Mining, Energy & Utilities
Hydrologists use their expertise in water and water movement to solve problems in areas of water quality, conservation or availability.
What does a Hydrologist do?
Hydrologists analyse and study water and water movement in rivers, lakes, dams and stormwater. They use their expertise to solve problems in areas of water quality, conservation or availability.
As a hydrologist, you would:
- design and conduct scientific hydrogeological investigations
- provide accurate and appropriate information for use in water resource management decisions
- study and document quantities, distribution, disposition, and development of underground and surface waters
- install, maintain, and calibrate instruments that monitor water levels, rainfall, and sediments
- collect samples to verify automatically gathered data
- study public water supply issues, including flood and drought risks, water quality, wastewater, and impacts on wetland habitats
- prepare consulting reports for other professionals with regard to water-related projects such as civil works, water supply schemes and marinas.
Key skills and interests
To become a hydrologist, you would need:
- an aptitude for physics, maths and statistics
- an interest in scientific data and data collection
- the ability to work systematically and accurately
- to be able to swim and work in confined spaces.
Working hours and conditions
Most hydrologists work full time. However, the length of daily shifts may vary when hydrologists work in the field.
Hydrologists work in the field and in offices. In the field, hydrologists may have to wade into lakes and streams to collect samples or to read and inspect monitoring equipment. In the office, hydrologists spend most of their time using computers to analyse data and model their findings.
A current drivers’ licence and/or boating licence may be required for field work.
How to become an Hydrologist?
Entry Level Education
Most hydrologists have a science 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 school certificate or equivalent. English, mathematics, earth and environmental science, biology, and chemistry would be appropriate subjects to study prior to university.
Employment of hydrologists is projected to grow about as fast as the average for all occupations.
Demand for the services of hydrologists will stem from increases in activities such as mining, construction, and coal seam gas extraction. Environmental concerns, especially global climate change and the possibility of sea level rises, in addition to ongoing concerns such as water availability, are likely to create employment opportunities for hydrologists.