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Summary Report for:
19-2043.00 - Hydrologists

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.

Sample of reported job titles: Hydrologist, Hydrogeologist, Professor, Research Hydrologist, Assistant Groundwater Engineer, Environmental Consultant, Groundwater Consultant, Groundwater Programs Director, Hydraulic Engineer, Hydrologic Engineer

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Tasks  |  Tools & Technology  |  Knowledge  |  Skills  |  Abilities  |  Work Activities  |  Work Context  |  Job Zone  |  Education  |  Credentials  |  Interests  |  Work Styles  |  Work Values  |  Related Occupations  |  Wages & Employment  |  Job Openings  |  Additional Information

Tasks

  • Design and conduct scientific hydrogeological investigations to ensure that accurate and appropriate information is available for use in water resource management decisions.
  • Prepare written and oral reports describing research results, using illustrations, maps, appendices, and other information.
  • Study and document quantities, distribution, disposition, and development of underground and surface waters.
  • Install, maintain, and calibrate instruments, such as those that monitor water levels, rainfall, and sediments.
  • Prepare hydrogeologic evaluations of known or suspected hazardous waste sites and land treatment and feedlot facilities.
  • Study public water supply issues, including flood and drought risks, water quality, wastewater, and impacts on wetland habitats.
  • Conduct research and communicate information to promote the conservation and preservation of water resources.
  • Apply research findings to help minimize the environmental impacts of pollution, waterborne diseases, erosion, and sedimentation.
  • Evaluate research data in terms of its impact on issues such as soil and water conservation, flood control planning, and water supply forecasting.
  • Evaluate data and provide recommendations regarding the feasibility of municipal projects, such as hydroelectric power plants, irrigation systems, flood warning systems, and waste treatment facilities.

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Tools & Technology

Tools used in this occupation:

Logging instruments for water wells — Groundwater data logging instruments; Wireless data collection systems
Open stream current meters — Hydrological current meters; Stream flow gauges
Open stream water level recorders — Cellular telemetry system water level monitors; Water level recorders
Water analyzers — Multi-port sampling systems to monitor groundwater; Multiparameter water quality instruments; Submersible pressure and level sensors; Submersible water quality sensors
Water samplers — Biological oxygen demand water samplers; Sediment samplers; Suction samplers; Swing water samplers

Technology used in this occupation:

Analytical or scientific software — HEC RAS *; Scientific Software Group AQUA3D; Waterloo Hydrogeologic RBC Tier 2 Analyzer; Watershed modeling system WMS software
Computer aided design CAD software — Advanced Logic Technology WellCAD; BOSS International Visual Groundwater; Scientific Software Group EVS; SEDCAD software
Data base user interface and query software — EarthSoft EQuIS Geology; Groundwater Software Visual Site Manager; Scientific Software Group RiverMorph; SoilVision Systems SoilVision software
Graphics or photo imaging software — Amtec Engineering Tecplot; Graphics software; RockWare SieveGraph; StatPoint StatGraphics Plus
Map creation software — ESRI ArcView; Golden Software Surfer; Scientific Software Group SURF; Softree Technical Systems Terrain Tools

* Software developed by a government agency and/or distributed as freeware or shareware.

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Knowledge

Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Engineering and Technology — Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
Physics — Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub- atomic structures and processes.
Chemistry — Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.
Geography — Knowledge of principles and methods for describing the features of land, sea, and air masses, including their physical characteristics, locations, interrelationships, and distribution of plant, animal, and human life.
Biology — Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
Computers and Electronics — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Law and Government — Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
Design — Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.

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Skills

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.
Science — Using scientific rules and methods to solve 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.
Mathematics — Using mathematics to solve problems.
Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

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Abilities

Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
Mathematical Reasoning — The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.
Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
Flexibility of Closure — The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).

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Work Activities

Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
Communicating with Persons Outside Organization — Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information — Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.

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Work Context

Electronic Mail — How often do you use electronic mail in this job?
Telephone — How often do you have telephone conversations in this job?
Face-to-Face Discussions — How often do you have to have face-to-face discussions with individuals or teams in this job?
Freedom to Make Decisions — How much decision making freedom, without supervision, does the job offer?
Structured versus Unstructured Work — To what extent is this job structured for the worker, rather than allowing the worker to determine tasks, priorities, and goals?
Duration of Typical Work Week — Number of hours typically worked in one week.
Work With Work Group or Team — How important is it to work with others in a group or team in this job?
Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — How often does this job require working indoors in environmentally controlled conditions?
Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — How important is being very exact or highly accurate in performing this job?
Letters and Memos — How often does the job require written letters and memos?

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Job Zone

Title Job Zone Four: Considerable Preparation Needed
Education Most of these occupations require a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.
Related Experience A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, an accountant must complete four years of college and work for several years in accounting to be considered qualified.
Job Training Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.
Job Zone Examples Many of these occupations involve coordinating, supervising, managing, or training others. Examples include accountants, sales managers, database administrators, teachers, chemists, environmental engineers, criminal investigators, and special agents.
SVP Range (7.0 to < 8.0)

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Education


Percentage of Respondents
Education Level Required
54   Bachelor's degree
42   Master's degree
  Professional degree Help

This occupation may require a background in the following science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) educational disciplines:

Geosciences — Geological and Earth Sciences/Geosciences; Geology/Earth Science, General

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Credentials

Find Training Find Certifications Find Licenses

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Interests

Interest code: IR

Investigative — Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

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Work Styles

Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Independence — Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.

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Work Values

Achievement — Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
Working Conditions — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.
Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.

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Related Occupations

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19-2041.00 Environmental Scientists and Specialists, Including Health Green Occupation

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Wages & Employment Trends

Median wages (2013) $36.40 hourly, $75,710 annual
State wages Local Salary Info
 
Employment (2012) 7,000 employees
Projected growth (2012-2022) Average (8% to 14%) Average (8% to 14%)
Projected job openings (2012-2022) 2,900
State trends Employment Trends
 
Top industries (2012)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2013 wage data external site and 2012-2022 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2012-2022). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.

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Job Openings on the Web

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Sources of Additional Information

Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.

  • Hydrologists external site. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition.

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