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Career and Education Opportunities for Hydrologists in Denver, Colorado

There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for hydrologists in the Denver, Colorado area. About 420 people are currently employed as hydrologists in Colorado. By 2016, this is expected to grow by 19% to about 500 people employed. This is better than the national trend for hydrologists, which sees this job pool growing by about 18.2% over the next eight years. In general, hydrologists research the distribution, circulation, and physical properties of underground and surface waters; 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.

The income of a hydrologist is about $36 per hour or $76,370 annually on average in Colorado. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $34 hourly or $71,450 per year on average. Hydrologists earn less than people working in the category of Physical Sciences generally in Colorado and less than people in the Physical Sciences category nationally. Jobs in this field include: geophysical laboratory chief, volcanologist, and environmental consultant.

There are sixty-four schools of higher education in the Denver area, including two within twenty-five miles of Denver where you can get a degree to start your career as a hydrologist. Hydrologists usually hold a Master's degree, so it will take about six years to learn to be a hydrologist if you already have a high school diploma, or just 2 years if you have a Bachelor's degree.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Hydrologist

Hydrologist video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, hydrologists research the distribution, circulation, and physical properties of underground and surface waters; 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.

Hydrologists study and document quantities, distribution and development of underground and surface waters. They also evaluate research data in terms of its impact on issues such as soil and water conservation, flood control planning, and water supply forecasting. Equally important, hydrologists have to design or modify methods of conducting hydrologic studies. They are often called upon to answer questions and furnish technical assistance and data to contractors or the public regarding issues such as well drilling and geology. They are expected to study public water supply issues, including flood and drought risks, water quality and impacts on wetland habitats. Finally, hydrologists evaluate data and furnish recommendations regarding the feasibility of municipal projects, such as hydroelectric power plants, irrigation systems, flood warning systems, and waste treatment facilities.

Every day, hydrologists are expected to be able to listen to and understand others in meetings. They need to articulate ideas and problems. It is also important that they write clearly and communicate well.

It is important for hydrologists to investigate properties, origins, and movements of glaciers and permafrost. They are often called upon to layout civil works associated with hydrographic efforts and supervise their construction and maintenance. They also conduct research and communicate data to promote the conservation and preservation of water resources. They are sometimes expected to compile and evaluate hydrologic data to ready navigational charts and maps and to predict atmospheric conditions. Somewhat less frequently, hydrologists are also expected to compile and evaluate hydrologic data to ready navigational charts and maps and to predict atmospheric conditions.

Hydrologists sometimes are asked to direct and supervise the work of professional and technical staff, including research assistants and technicians. They also have to be able to administer programs designed to insure the proper sealing of abandoned wells And finally, they sometimes have to design or modify methods of conducting hydrologic studies.

Like many other jobs, hydrologists must have exceptional integrity and be able to absorb the factors involved and a problem and provide a well thought out solution.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Denver include:

  • Astronomer. Observe, research, and interpret celestial and astronomical phenomena to increase basic knowledge and apply such information to practical problems.
  • Atmospheric Scientist. Investigate atmospheric phenomena and interpret meteorological data gathered by surface and air stations, satellites, and radar to prepare reports and forecasts for public and other uses.
  • Chemist. Conduct qualitative and quantitative chemical analyses or chemical experiments in laboratories for quality or process control or to develop new products or knowledge.
  • Environmental Health and Safety Specialist. Conduct research or perform investigation for the purpose of identifying, abating, or eliminating sources of pollutants or hazards that affect either the environment or the health of the population. Utilizing knowledge of various scientific disciplines may collect, synthesize, and take action based on data derived from measurements or observations of air, food, and other sources.
  • Geographic Information Systems Analyst. Study nature and use of areas of earth's surface, relating and interpreting interactions of physical and cultural phenomena. Conduct research on physical aspects of a region, including land forms, climates, soils, plants and animals, and conduct research on the spatial implications of human activities within a given area, including social characteristics, economic activities, and political organization, as well as researching interdependence between regions at scales ranging from local to global.
  • Geological Specialist. Study the composition, structure, and other physical aspects of the earth. May use geological, physics, and mathematics knowledge in exploration for oil, gas, or underground water; or in waste disposal, land reclamation, or other environmental problems. May study the earth's internal composition, atmospheres, and its magnetic, electrical, and gravitational forces. Includes mineralogists, crystallographers, and seismologists.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Hydrologist Training

University of Colorado at Boulder - Boulder, CO

University of Colorado at Boulder, Regent Drive at Broadway, Boulder, CO 80309-0017. University of Colorado at Boulder is a large university located in Boulder, Colorado. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 32,191 students and an admission rate of 78%. University of Colorado at Boulder has bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree programs in Geology/Earth Science which graduated thirteen, nine, and three students respectively in 2008.

Colorado School of Mines - Golden, CO

Colorado School of Mines, 1500 Illinois St, Golden, CO 80401. Colorado School of Mines is a small school located in Golden, Colorado. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 4,488 students and an admission rate of 61%. Colorado School of Mines has 2 areas of study related to Hydrologist. They are:

  • Geology/Earth Science, master's degree which graduated 6 students in 2008.
  • Hydrology and Water Resources Science, master's degree which graduated 2 students in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Certified Water Technologist: The Certified Water Technologist (CWT) program represents the highest professional credential in the industrial and commercial water treatment field.

For more information, see the Association of Water Technologies website.

Certified Ground Water Professional: The Ground Water Professional certification program began for AGWSE members in 1986.

For more information, see the National Ground Water Association website.

Erosion and Sediment Control Certification: This certification program was designed for engineering technicians engaged in all phases of erosion and sediment control work.

For more information, see the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Denver, Colorado

Denver, Colorado
Denver, Colorado photo by David Shankbone

Denver is located in Denver County, Colorado. It has a population of over 598,707, which has grown by 7.9% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Denver, 102, is near the national average. New single-family homes in Denver are priced at $223,800 on average, which is below the state average. In 2008, eight hundred thirty-seven new homes were constructed in Denver, down from 1,215 the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Denver are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 25 minutes. More than 34.5% of Denver residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 12.4%, is higher than the state average.

The percentage of Denver residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 53.0%, is more than both the national and state average. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the American Baptist Churches in the USA and the Episcopal Church.

Denver is home to the J F Kennedy Municipal Golf Course and the North Marston Filtration Plant as well as Cheesman Park and Bear Creek Park. Shopping malls in the area include Alameda Square Shopping Center, Boulevard Shopping Center and Brentwood Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Denver can choose from Embassy Suites Hotel Denver Downtown, Intown Suites Aurora and Denver Marriott City Center for temporary stays in the area.