Career and Education Opportunities for Hydrologists in Billings, Montana
Hydrologists can find both educational opportunities and jobs in the Billings, Montana area. About 110 people are currently employed as hydrologists in Montana. By 2016, this is expected to grow by 31% to 150 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.
Hydrologists earn approximately $27 per hour or $56,560 per year on average in Montana. Nationally they average about $34 per hour or $71,450 yearly. Incomes for hydrologists are not quite as good as in the overall category of Physical Sciences in Montana, and not quite as good as the overall Physical Sciences category nationally. Jobs in this field include: geophysical laboratory chief, environmental consultant, and hydrologic engineer.
There are four schools of higher education in the Billings area, including one within twenty-five miles of Billings where you can get a degree to start your career as a hydrologist. Hydrologists usually hold a Master's degree, so you can expect to spend about six years training to become a hydrologist if you already have a high school diploma, or just 2 years starting with a Bachelor's degree.
CAREER DESCRIPTION: Hydrologist
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 Billings include:
- 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.
- 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
Rocky Mountain College - Billings, MT
Rocky Mountain College, 1511 Poly Drive, Billings, MT 59102-1796. Rocky Mountain College is a small college located in Billings, Montana. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 872 students and an admission rate of 68%. Rocky Mountain College has a bachelor's degree program in Geology/Earth Science which graduated four students in 2008.
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: Billings, Montana
Billings is situated in Yellowstone County, Montana. It has a population of over 103,994, which has grown by 15.7% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Billings, 88, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Billings are valued at $132,200 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, five hundred nineteen new homes were built in Billings, down from six hundred four the previous year.
The three most popular industries for women in Billings are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. The average commute to work is about 16 minutes. More than 28.5% of Billings residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 8.2%, is higher than the state average.
The unemployment rate in Billings is 4.4%, which is less than Montana's average of 5.8%.
The percentage of Billings residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 48.6%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the LDS (Mormon) Church.
Billings is home to the Twin Pines Ranch and the Hilands Golf Club as well as Cobb Field and Pioneer Park. Visitors to Billings can choose from Western Executive Inn, Holiday Inn Express and Big 5 Motel for temporary stays in the area.