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Science and Research | Hydrologist

Hydrologist

What Does a Professional in this Career Do?

A Hydrologist studies water, including underground water and water from ground sources like lakes and streams, and researches various aspects of the water cycle. Collects data used to plan conservation efforts and manage water supply. May advise on groundwater contamination risks or planning for flood management.

Job Outlook

There were 16 Hydrologist job postings in North Carolina in the past year and 1481 in the United States.

In combination with other careers in the Hydrologist industry, which includes the Hydrologist career, the following graph shows the number of people employed for each year since 2015:

Salary

Many new Hydrologist jobs have salaries estimated to be in the following ranges, based on the requirements and responsibilities listed in job postings from the past year.

National

The average estimated salary in the United States for this career, based on job postings in the past year, is $77,316.

State

The average estimated salary in North Carolina for this career, based on job postings in the past year, is $77,316.

Percentiles represent the percentage that is lower than the value. For example, 25% of estimated salaries for Hydrologist postings in the United States in the past year were lower than $72,199.

Education and Experience

Posted Hydrologist jobs typically require the following level of education. The numbers below are based on job postings in the United States from the past year. Not all job postings list education requirements.

Education LevelPercentage
Associate's Degree1.55%
Bachelor's Degree70.09%
Master's Degree37.34%
Doctoral Degree29.03%
Other3.65%

Posted Hydrologist jobs typically require the following number of years of experience. The numbers below are based on job postings in the United States from the past year. Not all job postings list experience requirements.

Years of ExperiencePercentage
0 to 2 years56.1%
3 to 5 years29.83%
6 to 8 years4.69%
9+ years9.38%

Skills

Below are listings of the most common general and specialized skills Hydrologist positions expect applicants to have as well as the most common skills that distinguish individuals from their peers. The percentage of job postings that specifically mention each skill is also listed.

Baseline Skills

A skill that is required across a broad range of occupations, including this one.

  • Management (52.67%)
  • Communication (37.74%)
  • Research (30.45%)
  • Investigation (29.98%)
  • Mathematics (28.7%)
  • Planning (27.62%)
  • Writing (24.31%)
  • Coordinating (17.02%)
  • Forecasting (15.73%)
  • Verbal Communication Skills (15.67%)

Defining Skills

A core skill for this occupation, it occurs frequently in job postings.

  • Aquatic Biology (20.35%)
  • Physical Science (28.42%)
  • Chemistry (29.61%)
  • Geographic Information Systems (26.46%)
  • Data Analysis (29.61%)
  • Atmospheric Sciences (23.72%)
  • Calculus (22.04%)
  • Integral Calculus (21.26%)
  • Hydrology (88.84%)
  • Geology (59.65%)
  • Hydrogeology (28.42%)
  • Geophysics (27.51%)
  • Meteorology (24.84%)
  • Groundwater (31.37%)
  • Environmental Science (22.25%)
  • Project Management (24.98%)
  • Hydrologic Modeling (15.16%)
  • Water Resources (57.4%)
  • Soil Science (40.42%)
  • Oceanography (23.44%)
  • Physics (25.68%)
  • Surface Water (24.07%)

Necessary Skills

A skill that is requested frequently in this occupation but isn’t specific to it.

  • Statistical Analysis (3.93%)
  • Applied Research (3.51%)
  • Microsoft Access (4%)
  • ArcGIS (GIS Software) (12.21%)
  • Environmental Impact Assessments (1.05%)
  • Business Development (5.4%)
  • Civil Engineering (18.53%)
  • Biology (16.56%)
  • Computer Simulation (8.35%)
  • Data Management (9.47%)
  • Field Research (13.96%)
  • Data Collection (15.51%)
  • Engineering Geology (8.07%)
  • Watershed Management (5.47%)
  • Pollution Prevention (12.35%)
  • Ecology (9.82%)
  • Environmental Engineering (11.3%)
  • Python (Programming Language) (10.18%)
  • Hydraulics (10.39%)
  • Geochemistry (13.47%)
  • Environmental Health (7.16%)
  • R (Programming Language) (6.25%)
  • Hydraulic Engineering (6.11%)
  • Machinery (7.79%)
  • Human Relations Movement (9.61%)
  • Stormwater Management (11.86%)
  • Remote Sensing (11.09%)
  • Water Resource Management (18.53%)
  • Risk Analysis (1.68%)
  • Resource Management (5.47%)
  • Scientific Methods (8.35%)
  • Sediment (3.51%)
  • Quantum GIS (QGIS) (1.19%)
  • Water Quality (19.44%)
  • Sampling (Statistics) (12.84%)
  • Mitigation (2.81%)
  • Writing Systems (8.56%)
  • General Scientific Knowledge (7.23%)
  • Technical Writing (9.26%)

Salary Boosting Skills

A professional who wishes to excel in this career path may consider developing the following highly valued skills. The percentage of job postings that specifically mention each skill is listed.

  • Aquatic Biology (22.29%)
  • Groundwater (34.36%)
  • Hydrology (97.31%)
  • Surface Water (26.36%)

Alternative Job Titles

Sometimes employers post jobs with Hydrologist skills but a different job title. Some common alternative job titles include:

  • Geologist/Hydrogeologist
  • Water Resources Scientist
  • Hydrogeologist
  • PhD Researcher
  • Air Quality Scientist
  • Fisheries Scientist
  • Water/Wastewater Operator
  • Energy Modeler
  • Water Resources Manager

Similar Occupations

If you are interested in exploring occupations with similar skills, you may want to research the following job titles. Note that we only list occupations that have at least one corresponding NC State Online and Distance Education program.

Common Employers

Here are the employers that have posted the most Hydrologist jobs in the past year along with how many they have posted.

United States

  • State of Minnesota (156)
  • Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (80)
  • Geological Survey (77)
  • State of South Carolina (44)
  • U.S Geological Survey Western Ecological Research Center (43)
  • AECOM (31)
  • The Nature Conservancy (31)
  • United States Department of the Interior (30)
  • WSP Global (30)
  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (25)

North Carolina

  • Swca Environmental Consultants (3)
  • Geological Survey (3)
  • The Nature Conservancy (1)
  • RTI International (1)
  • Environment For The Americas (1)
  • U.S Geological Survey Western Ecological Research Center (1)
  • Phoventus (1)

NC State Programs Relevant to this Career

If you are interested in preparing for a career in this field, the following NC State Online and Distance Education programs offer a great place to start!