Hydrologist need at least a bachelor's degree for entry-level positions; however, some workers begin their careers with a master's degree.
Hydrologists need at least a bachelor's degree, and some begin their careers with a master's degree. Applicants for advanced research and university faculty positions typically need a Ph.D.
Few universities offer undergraduate degrees in hydrology; instead, most universities offer hydrology concentrations in their geosciences, engineering, or earth science programs. Students interested in becoming hydrologists need extensive coursework in math, statistics, and physical, computer, and life sciences. Hydrologists may find it helpful to have a background in economics, environmental law, and other government policy related topics. Knowledge of these areas may help hydrologists communicate with and understand the goals of policymakers and other government workers.
Analytical skills. Hydrologists need to analyze data collected in the field and examine the results of laboratory tests.
Communication skills. Hydrologists prepare detailed reports that document their research methods and findings. They may have to present their findings to people who do not have a technical background, such as government officials or the general public.
Critical-thinking skills. Hydrologists assess the potential risks to the water supply by pollution, floods, droughts, and other threats. They develop water management plans to handle these threats.
Interpersonal skills. Most hydrologists work as part of a diverse team with engineers, technicians, and other scientists.
Physical stamina. When they are in the field, hydrologists may need to hike to remote locations while carrying testing and sampling equipment.