Salary and Outlook
According to the US Department of Labor, there are 6,500 people employed as hydrologists in
the United States.
The median annual salary is $84,000.
Entry level employees earn approximately $52,900 per year and senior employees earn approximately $130,030
Estimates do not include other potential benefits such as health insurance, overtime pay, or retirement benefits that may be offered by employers.
- Prepare written and oral reports describing research results, using illustrations, maps, appendices, and other information.
- Design and conduct scientific hydrogeological investigations to ensure that accurate and appropriate information is available for use in water resource management decisions.
- Measure and graph phenomena such as lake levels, stream flows, and changes in water volumes.
- Conduct research and communicate information to promote the conservation and preservation of water resources.
- Coordinate and supervise the work of professional and technical staff, including research assistants, technologists, and technicians.
- Monitor the work of well contractors, exploratory borers, and engineers and enforce rules regarding their activities.
- 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 properties, origins, and activities of glaciers, ice, snow, and permafrost.
- Conduct short- and long-term climate assessments and study storm occurrences.
- Administer programs designed to ensure the proper sealing of abandoned wells.
- 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.
- Evaluate research data in terms of its impact on issues such as soil and water conservation, flood control planning, and water supply forecasting.
- Collect and analyze water samples as part of field investigations or to validate data from automatic monitors.
- Apply research findings to help minimize the environmental impacts of pollution, waterborne diseases, erosion, and sedimentation.
- Prepare hydrogeologic evaluations of known or suspected hazardous waste sites and land treatment and feedlot facilities.
- 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.
- Develop or modify methods for conducting hydrologic studies.
- Review applications for site plans and permits and recommend approval, denial, modification, or further investigative action.
- 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.
- Study public water supply issues, including flood and drought risks, water quality, wastewater, and impacts on wetland habitats.
- Investigate complaints or conflicts related to the alteration of public waters, gathering information, recommending alternatives, informing participants of progress, and preparing draft orders.
- Design civil works associated with hydrographic activities and supervise their construction, installation, and maintenance.
- Compile and evaluate hydrologic information to prepare navigational charts and maps and to predict atmospheric conditions.