The salary of a hydrologist can range between USD 49,000 to USD 80,000 annually, with some even making more than USD 100,000 annually.
Water is required for sustenance of all life forms and hydrologists plays a vital role in studying its cycle. Hydrology involves the study of Earth’s water resources. It also involves the study of the movement and quality of water.
Hydrologists take up governments jobs, work for environment agencies, private firms, etc. Salary is comparable to other professions under the geo-sciences spectrum, with some salaries going as high as USD 155,000 annually.
The salary of a hydrologist depends on educational qualifications and candidates with a master’s degree earn more than their counterparts with a bachelor’s degree. Studying for a bachelor’s degree in hydrology can last up to 4 years and students will need a high school diploma or GED equivalent to enroll.
Students who are good in subjects like maths, economics, sciences like physics, biology, and chemistry will excel in this profession. A master’s degree will offer specializations in hydrology like surface hydrology, hydrometeorology, water management, water chemistry, etc. There are doctorate programs in hydrology which require students to submit their original dissertations and study a subject in fields like engineering.
The work profile of hydrologists depends on educational qualifications and the organizations they work for. They use scientific methods and mathematical calculation to provide resolutions for water problems and management of water resources.
The salary also depends on the job profile. Farms with irrigation problems will also consult hydrologists for finding water supplies. At times, cities will also require their services to solve water crunch situations. Hydrologists are also required to use advanced computer software programs to devise better water management projects. The job may also require extensive field work, consisting of collecting soil and water samples. Hydrologists may be requisitioned to work on soil erosion problems and controlling river flooding issues.
Candidates with a bachelor’s degree in hydrology can get entry-level jobs in this profession and the salaries can start from around USD 41,000 annually. Students who have a Master’s degree stand a good chance of getting work with organizations that pay well. According to national statistics, the average salary lies between USD 49,000 to USD 80,000, with almost 80 percent lying in this bracket. Around 10 percent of hydrologists earn more than USD 100,000 annually. Hydrologists also take up teaching jobs which pay sufficient salaries.
Geographical location plays an important role in deciding salary ranges. The average salary for the state of California is around USD 79,000 annually. If you check for the state of New York, there is a significant rise in the annual wages, with the average salary going up to USD 90,000.
For the state of Texas, the statistics show a dip, with the average salary hovering around USD 72,000 annually. In Florida, the salary ranges between USD 72,000 to USD 75,000 per year. Most hydrologists are required to do lab as well as field work and may also be required to travel abroad. Many of them earn extra income in the form of a bonus and this amount can be significant.
The salary is quite enviable and the job outlook for this profession is good for the coming years. Rekindled environment awareness in the government and industrial sectors has also fueled the need for hydrologists.