Education and Training Requirements

A bachelor's degree in a field related to hydrology is required, and a master's degree is strongly preferred to become a hydrologist. Related fields of study include geology, geophysics, civil engineering, soil science, forestry, and agricultural engineering. Courses that are considered essential for training as a hydrologist include chemistry, physics, calculus, water quality, hydrology, hydraulics, and meteorology.

A hydrologist gathers data in order to project water shortages. (© Terry Wild Studio. Reproduced by permission.)

Getting the Job

Trade publications and newspapers advertise job vacancies in the industry. Federal and state job placement offices can provide information about government jobs for hydrologists and may offer leads about jobs in industry as well. Candidates can also check with college placement offices or write directly to firms involved in hydrology or related projects.

Advancement Possibilities and Employment Outlook

Hydrologists have excellent potential for advancement, especially if they pursue graduate studies. They may become supervisors, project directors, or agency administrators. They may obtain research grants, join college or university faculties, or become top-level government or industrial consultants.

Employment for hydrologists is expected to grow much faster than the average through the year 2014. Hydrology-related projects are affected by government spending limitations. However, hydrologists will be needed to help companies comply with the growing number of environmental laws and regulations.

Working Conditions

Hydrology requires a substantial amount of site work, particularly for beginners. This type of fieldwork can be uncomfortable, strenuous, and even somewhat risky. Hydrologists are expected to work in remote areas, walk long distances over rough terrain, carry heavy equipment, and wade in streams and other bodies of water. Moreover, they work outdoors in all types of weather conditions.

Although hydrologists generally have a regular forty-hour workweek, overtime may be required to meet deadlines. They also may have to travel long distances.

Earnings and Benefits

Hydrologists earn a median of $61,510 per year. Those with a bachelor's degree earn a starting salary averaging $32,828 per year. Those with a master's degree earn a starting salary averaging $47,981 per year. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2005 hydrologists working for the federal government in managerial, supervisory, and nonsupervisory positions earned an average of $77,182 per year. Benefits generally include paid vacations and sick leave, hospitalization and life insurance, and pension plans.

Where to Go for More Information

American Institute of Hydrology
300 Village Green Circle, Ste. 201
Smyrna, GA 30080
(770) 384-1634
http://www.aihydro.org

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almost 9 years ago

hi, im a high school senior looking for outdoor careers to pursue in college. i was wondering if anyone could provide me with information about which college in the midwest would have the best program to become a hydrologist? thank you

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over 6 years ago

Hello, my name is Tiamiyu Saheed. Am a graduate of Hydrology from University of Agriculture Abeokuta, Ogun state, Nigeria. I will like to further my career as Hydrologist. I need a job and also looking for school to continue my education.

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almost 6 years ago

i am an iranian native man with BC degree in geology and a master degree in hydrogelogy with 21 years of experiences in water resource reseach with minstery of energy of iran water sector.

so would u please advase me how could i get a good job in us

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over 9 years ago

I was wondering...what kind of tools do hydrologist use.

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about 9 years ago

hi i am a student doing research and i was wondering what kind of tools hydrologists use? Please write back asap

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almost 4 years ago

what tools does this job require

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over 4 years ago

Always be yourself, express yourself, have faith in yourself, do not go out and look for a successfull personality and duplicate it. procurement strategy

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over 4 years ago

FANTASTIC SHARING

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over 4 years ago

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This is truly very nice post,I just read through the entire article and I much enjoyed reading your article it is really very informative. and I would like to tell you that you have more people like me who really appreciate your work.Its definitely a great post.Thanks for sharing this informative information.

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over 4 years ago

Great stuff here. The information and the detail were just perfect. I think that your perspective is deep, its just well thought out and really fantastic to see someone who knows how to put these thoughts down so well.
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about 6 years ago

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over 4 years ago

Hello im looking for a hydrologist that will come to my school and speek for about twenty minutes. im in eighth grade and we are doing a career project on what their job desription is and we dont know of anyone to come in and talk. do you know of anyone with the following?
-Able to come in and talk for 20 min
-Able to come in on April 16

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over 9 years ago

It depends on the type of work being done.

Surface water hydrologists may use various devices to monitor the level and/or flow of water, such as flumes, weirs, flow meters, staff gauges, and pressure transducer/data loggers.

Groundwater hydrologists often use depth meters, pressure transducers/data loggers, pumps, bailers, flow meters, generators, compressors, and so on.

Both will use a wide array of water chemistry tools (pH meters, dissolved oxygen meters, electrical conductivity/salinity meters, field chemistry screening kits, and so on).

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almost 4 years ago

hi im looking for a jos to becoming a hydrologist when i grow up.Right now i am only 13 years of age and my name is bethany christine jacques.would you be able to support me and having good luck to having this job.I heard that being a hydrologist is the best job in the world and i have had a lot of studies on it.and it wold be so nice if i could have your support of being a hydrologist......THANKS TO YOU ALL WHO HAVE SUPPORTED ME:)

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almost 4 years ago

what tools does this job require

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over 5 years ago

I have Msc in hydrology , and I would like to apply for this job but unfortunately couldn't find any emails ! does anyone can help me ?

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about 6 years ago

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over 5 years ago

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over 2 years ago

I am hydrologist engneer with 20 years exprensed with different typs of jobs and difreent locations and topographs

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over 2 years ago

I am hydrologist engneer with 20 years exprensed with different typs of jobs and difreent locations and topographs

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almost 3 years ago

hia im billy and I have learned nothing from reading this text but then again I cant read but wait if I cant read how can I type is probably the question that youre asking well I said I cant read I didn't say that I couldn't spell so goobyeeeeeeee to all ya fellers out ther and be safe with hydrology

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almost 3 years ago

amazing

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over 4 years ago

I like it alot ALOT ALOT ALOT

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over 4 years ago

Iam completed msc applied geology in annamalai university. i like to work as hydro geologist in forign countries i can can give good research ability.iam ready to work any critical sitiuation till now i am fresher please give me a good opertunity

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over 4 years ago

hi i am a student of Tffin University,in America. I want to know the physical characteristics of Nigeria over its earth surface

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almost 5 years ago

what kinds of tools to hydrologist use??

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about 5 years ago

It is very interesting study area
and i have got constructive idea
thank u!!!

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almost 6 years ago

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over 5 years ago

i am 17 years of age from namibia -walvisbay ,i want to become a hydrologist ..what are the requirementss needed to study and become a hydrologist?

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about 8 years ago

When as a GS-1315-Grade 7 Step 1 Hydrologist at the US Geological Survey-Water Resources Divison in Tampa, Florida..this was a REAL hydrologist role. As titled a "Hydrologist" III with the ADEQ (State of Arizona Department of Environmental Quality), one does not work with any component of the hydrologic cycle and barely makes $44,700 a year. never gets pay raises, and is basically is ranked 49th in compensation ahead of Florida.

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almost 4 years ago

what tools does this job require

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over 4 years ago

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over 5 years ago

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over 5 years ago

Hai, I am a graduate in Geology and Master of Science in Marine geology from Cochin University of sience and Technology. Presently I am working as Deputy project Director ( Water Resources Development) in Attappady Waste land Comprehensive Environmental Conservation Project funded by Japan International Cooperation Agency. I would like to work for a wider area. Please advice to get a better opertunity.

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over 5 years ago

I am M.Sc.,M.Phil in Geology, Iam serving as a Hydrologist for past 15 years in both Government and private sector. I prefer a good related job anywere in the world, if you wish my service pl inform.

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over 3 years ago

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