How to become a Hydrologist

Hydrologist

Hydrologists measure, analyse and maintain the quantity and quality of water in rivers, lakes, stormwater and sewage. They use this information to plan and develop strategies for water conservation and the improvement of water quality.

Personal requirements for a Hydrologist

  • Able to work accurately and systematically
  • Able to communicate effectively
  • Aptitude for physics, mathematics and statistics
  • Mechanical ability and the ability to work with technology
  • Able to work independently or as part of a team
  • Able to work in confined spaces and at heights
  • Able to swim

Education & Training for a Hydrologist

To become a hydrologist you usually have to complete a VET qualification. As subjects and prerequisites can vary between institutions, you should contact your chosen institution for further information. Entry to this occupation may be improved if you have a degree with a major in environmental science, hydrology, water science or natural resources. To get into these courses you usually need to gain your Senior Secondary Certificate of Education. Prerequisite subjects, or assumed knowledge, in one or more of English, mathematics, earth and environmental science, biology, chemistry and physics are normally required. Universities have different prerequisites and some have flexible entry requirements or offer external study. Contact the institutions you are interested in for more information.


Duties & Tasks of a Hydrologist

Hydrologists:

  • Select, install, maintain and repair instruments that monitor such things as water levels, water flows, ground water, rainfall and sediments
  • Complete field observations and collect sample data at various locations to confirm data gathered by automatic monitors
  • Prepare data for use by other professionals
  • Provide advice to other professionals about civil works associated with water-related projects and activities (including dams, weirs, bridges, irrigation projects, water supply schemes, flood protection works, warning services and marine facilities)
  • Prepare reports on sites, data collection and quality.

Tasks

  • Performs routine mathematical calculations and computations of measurement..
  • Collects information and samples..
  • Controls the quality and quantity of laboratory supplies by testing samples and monitoring usage..
  • Prepares materials for experimentation, including freezing and slicing specimens and mixing chemicals..
  • Checks, calibrates and maintains test equipment..
  • Participates in fabricating, installing and modifying equipment to ensure that critical standards are met..
  • Conducts field and laboratory experiments, tests and analyses..
  • Presents results in graphic or written form by preparing maps charts, sketches, diagrams and reports..

Working conditions for a Hydrologist

Hydrologists work in offices and in the field.


Employment Opportunities for a Hydrologist

The major employers of hydrologists include government departments, statutory authorities, the mining industry and consulting firms in hydrology, environmental science or environmental engineering. Competition for entry-level positions is very strong. The number of available assistant or trainee positions varies each year.


Specializations

Hydrologist

Hydrologists measure, analyse and maintain the quantity and quality of water in rivers, lakes, stormwater and sewage. They use this information to plan and develop strategies for water conservation and the improvement of water quality.

  • Average age
    Average age
    36 years
  • Future Growth
    Future Growth
    Strong
  • Gender Share
    Gender Share
    19% female
  • Average full-time
    Average full-time
    51 hours
  • Weekly Pay
    Weekly Pay
    $1,500
  • Skill level rating
    Skill level rating
    High skill
  • Unemployment
    Unemployment
    Lower unemployment
  • Full-Time Share
    Full-Time Share
    86% Full-Time
  • Employment Size
    Employment Size
    1,600 workers
  • Employment Size
    Employment by state
    ACT: 1.5%
    NSW: 28.6%
    NT: 1.5%
    QLD: 18.8%
    SA: 6.9%
    TAS: 2.6%
    VIC: 10.9%
    WA: 28.9%
  • Employment Size
    Age brackets
    15-19: 2%
    20-24: 11.2%
    25-34: 31.7%
    35-44: 24.5%
    45-54: 16.7%
    55-59: 7%
    60-64: 4.9%
    65 and Over: 2.1%
  • Employment Size
    Education level
    Advanced Diploma/Diploma: 14.1%
    Bachelor degree: 23.2%
    Certificate III/IV: 25.2%
    Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate: 7%
    Year 10 and below: 7.2%
    Year 11: 3.8%
    Year 12: 19.5%
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