Hydrogeologists are scientists who specialize in the study of water systems, especially groundwater and the way in which it moves through the Earth's crust. There are a number of careers open in hydrogeology to people who are interested in this field, ranging from work as environmental consultants assisting companies with management of natural resources to work as instructors training new hydrogeologists and providing information about environmental science to students. Qualifications for hydrogeologist jobs often include a graduate degree in hydrogeology, and a number of colleges and universities offer hydrogeology degrees to their students.
These scientists are often especially concerned with protecting groundwater and natural resources. Some hydrogeologist jobs are in the field of pollution control, environmental remediation, and wastewater management for this reason. Hydrogeologists can also be hired as consultants on projects which could produce a risk of groundwater contamination, and they can work on ongoing pollution control issues. They may also work as community advocates, educating the public about water issues ranging from pollution caused by dumping motor oil in storm sewers to water wastage from inefficient household practices.
The mining industry often has hydrogeologist jobs available because mines want to avoid contaminating groundwater and the location of groundwater may be relevant to a mine's operations. Hazardous waste management, including the management of nuclear waste, can be another career option for a hydrogeologist, as can fields such as aquatic biology and oceanography. Landfills sometimes need a hydrogeologist to test for groundwater contamination and to make recommendations to avoid or minimize the effects of contamination.
Government hydrogeologists are often involved in tasks like identifying new groundwater supplies, monitoring existing water resources, and developing ways to use water more efficiently to avoid shortages. They can also perform environmental inspections, examine building applications and building sites, and develop legislation and policy to protect water resources. These hydrogeologist jobs can be very important, as they may shape the future of a community or an entire nation.
Many hydrogeologist jobs are available in environmental engineering companies. In addition to working for such companies, hydrogeologists can also hire themselves out as independent consultants. Consulting work can sometimes pay more, and it can provide more employment flexibility. There are also a number of hydrogeologist jobs open in research, including research conducted by governments, universities, and private companies. University and college employment can include employment in earth science departments as an instructor or consultant, along with employment as a general environmental science or environmental ethics instructor.