Sokanu rates Hydrologists with a D employability rating, meaning this career should provide weak employment opportunities for the foreseeable future. Over the next 10 years, it is expected the US will need 2,600 Hydrologists. That number is based on 500 additional Hydrologists, and the retirement of 2,200 existing Hydrologists.
Demand for Hydrologists
Demand for the services provided by hydrologists will stem from increases in mining, construction, and hydraulic fracturing. The environmental concerns of global climate change and rising sea levels, coupled with flooding in some regions and droughts in others, should also create opportunities in the field. As the world population grows and more human activity changes the natural water cycle, managing water resources will become critical. Population expansion into previously uninhabited areas may increase the risk of flooding and landslides and result in water availability issues for new communities.
In addition, there will be a need to comply with complex environmental laws and regulations regarding ground-water decontamination and hazardous waste sites. City planners and construction companies will seek out hydrologists to help them design and construct buildings, transportation corridors, and utilities that protect water resources, prevent geologic hazards, and ensure beneficial land use. All of these factors will require sustainable solutions and therefore positively influence the job outlook for hydrologists. However, as governments are the principal consumers of hydrologic data and information, budget constraints may limit growth. Consequently, employment prospects for hydrologists should be strongest with private-sector scientific and technical consulting firms, and architectural and engineering companies.
Job seekers with field experience, computer modeling knowledge, and understanding of both the scientific and engineering aspects of waste remediation are predicted to have the best opportunities. Senior hydrologists may advance to positions as project directors or agency administrators; or they may obtain research grants, join university faculties, or become top-level government or industrial consultants.
Supply of Hydrologists
The Hydrologist industry is concentrated in California, Colorado, and Washington.