Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics > Science and Mathematics

Projected Growth: Faster than average

Projected Job Openings

Extensive Preparation Needed

Job Description

Your job is to 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.

Common job titles of Hydrologists include:

Experience and Education

Extensive skill, knowledge, and experience are needed for these occupations. Many require more than five years of experience. For example, surgeons must complete four years of college and an additional five to seven years of specialized medical training to be able to do their job.

  • 52.17% said they needed a Master's Degree.

  • 39.13% said they needed a Bachelor's Degree.


    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.

    Evaluate research data in terms of its impact on issues such as soil and water conservation, flood control planning, and water supply forecasting.

    Answer questions and provide technical assistance and information to contractors or the public regarding issues such as well drilling, code requirements, hydrology, and geology.

    Measure and graph phenomena such as lake levels, stream flows, and changes in water volumes.

    Collect and analyze water samples as part of field investigations or to validate data from automatic monitors.

    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.

    Develop computer models for hydrologic predictions.

    Review applications for site plans and permits and recommend approval, denial, modification, or further investigative action.

    Conduct research and communicate information to promote the conservation and preservation of water resources.

    Study and analyze the physical aspects of the earth in terms of hydrological components, including atmosphere, hydrosphere, and interior structure.

    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.

    Install, maintain, and calibrate instruments such as those that monitor water levels, rainfall, and sediments.

    Develop or modify methods for conducting hydrologic studies.

    Investigate complaints or conflicts related to the alteration of public waters, gathering information, recommending alternatives, informing participants of progress, and preparing draft orders.

    Apply research findings to help minimize the environmental impacts of pollution, waterborne diseases, erosion, and sedimentation.

    Study public water supply issues, including flood and drought risks, water quality, wastewater, and impacts on wetland habitats.

    Prepare hydrogeologic evaluations of known or suspected hazardous waste sites and land treatment and feedlot facilities.

    Study and document quantities, distribution, disposition, and development of underground and surface waters.

    Investigate properties, origins, and activities of glaciers, ice, snow, and permafrost.

    Compile and evaluate hydrologic information to prepare navigational charts and maps and to predict atmospheric conditions.

    Administer programs designed to ensure the proper sealing of abandoned wells.

    Design civil works associated with hydrographic activities and supervise their construction, installation, and maintenance.

    Conduct short- and long-term climate assessments and study storm occurrences.


Wireless data collection systems

Well/surface water dataloggers

Water level recorders

Underwater video cameras

Underwater temperature recorders

Two way radios


All Tools

Total stations

Swing water samplers

Surface water velocity measurement probes

Suction samplers

Subsurface grab water samplers

Submersible water quality sensors

Submersible pressure and level sensors

Stream flow gauges

Standpipe multi-packer systems for long-term monitoring of deep boreholes

Spring scales

Specific gravity hydrometers

Sounding reels

Soil samplers

Sieve shakers

Sediment samplers

Salinity meters


Radiological monitoring equipment

Radar equipment

Portable pumping and sampling systems

Pore pressure piezometers


pH meters

Personal computers

Oil water interface meters

Notebook computers

Multiparameter water quality instruments

Multi-port sampling systems to monitor groundwater


Map templates

Mainframe computers

Light density meters


Laser printers

Laboratory vacuum pumps

Laboratory ovens

Instream sediment collectors


In-situ pore water samplers

Ice meters

Hydrological current meters

Hydraulic fracturing systems

Handheld data collection units

Groundwater sampling peristaltic pumps

Groundwater data logging instruments

Global positioning system GPS receivers

Flow-through field fluorometers

Filter flasks


Erosion monitors

Drive-point piezometers

Double-packer systems

Doppler current and depth meters

Dissolved oxygen meters

Dip nets


Desktop computers

Data logging pressure/temperature sensors

Core samplers

Conductivity meters


Cellular telemetry system water level monitors


Biological oxygen demand water samplers



Advanced Logic Technology WellCAD

Autodesk AutoCAD Civil 3D

Autodesk AutoCAD MAP3D

Autodesk Land Desktop

Bentley MicroStation

BOSS International Visual Groundwater


All Technologies

Carlson SurvCADD

ESRI ArcGIS software

Geographic information system GIS software

Integrated Environmental Services 3D Master

Microsoft Active Server Pages ASP


Scientific Software Group 3DFATMIC

Scientific Software Group 3DFEMFAT

Scientific Software Group EVS


Amtec Engineering Tecplot

Argus ONE Open Numerical Environments

Bentley Systems gINT

Biodegration flow and transport modeling software

Clover Technology GALENA

Data visualization software

EarthSoft EQuIS Geology


Electric Rain Swift 3D

EnviroData Solutions


Environmental Software and Services SUTRA

ESRI ArcView

Fitts Geosolutions TWODAN

Formlink HydroGEN

Formula translation/translator FORTRAN

GAEA Technologies Packet ESA

GAEA Technologies WinLog

GAEA Technologies WinSieve

Geomechanical design analysis GDA software

GIS/Solutions GIS/Key

Golden Software Strater

Golden Software Surfer

Groundwater modeling system GMS

Groundwater Software QuickCross/Fence

Groundwater Software QuickLog

Groundwater Software Visual Site Manager

Groundwater Vistas




Hydrologic simulation program fortan HSPF software


Laboratory information management system LIMS

Logger data manager LDM

Logplot software


National pollutant discharge elimination system NPDES compliance software

Parameter Estimation PEST


Revised universal soil loss equation RUSLE software

River Lake Altimetry Product

RockWare ChemFlux

RockWare Geochemist’s Workbench GWB


RockWare RockWorks

RockWare SieveGraph

Satellite database software

Scientific Software Group AQUA3D

Scientific Software Group AquaDyn

Scientific Software Group AQUASEA

Scientific Software Group Aquifer win32

Scientific Software Group AQUIPACK

Scientific Software Group AT123D

Scientific Software Group BIO1D

Scientific Software Group BIOF&T

Scientific Software Group BIOSLURP

Scientific Software Group BioTrends

Scientific Software Group CHASM

Scientific Software Group ChemGraph

Scientific Software Group ChemPoint/ChemStat

Scientific Software Group DTM

Scientific Software Group Enviro-Base Pro

Scientific Software Group EnviroScape

Scientific Software Group FEFLOW

Scientific Software Group Filter Drain FD

Scientific Software Group GFLOW

Scientific Software Group HydroGeo Analyst

Scientific Software Group HYDROGEOCHEM

Scientific Software Group Infinite Extent

Scientific Software Group MARS 2-D/3-D

Scientific Software Group MIDUSS

Scientific Software Group MIGRATE

Scientific Software Group MINTEQA2

Scientific Software Group MOCDENSE

Scientific Software Group MODFLOWT

Scientific Software Group MODPUMP

Scientific Software Group MODRET

Scientific Software Group MOFAT

Scientific Software Group MohrView

Scientific Software Group MOVER

Scientific Software Group MS-VMS

Scientific Software Group MT3D99

Scientific Software Group OILVOL

Scientific Software Group POLLUTE

Scientific Software Group QHM

Scientific Software Group QuickSoil

Scientific Software Group RISC WorkBench

Scientific Software Group RIVERMorph

Scientific Software Group RMT

Scientific Software Group SEQUENCE

Scientific Software Group SESOIL

Scientific Software Group SLAEM/MLAEM

Scientific Software Group Soil Vapor Extraction BioSVE

Scientific Software Group SOILPARA

Scientific Software Group SOLUTRANS

Scientific Software Group StepMaster

Scientific Software Group SURF

Scientific Software Group SVFlux

Scientific Software Group SVHeat

Scientific Software Group TUFLOW

Scientific Software Group VAM2D

Scientific Software Group WinFlow

Scientific Software Group WinTran

Scientific Software GroupWHI UnSAT Suite

Scientific Software GroupWinFence

Softree Technical Systems Terrain Tools

SoilVision Systems SVGrainsize

SoilVision Systems SVOFFICE

Spreadsheet software

Starpint Software Super Slug

StatPoint StatGraphics Plus

Structure query language SQL

Surface water modeling system SMS software

Trimble Pathfinder Office

Trimble TerraSync

Vieux & Associates Vflow

Visual MODFLOW Pro

Waterloo Hydrogeologic AquaChem

Waterloo Hydrogeologic AquiferTest Pro

Waterloo Hydrogeologic RBC Tier 2 Analyzer

Waters eLab Notebook

Watershed modeling system WMS software


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.

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.


Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.


Talking to others to convey information effectively.


Using mathematics to solve problems.

Complex Problem Solving

Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.


Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

Active Learning

Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.

Judgment and Decision Making

Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.


Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

Systems Analysis

Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.


Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.

Learning Strategies

Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.

Social Perceptiveness

Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.


Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.


Teaching others how to do something.

Systems Evaluation

Identifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system.


Listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.

Cognitive Abilities › Verbal Abilities › Oral Comprehension

Read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.

Cognitive Abilities › Verbal Abilities › Written Comprehension

Communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.

Cognitive Abilities › Verbal Abilities › Oral Expression

Communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.

Cognitive Abilities › Verbal Abilities › Written Expression

Tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.

Cognitive Abilities › Idea Generation and Reasoning Abilities › Problem Sensitivity

Apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.

Cognitive Abilities › Idea Generation and Reasoning Abilities › Deductive Reasoning

Combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).

Cognitive Abilities › Idea Generation and Reasoning Abilities › Inductive Reasoning

Choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.

Cognitive Abilities › Quantitative Abilities › Mathematical Reasoning

Generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.

Cognitive Abilities › Idea Generation and Reasoning Abilities › Category Flexibility

Come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).

Cognitive Abilities › Idea Generation and Reasoning Abilities › Fluency of Ideas

Come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.

Cognitive Abilities › Idea Generation and Reasoning Abilities › Originality

Add, subtract, multiply, or divide quickly and correctly.

Cognitive Abilities › Quantitative Abilities › Number Facility

TEST Your output This field is empty or does not exist This field is empty or does not exist

Occupation Sections


No areas of knowledge found

Real People, Real Stories

Would you look at that! Unfortunately, we don't seem to have any real life stories related to Hydrologists.

Perhaps you'd like to be the first? If so, let's talk about featuring your story!