Hydrologist Career

Science and Research

 

Hydrologist

Career Area: Science and Research

Occupation Group: Environmental and Climate Science

Salary

Percentile wages tell how much a certain percentage of an overall population in a geographic area or within a given industry or field makes. The percentile wage estimate is the value of a wage below which a certain percent of workers fall.

An example would be the 25th percentile, 25 percent of workers employed in that occupation earn less and 75 percent earn more than the estimated wage value. At the 75th percentile, 75 percent of workers employed in that occupation earn less and 25 percent earn more than the estimated wage value.

A typical Hydrologist earns the following wages (national and state):

State

The average salary in North Carolina for those pursuing this career is $76,617

*The salaries depicted here are representative of the range of salaries posted in job listings over the past year. Living wage in North Carolina is $30,000.

National

The average salary in the United States for those pursuing this career is $67,828

*The salaries depicted here are representative of the range of salaries posted in job listings over the past year. Living wage in North Carolina is $30,000.

What Does a Professional in this Career Do?

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.

Employment Trends

The job demand and job growth statistics shown here were derived from job posts over the past year. Expected job growth projections are extrapolated from year-over-year job post listing history.

Job demand and job growth is expected at the following rates:

Growth
North Carolina14+3.2%
Nationwide1365+10.4%

Skills

A professional in this position typically utilizes the following skills in the course of everyday work in this exciting and challenging field:

Baseline Skills

The following are baseline skills every Hydrologist is expected to have in order to experience success in this field:

  • Communication Skills: The ability to convey information to another effectively and efficiently.
  • Planning: Planning (also called forethought) is the process of thinking about and organizing the activities required to achieve a desired goal.
  • Writing: Writing is a medium of human communication that represents language and emotion with signs and symbols.
  • Physical Abilities: Physical Abilities, which refers to the ability to quickly and repeatedly bend, stretch, twist, or reach out with the body, arms, and/or legs. These abilities often require strength, endurance, flexibility, balance and coordination.
  • Research: Research comprises creative work undertaken on a systematic basis in order to increase the stock of knowledge, including knowledge of humans, culture and society, and the use of this stock of knowledge to devise new applications. It is used to establish or confirm facts, reaffirm the results of previous work, solve new or existing problems, support theorems, or develop new theories.

Specialized Skills

These skills are specific to working in this career:

  • Hydrology: Hydrology is the scientific study of the movement, distribution, and quality of water on Earth and other planets, including the water cycle, water resources and environmental watershed sustainability.
  • Hydrogeology: Hydrogeology (hydro- meaning water, and -geology meaning the study of the Earth) is the area of geology that deals with the distribution and movement of groundwater in the soil and rocks of the Earth's crust (commonly in aquifers).
  • Project Management: Project management is the discipline of initiating, planning, executing, controlling, and closing the work of a team to achieve specific goals and meet specific success criteria.
  • Chemistry: Chemistry is a branch of physical science that studies the composition, structure, properties and change of matter.
  • Geology: Geology is an earth science concerned with the solid Earth, the rocks of which it is composed, and the processes by which they change over time. Geology can also refer to the study of the solid features of any terrestrial planet or natural satellite, (such as Mars or the Moon).

Distinguishing Skills

Any Hydrologist that possesses the following skills will stand out against the competition:

  • Site Investigations: A complete examination, investigation, and testing of surface and subsurface soil and conditions. The report resulting from the investigation is used in design of the structure.
  • Groundwater Sampling: Groundwater is the water present beneath Earth's surface in soil pore spaces and in the fractures of rock formations.
  • Watershed Management: A watershed is an area where water running off the land drains into a specific body of water, and a watershed manager makes sure that the water in our respective communities is free from contaminants and safe to drink and use.
  • Soil Conservation: Soil conservation is the preventing of soil loss from erosion or reduced fertility caused by over usage, acidification, salinization or other chemical soil contamination.
  • Environmental Assessments: Environmental assessment (EA) is the assessment of the environmental consequences (positive and negative) of a plan, policy, program, or actual projects prior to the decision to move forward with the proposed action.

Salary Boosting Skills

A professional who wishes to excel in this career path may consider developing the following highly valued skills:

  • Site Remediation: Working experience of Site Remediation. The removal of pollution or contaminants from environmental media such as soil, groundwater, sediment, or surface water. This would mean that once requested by the government or a land remediation authority, immediate action should be taken as this can impact negatively on human health and the environment. Remedial action is generally subject to an array of regulatory requirements, and also can be based on assessments of human health and ecological risks where no legislated standards exist or where standards are advisory.
  • Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA): Working experience of Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA), which provides a Federal Superfund to clean up uncontrolled or abandoned hazardous-waste sites as well as accidents, spills, and other emergency releases of pollutants and contaminants into the environment.
  • Well Design:
  • Groundwater Flow Analysis: Working experience of Groundwater Flow Analysis. Groundwater models play an important role in the development and management of groundwater resources, and in predicting effects of management measures. With rapid increases in computation power and the wide availability of computers and model software, groundwater modeling has become a standard tool for professional hydrogeologists to effectively perform most tasks.
  • Water Sampling: Working experience of Water Sampling, which Water sampling, the process of taking a portion of water for analysis or other testing, e.g. drinking water to check that it complies with relevant water quality standards, or river water to check for pollutants, or bathing water to check that it is safe for bathing, or intrusive water in a building to identify its ...

Education

This career typically requires the following level of education. The numbers presented in the pie charts below were derived from actual job posts over the past year. Not all job postings list education requirements.

.
Education Level%
Bachelor's Degree70%
Master's Degree30%
Doctoral Degree0%

Experience

This position typically requires the following level of experience. The numbers presented in the pie charts below were derived from actual job posts over the past year. Not all job postings list experience requirements.

Experience Required%
0 to 2 years45%
3 to 5 years29%
6 to 8 years11%

Many of the programs offered through NC State are designed for working professionals who need additional credentials to enhance existing work experience.

Students who do not have the expected level of experience may wish to look into internship and employment opportunities.

Common Job Titles

It is possible to find work in this field in positions commonly listed as the following job titles:

  • Hydrologist
  • Hydrogeologist
  • Hydrologist, Gs
  • Geologist/Hydrogeologist
  • Supervisory Hydrologist, Gs

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