Hydraulic Engineer

Build dams and other water-related structures.
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Quick Stats

Very Good

Salary Range
$51,000 – $119,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Hydraulic Engineers do?

As a Hydraulic Engineer, you spend the bulk of your time studying water-related engineering issues, and finding solutions to those problems. Because Hydraulic Engineers must research and analyze various bodies of water, you should enjoy the outdoors and being around the ocean, lakes, or rivers—you’ll be spending a lot of time there! Floods, heavy rainfall, rogue underwater currents—they’re all part of your jurisdiction, and it’s up to you to find the solution to each situation.

These bodies of water affect everyday life in a great way, and as a Hydraulic Engineer, you figure out how to make sure they are preserved and utilized properly, while also ensuring safety and conservative use of the water. You design dams and bridges, and spend much of your time planning and engineering to figure out how to incorporate these large steel and concrete structures into nature. You get to be creative, but also scientific and analytical.

You work both in the field and in an office, behind a computer, so you’ll need skills to navigate both. This career might lead to jobs in the fields of chemistry and biology, but wherever you end up, you have to be innovative and analytical, communicate well, and have an eye for detail. If you understand structure, and can appreciate the great power of water, this could be the career for you.

Should I be a Hydraulic Engineer?

You should have a bachelor's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.
  • Ready for a Challenge: You jump into new projects with initiative and drive.

  • Also known as: Hydrographic Engineer, Research Hydraulic Engineer

    How to become a Hydraulic Engineer

    Most Hydraulic Engineers have a Bachelor's degree. Chart?chd=s:aaa9dh&chl=|||bachelor%27s+%2886%25%29|master%27s+%285%25%29|doctorate+%2810%25%29&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,0,86
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