Powerful Geography


Hydrographer / Hydrologists


Main Topic: Physical Geography
Secondary Topic: Environment and Society 

Overview: As a Hydrographer/Hydrologists, you should have an interest in the ocean, including the ocean floor, currents, tides and wavesYou should have technical aptitude and are able to use specialized research equipmentYou should be interested in fieldwork and collecting dataYou should have an education in surveying, civil engineering, geography or a related fieldYou should have competence in seamanshipHydrographers are responsible for surveying and charting coastal and inland waters. They monitor, measure, analyze and describe aspects of the water cycle, the ocean floor, currents, tide measurements and wave information. They also study natural resources that are found in the oceans, as well as the human use of water resources. The information they gather has multiple applications, including the safe, orderly and efficient conduct of marine vessels. Some typical duties include: Perform both field work and data analysisPerform surveys of the ocean floor, currents, tide measurements and wave information in order to obtain hydrographic dataMonitor water levels and flow, meteorology, sediments and water qualitySearch for underwater obstacles in oceans or lakesAnalyze field data using geographic information systems (GIS) softwareSelect, install, use, calibrate, maintain and repair specialized surveying instrumentsUse underwater acoustic equipment to establish and monitor tidal data and outline coastlinesArchive and quality control collected data and information. 

Geographers at work: Physical Geographers, Geographic Information Scientists, Water Resource Specialists 

Recommended College Courses: Physical Geography, Geographic Information Systems, Remote Sensing, Environmental Management, Quantitative Methods 

Skills: Quantitative Methods, Field Methods, Hydrology 

Occupation Group: Life, Physical, and Social Science

Learn more about Hydrologists from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and U.S. Department of Labor:

Written by Christopher Hinojosa


Hydrologists study how water moves across and through the Earth’s crust.
Hydrologists study how water moves across and through the Earth’s crust.