Hydrogeology Jobs

Provides various information about hydrogeology jobs including, what do hydrogeologists do, qualifications required and which companies hire hydrogeologists.

What is hydrogeology?

Hydrogeology is the study of groundwater and its qualities: flow, amount, speed, direction, sustainability, extraction or replenishment capabilities. Hydrology includes this and the study of the properties, quantity, and distribution of both surface and underground waters. Hydrogeology is an underground specialty within the broader field of water resources.

What is a hydrogeologist? What do they do?

A hydrogeologist evaluates the quality, quantity, reliability and sustainability of all aspects of water resources. With this information the hydrogeologist makes management recommendations.

They study the properties of underground and surface waters, locate water and energy resources. They may predict water-related geologic hazards or give environmental site assessments or advice on hazardous-waste-site remediation.

What do qualifications do hydrogeologists need?

Hydrogeologists need physical sciences including chemistry, physics, biology, geology and mathematics. They also need a background in geophysics, atmospheric science, data analysis, physical geography and computer skills.

Good communication skills both verbal and written are essential. They must be able to work with other scientists, engineers, and technicians. Writing technical reports and research proposals are also integral parts of the work. Fieldwork requires physical stamina. Professional positions require master’s or doctoral levels of education for research or college teaching.

What areas do hydrogeologists cover in their courses?

These scientists are likely to take courses in these areas:

  • pollution abatement
  • water resources
  • geochemistry
  • hydrology
  • hazardous-waste management
  • environmental legislation
  • fluid mechanics
  • geologic logging
  • environmental regulations
  • geophysics
  • engineering science
  • soil science
  • aquatic biology
  • atmospheric science
  • oceanography
  • hydrogeology
  • What types of tasks do hydrogeologists perform?

    Hydrogeology work is done in the field, office and laboratory. Conditions for field work may vary widely. Hydrogeologists use an array of highly technical instruments and techniques. Field work also requires physical stamina and direct contact with water and rocks. Laboratory work involves conducting tests, experiments, gathering data and recording results. Those in academic or research positions design programs and write grant proposals in addition to technical reports.

    Hydrogeologists may conduct investigations to mitigate or eliminate sources of pollutants or hazards that affect the environment. Some hydrogeologists may work with mining companies to aid in the discovery and extraction of minerals.

    What areas of specialization may hydrogeologists choose?

    Hydrogeologists specialize in underground water resources. Within that framework they may examine the rate of infiltration of precipitation into different soil types and note its movement beneath the surface. They apply remote sensing technology and data assimilation to track changes in regional and global water cycles. Information about the quality, quantity and sustainability of the water resource in each aquifer is vital. Other specialties within the field include:

  • Mining
  • Oil and gas extraction
  • Managing water quality
  • Wastewater treatment
  • Flood control
  • Environmental preservation
  • Soil reclamation
  • Groundwater decontamination
  • What type of companies employ hydrogeologists?

    Federal, State, and local governments employ most hydrologists and hydrogeologists. Private-sector consulting firms hold the greatest growth potential. Many hydrogeologists work at consulting firms, advising and helping businesses and government agencies comply with environmental policy. Others work at universities or institutes with teaching and research responsibilities. Some develop environmental policy regarding underground water resources.