How to Become a


The complete career guide to be a Hydrogeologist: salary, job growth, employers, best schools, and education you may need to get started.

Why We Love It

  • $136,570
    Potential Avg. Salary
  • 3.3%
    Job Growth Rate
  • Growing Demand
    Job Outlook
  • Get to Travel
    Career Attribute

The main function of a hydrogeologist is to study the distribution and flow of groundwater. Their purpose is to preserve and maintain these natural resources below the earth’s surface, without compromising on the water quality.

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What is a Hydrogeologist?


As expert scientists, hydrogeologists have multiple tasks that revolve around assessing underground water, such as the ones listed here:

  • Performing fieldwork that involves collecting data on different hydrogeological properties of an assigned area, such as molecular diffusion, porosity and hydrodynamic dispersion.
  • Analysing and interpreting technical information in a concise way, from documents such as geographical reports and maps to model groundwater flow and geological aspects.
  • Designing and organising the drilling of boreholes for the purpose of sampling and measuring both groundwater and surface water.
  • Liaising with other hydrogeologists and hydrogeologists in the field to keep up-to-date on the latest developments.

Day In The Life

The work of a hydrogeologist is mostly office based, but frequent site visits and field duties are a significant part of the job. These responsibilities bring you outdoors throughout the year, no matter what the weather conditions. On a daily basis, you will be spending time at different sites to monitor and collect data samples for examination with regard to water quality, movement and distribution. You will use a range of techniques to extract pertinent data for further research, such as geographical information systems (GIS).

After an on-site visit, you will spend a lot of your time at a laboratory or office setting, evaluating and critically analysing the data for patterns. Some of your time as a hydrogeologist will also be spent writing reports in an easy-to-understand manner and presenting models of groundwater flow with the help of sophisticated computer applications.

Reports compiled by you will make an impact in various ways, such as help construction companies, agricultural development agencies and mining companies assess the impact of their projects on local groundwater resources. It will also give you the opportunity to provide people with clean water sources, through guidance on where to produce pumps or wells.

Work Schedule And Typical Hours

A hydrogeologist has to work for five days a week, typically from 9 am to 5 pm. However, longer hours might occasionally be required due to busy schedules or tight deadlines. With some employers, flextime and part-time work is also an option.

Most will also get the opportunity to travel both domestically and internationally based on the job position and scope of work. Due to the nature of the role, your working hours will be mostly outdoors interacting with nature, conducting research on both surface water and groundwater resources.

Growth Of The Job

As per the U.S. Bureau of Labour Statistics, the market will see a growth of 7 percent in job opportunities for hydrogeologists. Employers are looking for specialists with the expertise to conserve as well as manage the earth’s valuable resources and hydrogeologists will be in great demand.

An increasing focus on environmental and sustainability issues will lead to better prospects for aspirants in this line of work. A deeper understanding on groundwater management will also be necessary to address the necessities of rising populations.

Typical Employers

There is great potential for jobs in an emerging field like hydrogeology. A range of industries require their services, including construction, manufacturing, mining, environmental research and hazardous waste.

They are often employed by the federal government, architectural or engineering firms, lawyers, contracting firms, company owners as well as the general public. A select few in this employment sector will find lucrative opportunities working for charities and non-governmental organisations to source new water supplies and conducting quality checks.

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How To Become a Hydrogeologist

For entry-level jobs in this field, one needs to have at least a bachelor’s degree, while some start their careers with a master’s degree. Your degree must be in a relevant scientific or engineering subject, such as geology, geochemistry, hydrogeology, etc. Extensive coursework in foundational subjects like economics, math, statistics and life sciences is also required to advance your career.

Besides cultivating the right knowledge through academic specialisation, aspiring hydrogeologists must have a variety of skills to excel at their job. Firstly, they must have effective verbal and written communication skills since much of their work involves conveying technical jargon in simple yet comprehensive manner to people like policymakers, government officials and project managers. Secondly, superior physical stamina is a must – hydrogeologists have to be comfortable working extended hours outdoors and in somewhat difficult environments.

Hydrogeologist Salary Data

We’ve provided you the following to learn more about this career. The salary and growth data on this page comes from recently published Bureau of Labor Statistics data while the recommendations and editorial content are based on our research.

National Anual Salary

Low Range




High Range


National Hourly Wage

Low Range




High Range


How do Hydrogeologist salaries stack up to other jobs across the country? Based on the latest jobs data nationwide, Hydrogeologist's can make an average annual salary of $136,570, or $66 per hour. On the lower end, they can make $91,990 or $44 per hour, perhaps when just starting out or based on the state you live in.

Salary Rankings And Facts

  • #20 Nationally for All Careers

  • Above Average Salary Nationally

Programs and Degrees

Here are the most common degrees for becoming a Hydrogeologist. a is usually recommended and specifically a degree or coursework that prepares you for the particular field, see below.

Highest Education Among Hydrogeologists

  • 27.2%   Doctorate
  • 31.4%   Masters
  • 33.2%   Bachelors
  • 2.3%   Associates
  • 4%   College
  • 1.4%   High School
  • 0.6%   Less than High School

Job Growth Projections and Forecast

2014 Total Jobs


2024 Est. Jobs


Job Growth Rate


Est. New Jobs


How does Hydrogeologist job growth stack up to other jobs across the country? By 2024, there will be a change of 1,800 jobs for a total of 56,900 people employed in the career nationwide. This is a 3.3% change in growth over the next ten years, giving the career a growth rate nationwide of Above Average.

Growth Rankings And Facts

  • #510 Nationally for All Careers

  • Above Avg. Growth Nationally

What Companies Employ The Most Hydrogeologists

Industry Current Jobs New Jobs Needed % Increase
Research and development in the physical, engineering, and life sciences 15,500 1,100 1%
Federal government, excluding postal service 10,600 -1,000 -1%
Pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing 4,800 --- ---

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