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: Environmental Consultant, Groundwater Consultant, Groundwater Programs Director, Hydrogeologist, Hydrologist, Physical Scientist, Research Hydrologist, Scientist, Source Water Protection Specialist, Water Resources Program Director
Tasks | Technology Skills | Tools Used | Knowledge | Skills | Abilities | Work Activities | Detailed Work Activities | Work Context | Job Zone | Education | Credentials | Interests | Work Styles | Work Values | Related Occupations | Wages & Employment | Job Openings | Additional Information
- 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.
- Collect and analyze water samples as part of field investigations or to validate data from automatic monitors.
- Coordinate and supervise the work of professional and technical staff, including research assistants, technologists, and technicians.
- Measure and graph phenomena such as lake levels, stream flows, and changes in water volumes.
- Develop computer models for hydrologic predictions.
- Study and analyze the physical aspects of the earth in terms of hydrological components, including atmosphere, hydrosphere, and interior structure.
- Review applications for site plans and permits and recommend approval, denial, modification, or further investigative action.
- Develop or modify methods for conducting hydrologic studies.
- Answer questions and provide technical assistance and information to contractors or the public regarding issues such as well drilling, code requirements, hydrology, and geology.
- Investigate complaints or conflicts related to the alteration of public waters, gathering information, recommending alternatives, informing participants of progress, and preparing draft orders.
- Monitor the work of well contractors, exploratory borers, and engineers and enforce rules regarding their activities.
- Conduct short- and long-term climate assessments and study storm occurrences.
- Design civil works associated with hydrographic activities and supervise their construction, installation, and maintenance.
- Administer programs designed to ensure the proper sealing of abandoned wells.
- Analytical or scientific software — HEC RAS; Scientific Software Group AQUA3D; Waterloo Hydrogeologic RBC Tier 2 Analyzer; Watershed modeling system WMS software (see all 90 examples)
- Categorization or classification software — GAEA Technologies WinSieve
- Compliance software — National pollutant discharge elimination system NPDES compliance software
- Computer aided design CAD software — Advanced Logic Technology WellCAD; BOSS International Visual Groundwater; Scientific Software Group EVS; SEDCAD (see all 13 examples)
- Data base user interface and query software — EarthSoft EQuIS Geology; Groundwater Software Visual Site Manager; Scientific Software Group RiverMorph; SoilVision Systems SVOFFICE (see all 13 examples)
- Development environment software — Formula translation/translator FORTRAN; Microsoft Visual Basic
- Electronic mail software — Email software
- Graphics or photo imaging software — Amtec Engineering Tecplot; Graphics software; RockWare SieveGraph; StatPoint StatGraphics Plus
- Internet browser software — Web browser software
- Map creation software — ESRI ArcView; Golden Software Surfer; Scientific Software Group SURF; Softree Technical Systems Terrain Tools (see all 9 examples)
- Object or component oriented development software — C++ ; Python
- Office suite software — Microsoft Office
- Presentation software — EnviroInsite; Microsoft PowerPoint
- Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel
- Word processing software — GAEA Technologies Packet ESA; GAEA Technologies WinLog; Microsoft Word
Hot Technology — a technology requirement frequently included in employer job postings.
- Commercial fishing nets — Dip nets
- Conductivity meters
- Desktop computers
- Dissolution or disintegration testers — Erosion monitors
- Dissolved oxygen meters
- Dropping pipettes — Pipettes
- Filters or other spare parts for samplers — Sounding reels
- Flowmeters — Surface water velocity measurement probes
- Global positioning system GPS receiver — Global positioning system GPS receivers
- Heating or drying equipment or accessories — Dessicators
- Hydrometers — Specific gravity hydrometers
- Laboratory bailers — Bailers
- Laboratory flasks — Filter flasks
- Laboratory mechanical convection ovens — Laboratory ovens
- Laboratory sifting equipment — Sieve shakers
- Laboratory vacuum pumps
- Laser printers
- Lightmeters — Light density meters
- Logging instruments for water wells — Groundwater data logging instruments; Wireless data collection systems
- Mainframe computers
- Notebook computers
- Oil content monitors analyzers — Oil water interface meters
- Open stream current meters — Hydrological current meters; Stream flow gauges
- Open stream water level recorders — Cellular telemetry system water level monitors; Water level recorders
- Peristaltic pumps — Groundwater sampling peristaltic pumps
- Personal computers
- pH meters
- Pitch measuring instruments — Inclinometers
- Portable data input terminals — Handheld data collection units
- Portable seismic apparatus — Hydraulic fracturing systems
- Pressure sensors — Drive-point piezometers; Pore pressure piezometers
- Pull spring balances — Spring scales
- Radarbased surveillance systems — Radar equipment
- Radiation detectors — Radiological monitoring equipment
- Remote reading thermometers — Underwater temperature recorders
- Salinity meter — Salinity meters
- Sampling pumps — Portable pumping and sampling systems
- Soil core sampling apparatus — Core samplers; Soil samplers
- Sonars — Doppler current and depth meters
- Spectrofluorimeters or fluorimeters — Flow-through field fluorometers
- Surface data logging sensors — Data logging pressure/temperature sensors
- Surface data logging units — Well/surface water dataloggers
- Templates — Map templates
- Theodolites — Total stations
- Thickness measuring devices — Ice meters
- Two way radios
- Underwater cameras — Underwater video cameras
- 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 (see all 8 examples)
- Well logging downhole test equipment — Standpipe multi-packer systems for long-term monitoring of deep boreholes
- 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.
- Customer and Personal Service — Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
- 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.
- Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
- Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
- Systems Analysis — Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
- Instructing — Teaching others how to do something.
- Persuasion — Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.
- Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
- Time Management — Managing one's own time and the time of others.
- 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).
- Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
- Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
- Originality — The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.
- Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- Fluency of Ideas — The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
- Number Facility — The ability to add, subtract, multiply, or divide quickly and correctly.
- Perceptual Speed — The ability to quickly and accurately compare similarities and differences among sets of letters, numbers, objects, pictures, or patterns. The things to be compared may be presented at the same time or one after the other. This ability also includes comparing a presented object with a remembered object.
- Far Vision — The ability to see details at a distance.
- Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
- Visualization — The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
- 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.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
- Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
- Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
- Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others — Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
- Provide Consultation and Advice to Others — Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.
- Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
- Developing and Building Teams — Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.
- Developing Objectives and Strategies — Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.
- Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
- Monitoring and Controlling Resources — Monitoring and controlling resources and overseeing the spending of money.
- Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates — Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.
- Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
- Coaching and Developing Others — Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.
- Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
- Performing for or Working Directly with the Public — Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
Detailed Work Activities
- Research hydrologic features or processes.
- Plan environmental research.
- Prepare scientific or technical reports or presentations.
- Record research or operational data.
- Calibrate scientific or technical equipment.
- Maintain laboratory or technical equipment.
- Research impacts of environmental conservation initiatives.
- Analyze environmental data.
- Apply knowledge or research findings to address environmental problems.
- Assess compliance with environmental laws.
- Communicate results of environmental research.
- Collect environmental data or samples.
- Evaluate civic projects or public policies.
- Measure environmental characteristics.
- Supervise scientific or technical personnel.
- Develop mathematical models of environmental conditions.
- Review environmental permits, plans, or reports.
- Develop environmental research methods.
- Provide technical information or assistance to public.
- Direct natural resources extraction projects.
- Conduct climatological research.
- Analyze geological or geographical data.
- Compile geographic or related data.
- Electronic Mail — 81% responded “Every day.”
- Telephone — 65% responded “Every day.”
- Face-to-Face Discussions — 50% responded “Every day.”
- Freedom to Make Decisions — 50% responded “A lot of freedom.”
- Structured versus Unstructured Work — 62% responded “Some freedom.”
- Duration of Typical Work Week — 56% responded “More than 40 hours.”
- Work With Work Group or Team — 62% responded “Very important.”
- Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 50% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 38% responded “Very important.”
- Letters and Memos — 46% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Contact With Others — 46% responded “Contact with others most of the time.”
- Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 54% responded “Important results.”
- Spend Time Sitting — 58% responded “More than half the time.”
- Deal With External Customers — 42% responded “Very important.”
- Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 46% responded “High responsibility.”
- Coordinate or Lead Others — 42% responded “Very important.”
- In an Enclosed Vehicle or Equipment — 35% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Outdoors, Exposed to Weather — 38% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Time Pressure — 58% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
- Responsible for Others' Health and Safety — 50% responded “Moderate responsibility.”
- Frequency of Decision Making — 42% responded “Once a year or more but not every month.”
- Consequence of Error — 38% responded “Serious.”
|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, graphic designers, chemists, art directors, and cost estimators.|
|SVP Range||(7.0 to < 8.0)|
Interest code: IR Want to discover your interests? Take the O*NET Interest Profiler at My Next Move.
- 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.
- 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.
- Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
- Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
- Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
- Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
- Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
- 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.
Wages & Employment Trends
|Median wages (2017)||$38.46 hourly, $79,990 annual|
|Employment (2016)||7,000 employees|
|Projected growth (2016-2026)||Faster than average (10% to 14%)|
|Projected job openings (2016-2026)||700|
|Top industries (2016)|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2017 wage data and 2016-2026 employment projections . "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2016-2026). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.
Job Openings on the Web
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.
- Alliance of Crop, Soil, and Environmental Science Societies
- American Association for the Advancement of Science
- American Association of Geographers
- American Geophysical Union
- American Institute of Hydrology
- American Institute of Professional Geologists
- American Society of Civil Engineers
- American Water Resources Association
- International Association of Hydrogeologists
- National Association of Environmental Professionals
- National Ground Water Association
- Occupational Outlook Handbook: Hydrologists
- The Geological Society of America