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VOC Course Subject Prerequisites Year 12 Preferred University Course Subject Prerequisites Licence

Also known as Terrestrial Hydrographer and Hydrometric Officer.

Hydrologists measure, analyse and maintain the quantity and quality of water in rivers, lakes, stormwater and sewage.

They use this information to plan and develop strategies for water conservation and the improvement of water quality.


    Hydrologists may perform the following tasks:

  • select, install, maintain and repair instruments that monitor such things as water levels, water flows, ground water, rainfall and sediments
  • complete field observations and collect sample data at various locations to confirm data gathered by automatic monitors
  • prepare data for use by other professionals
  • provide advice to other professionals about civil works associated with water-related projects and activities (including dams, weirs, bridges, irrigation projects, water supply schemes, flood protection works, warning services and marine facilities)
  • prepare reports on sites, data collection and quality. Hydrologists work in offices and in the field


  • able to work accurately and systematically
  • able to communicate effectively
  • aptitude for physics, mathematics and statistics
  • mechanical ability and the ability to work with technology
  • able to work independently or as part of a team
  • able to work in confined spaces and at heights
  • able to swim

Interest Area

Scientific Technical/Engineering Figures/Computational Outdoor


VOC Course Subject Prerequisites Year 12 Preferred University Course Subject Prerequisites Licence

To become a hydrologist you usually have to complete a VOC qualification in water operations. As subjects and prerequisites can vary between institutions, you should contact your chosen institution for further information. You may be able to study through distance education.

Entry to this occupation may be improved if you have a degree with a major in environmental science, hydrology, water science or natural resources. To get into these courses you usually need to gain your HSC/ACT Year 12. Prerequisite subjects, or assumed knowledge, in one or more of English, mathematics, earth and environmental science, biology, chemistry and physics are normally required. Most universities in Australia offer degrees in these areas.

Universities have different prerequisites and some have flexible entry requirements or offer external study. Contact the universities you are interested in for more information as requirements may change.

Additional Information

    A current drivers licence and boating licence may be required.

    It may be possible to gain employment as a cadet or trainee with a government department without a degree if you have several years of relevant work experience.

    Graduates of approved courses are able to apply for membership and various levels of certification with the Australian Hydrographers Association.


The major employers of hydrologists include government departments, statutory authorities, the mining industry and consulting firms in hydrology, environmental science or environmental engineering. Competition for entry-level positions is very strong. The number of assistant or trainee positions that are available varies each year.

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More Information - External Links

Job Outlook for Hydrologist Australian Hydrographers Association Office of Water, Department of Primary Industries (NSW)

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