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Hydrologist

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What Do Hydrologist Do?

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.

Hydrologist Responsibilities

  • Prepare written and oral reports describing research results, using illustrations, maps, appendices, and other information.
  • Study and analyze the physical aspects of the earth in terms of hydrological components, including atmosphere, hydrosphere, and interior structure.
  • Install, maintain, and calibrate instruments such as those that monitor water levels, rainfall, and sediments.
  • Coordinate and supervise the work of professional and technical staff, including research assistants, technologists, and technicians.
  • Investigate complaints or conflicts related to the alteration of public waters, gathering information, recommending alternatives, informing participants of progress, and preparing draft orders.
  • Evaluate research data in terms of its impact on issues such as soil and water conservation, flood control planning, and water supply forecasting.

Skills Needed to be a Hydrologist

These are the skills Hydrologists say are the most useful in their careers:

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

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.

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

Complex Problem Solving: Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Other Hydrologist Job Titles

  • Isotope Hydrologist
  • Seismologist
  • Geophysicist
  • Surface Hydrologist
  • Scientist

Hydrologist Job Outlook

In 2016, there was an estimated number of 6,700 jobs in the United States for Hydrologist. New jobs are being produced at a rate of 10.4% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 700 new jobs for Hydrologist by 2026. Due to new job openings and attrition, there will be an average of 700 job openings in this field each year.

Forecasted Number of Jobs for Hydrologists in U.S.

The states with the most job growth for Hydrologist are Utah, Arkansas, and Colorado. 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.

Salary for a Hydrologist

Hydrologists make between $48,820 and $122,890 a year.

Salary Ranges for Hydrologists

Hydrologists who work in New Jersey, Maryland, or Georgia, make the highest salaries.

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

State Annual Mean Salary
Alaska $88,050
Arizona $72,380
California $99,080
Colorado $93,750
Florida $81,170
Georgia $105,230
Idaho $47,990
Illinois $82,150
Indiana $87,930
Louisiana $64,370
Maine $77,910
Maryland $100,280
Massachusetts $73,640
Michigan $77,050
Minnesota $75,110
Montana $74,660
Nebraska $63,440
Nevada $87,640
New Hampshire $95,520
New Jersey $109,910
New Mexico $88,640
New York $75,560
North Carolina $71,450
North Dakota $71,890
Ohio $79,680
Oklahoma $88,370
Oregon $86,020
South Carolina $54,220
Tennessee $87,440
Texas $78,240
Utah $86,270
Virginia $90,330
Washington $88,370
Wisconsin $66,850
Wyoming $65,690

Tools & Technologies Used by Hydrologists

Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Hydrologists may use on a daily basis:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Office
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Web browser software
  • Python
  • Microsoft Access
  • Email software
  • Word processing software
  • Data visualization software
  • Autodesk AutoCAD
  • Spreadsheet software
  • Database software
  • The MathWorks MATLAB
  • Microsoft Visual Basic
  • Geographic information system GIS software
  • Graphics software
  • Bentley MicroStation
  • ESRI ArcView
  • Microsoft Active Server Pages ASP

How to Become a Hydrologist

Individuals working as a Hydrologist have obtained the following education levels:

Hydrologist Degree Level

How many years of work experience do I need?

Hydrologist Work Experience

Where do Hydrologists Work?

Hydrologist Sectors

The table below shows the approximate number of Hydrologists employed by various industries.

Hydrologist Industries

You May Also Be Interested In…

Those interested in being a Hydrologist may also be interested in:

Career changers with experience as a Hydrologist sometimes find work in one of the following fields:

References:

Image Credit: Kelvinsong via Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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