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Career and Education Opportunities for Hydrologists in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

If you want to be a hydrologist, the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. The national trend for hydrologists 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.

A person working as a hydrologist can expect to earn about $39 per hour or $82,680 per year on average in Pennsylvania and about $34 hourly or $71,450 yearly on average in the U.S. as a whole. Earnings for hydrologists are better than earnings in the general category of Physical Sciences in Pennsylvania and not quite as good as general Physical Sciences category earnings nationally. Jobs in this field include: hydraulic engineer, environmental consultant, and groundwater consultant.

The Pittsburgh area is home to eighty-three schools of higher education, including two within twenty-five miles of Pittsburgh where you can get a degree 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 Pittsburgh include:

  • Astronomer. Observe, research, and interpret celestial and astronomical phenomena to increase basic knowledge and apply such information to practical problems.
  • 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

California University of Pennsylvania - California, PA

California University of Pennsylvania, 250 University Ave, California, PA 15419-1394. California University of Pennsylvania is a medium sized university located in California, Pennsylvania. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 8,519 students and an admission rate of 61%. California University of Pennsylvania has a bachelor's degree program in Geology/Earth Science which graduated thirteen students in 2008.

University of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh Campus - Pittsburgh, PA

University of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh Campus, 4200 Fifth Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15260. University of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh Campus is a large university located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 27,562 students and an admission rate of 56%. University of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh Campus has bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree programs in Geology/Earth Science which graduated one, three, and two students respectively 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: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania photo by Conk 9

Pittsburgh is located in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. It has a population of over 310,037, which has shrunk by 7.3% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Pittsburgh, 86, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Pittsburgh cost $196,700 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, one hundred eighty-five new homes were built in Pittsburgh, up from one hundred seventeen the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Pittsburgh are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is educational services, health care, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 23 minutes. More than 26.2% of Pittsburgh residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 12.5%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Pittsburgh is 7.8%, which is less than Pennsylvania's average of 8.4%.

The percentage of Pittsburgh residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 71.8%, is more than both the national and state average. Saint Pauls Cathedral, Saint Patrick Roman Cathlic Church and Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church are some of the churches located in Pittsburgh. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Presbyterian Church (USA) and the United Methodist Church.

Pittsburgh is home to the Mount Washington Overlook and the Golden Triangle as well as Magee Playground and Kennard Playground. Shopping centers in the area include Shadyside Shopping Center and Allegheny Center Mall. Visitors to Pittsburgh can choose from Best Western University Center, Avalon Motel and Four Points By Sheraton Pittsburgh Airport for temporary stays in the area.