Hydrologists: Salary, Job Description, How To Become One, and Quiz

Stan T.Career, Overview


Hydrologists research the distribution, circulation, and physical properties of underground and surface waters; and study the form and intensity of precipitation and its rate of infiltration into the soil, movement through the earth, and return to the ocean and atmosphere.

Becoming One
Very Hard
Master's degree
Job Satisfaction
Job Growth

Interest Match

Job description

Hydrologists 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.

  • 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.
Read more about what does a Hydrologist really do at work and what is it like being and working as one.

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Average salary
$82790 per year

Average hourly wage
$40 per hour

Hydrologists with little to no experience tend to make between $48820 and $61280 while the more experienced ones can earn over $100090 per year.

Top 5 paying states Hourly Annual
NJ $53 $109,910
GA $51 $105,230
MD $48 $100,280
CA $48 $99,080
NH $46 $95,520

One of the easiest ways to increase your salary as a Hydrologist is to move to a higher paying state like NJ. Right now, the highest paying states for Hydrologists are NJ, GA, MD, CA and NH.

However, a higher pay at NJ doesn’t guarantee that you will make more because the living expenses at NJ might be twice as high than where you are currently at now.

Three other factors that can increase your salary as a Hydrologist is the degree you hold, the industry you work in, and lastly the company you work for.


Recommended degree level
Master’s degree

We asked other Hydrologists what degree they had when they got the job and most of them said they had a Master’s Degree followed by a Bachelor’s Degree.

Other than that, we also asked them what did they major in and here are the most popular majors that came up.

Geology/Earth Science, General
Hydrology and Water Resources Science
Oceanography, Chemical and Physical
Read more about how to become a Hydrologist and the degree, training and education you need.

Pros and Cons

Here are some of the pros and cons of being a Hydrologist.

Suitable for people who likes to solve problems mentally
Suitable for people who values achievements and are results-oriented
Very high salary (top 25% highest paid careers)
Demand for this career is growing fast
Not suitable for people who likes to help and teach others
It is hard to get into this career. A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for this career.
Long working hours (More than 40 hours per week)

What is the job like

Job satisfaction

Is this job meaningful

66% of Hydrologists said they were satisfied with their job and 57% said they feel like their job is making other people’s lives better.

Is this right for me

Best personality for this career
The Thinkers and The Builders

You can read more about these career personality types here.

People who are suitable for this job tends to like working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. They like searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally..

They also like work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They like working with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery.

Learn more about Hydrologists

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