Hydrologic Technicians
19-4044.00

This title represents an occupation for which data collection is currently underway.

Collect and organize data concerning the distribution and circulation of ground and surface water, and data on its physical, chemical, and biological properties. Measure and report on flow rates and ground water levels, maintain field equipment, collect water samples, install and collect sampling equipment, and process samples for shipment to testing laboratories. May collect data on behalf of hydrologists, engineers, developers, government agencies, or agriculture.

Occupation-Specific Information

Tasks

  • Analyze ecological data about the impact of pollution, erosion, floods, and other environmental problems on bodies of water.
  • Answer technical questions from hydrologists, policymakers, or other customers developing water conservation plans.
  • Apply research findings to minimize the environmental impacts of pollution, waterborne diseases, erosion, or sedimentation.
  • Assist in designing programs to ensure the proper sealing of abandoned wells.
  • Collect water and soil samples to test for physical, chemical, or biological properties, such as pH, oxygen level, temperature, and pollution.
  • Develop computer models for hydrologic predictions.
  • Estimate the costs and benefits of municipal projects, such as hydroelectric power plants, irrigation systems, and wastewater treatment facilities.
  • Investigate complaints or conflicts related to the alteration of public waters by gathering information, recommending alternatives, or preparing legal documents.
  • Investigate the properties, origins, or activities of glaciers, ice, snow, or permafrost.
  • Locate and deliver information or data as requested by customers, such as contractors, government entities, and members of the public.
  • Measure the properties of bodies of water, such as water levels, volume, and flow.
  • Perform quality control checks on data to be used by hydrologists.
  • Prepare, install, maintain, or repair equipment used for hydrologic study, such as water level recorders, stream flow gauges, and water analyzers.
  • Provide real time data to emergency management and weather service personnel during flood events.
  • Write groundwater contamination reports on known, suspected, or potential hazardous waste sites.
  • Write materials for research publications, such as maps, tables, and reports, to disseminate findings.

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Occupational Requirements

Detailed Work Activities

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Experience Requirements

Job Zone

Title
Job Zone Three: Medium Preparation Needed
Education
Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.
Related Experience
Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.
Job Training
Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
Job Zone Examples
These occupations usually involve using communication and organizational skills to coordinate, supervise, manage, or train others to accomplish goals. Examples include hydroelectric production managers, travel guides, electricians, agricultural technicians, barbers, court reporters, and medical assistants.
SVP Range
1-2 years of preparation (6.0 to < 7.0)

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Training & Credentials

State training
Local training
Certifications
State licenses
Apprenticeships
Have a career path or location in mind? Visit Apprenticeship.gov external site to find apprenticeship opportunities near you.

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Workforce Characteristics

Wages & Employment Trends

Median wage data for Environmental Science and Geoscience Technicians.
Employment data for Geological and Hydrologic Technicians.
Industry data for Geological and Hydrologic Technicians.
Median wages (2021)
$23.01 hourly, $47,850 annual
State wages
Local wages
Employment (2020)
16,800 employees
Projected growth (2020-2030)
Average (5% to 10%)
Projected job openings (2020-2030)
2,300
State trends
Top industries (2020)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2021 wage data external site and 2020-2030 employment projections external site. “Projected growth” represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2020-2030). “Projected job openings” represent openings due to growth and replacement.

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Job Openings on the Web

State job openings
Local job openings

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More Information

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.

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