What is the job of a Hydrologist?



The hydrologist is a specialist in the study of the water cycle. He carries out surface water control, aquatic environment preservation, and also water resource management missions.

The hydrologist is primarily interested in surface waters. The work of the hydrologist varies greatly depending on his position and his specialization. In some cases, he carries out monitoring and observation work, for example, to measure the impact of precipitation or a change in land use on the water regime.
In other cases, it takes care of water development and management. He may also be required to develop and design hydraulic works such as irrigation systems, drinking water exploitation, or hydraulic energy generation.

Alongside his bench work, he very often travels to the field where he interacts with people from different backgrounds. When he has an advisory role, important editorial work often awaits him when he returns to the office.
His work, therefore, requires different skills because the hydrologist is often a researcher, engineer, and consultant at the same time. His responsibility as a professional in environmental protection and water quality is not negligible either.


  • Controls the quality of the water throughout its treatment.
  • Analyzes the waters of rivers and also groundwater
  • Informs industrialists or farmers about the harmfulness of some of their products and encourages them to pollute less.
  • Carries out studies, models, and also recommendations to anticipate droughts, floods, etc.
  • Carries out a permanent technological watch to know the properties of new pollutants (composition, harmfulness, etc.)
  • Participates in conferences, goes into the field, and also leads a team of technicians.
  • Evaluate the effects of the weather or the impact of climate change on water resources.
  • Measure water level and flow in streams, canals, and also rivers
  • Determine the amount of evaporated water and also infiltrated water
  • Model water circulation using complex mathematical calculations,
  • Measures the variations in the state and also the characteristics of watercourses
  • Studies the hydrological cycle, that is the diffusion of water in the ground
  • Studies the interactions between water and its environment
  • Evaluate the impact of these modifications on water circulation.
  • Studies the consequences of the modifications made by man on the quality and also the volume of the water resource.

Depending on the structure that employs him and his specialization, his activities vary. Some hydrologists design and manage the development of the aquatic environment (diversion of the river, construction of a dam or a station, etc.). Others are assessing the impact of these changes on water circulation. Still, others specialize in the analysis of water and its properties to certify its quality, detect the presence of pollutants or consider its use by humans.;
His profile is, therefore, similar to that of a researcher, a professional in environmental protection, water quality, and the construction of water supply networks.


A bachelor’s degree from an engineering school with a specialization in physics, chemistry, hydrology, or hydrogeology is relevant. In the United States, a bachelor’s degree is the primary requirement for entry-level positions. However, a master’s degree in Earth and planetary sciences, Management of groundwater resources and the environment e.t.c. may be required for higher positions. Coursework for a bachelor’s degree includes water sciences, chemistry, physics, life sciences, and also statistics.


In the United States, the average salary of a hydrologist is $84,040. The salary, however, varies according to the missions and the employing organization from $52,900 to $130,030 annually.

Technical skills

  • Extensive knowledge in hydrology, mathematics, biology, chemistry, and also environment
  • Computer knowledge
  • Mastery of various investigative tools.

Other skills include

  • Analyze
  • Control
  • Monitor
  • Communicate.

Personal qualities

  • Adaptation
  • Team spirit
  • Rationality and also rigor
  • Observation
  • Interest in water

Job Opportunities


The hydrologist works in design offices, civil engineering, and also rural engineering companies. He can also participate in research work in various organizations.
The expertise of the hydrologist may be requested for different missions. This includes the design of various facilities to control the level of watercourses, the erosion of banks or the flow of rainwater, the preservation of aquatic ecosystems, and the fight against pollution.
The hydrologist not only conducts observations in the field but also works a great deal using modeling tools, GIS (geographic information system).

Careers Titles

  • Environmental engineer
  • Environmental geophysics
  • Water Resource Engineer
  • Sanitarian
  • Hydrologic Systems Analyst
  • Project Manager
  • Groundwater Hydrologist
  • Oceanographer
  • Conservationist
  • Watershed Management
  • Compliance Director


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