Hydrogeologist 3 (In-Training)

Washington Government Water Resources Program
Spokane, WA, United States
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
Experience Level: 
0-2 Years
Degree Required: 
Bachelor's (Or Equivalent)


Please note: this job post has expired! To the best of our knowledge, this job is no longer available and this page remains here for archival purposes only.
Protecting Washington State's environment for current and future generations is what we do every day at Ecology. We are a culture that is invested in making a difference. If you want to join a team that is highly effective, collaborative, has leadership that embraces the value of people, and believes in the fun factor, Ecology is a good fit.

The Water Resources (WR) program is currently looking to fill a Hydrogeologist 3 (In-Training) position. This position will be located in our Eastern Regional Office (ERO) in Spokane, WA.

The Hydrogeologist 3 position provides hydrogeologic analysis and technical assistance to internal water rights permitting and watermaster staff, and external watershed planning and water management groups. Supports cross program and other Ecology initiatives of the Regional Director and Regional Water Program Management Teams as directed by the Technical Unit Supervisor. Assists with the management of regional water supply data gathering system. Independently plans, develops, directs, conducts, and/or oversees professional hydrogeological investigations as directed by the Technical Unit Supervisor.

We're looking for innovative applicants who are comfortable in field, office, and public situations, are interested in data gathering, interpretation and application of the data to solve water availability problems. The ability to communicate, including complex hydrogeologic concepts to lay audiences, is desired.

As an agency, our mission is to protect, preserve and enhance Washington's environment for current and future generations. We invest in our employees to create and sustain a working environment that encourages creative leadership, effective resource management, teamwork, professionalism and accountability. Maybe you've seen some of our recent stories on TwitterFacebookInstagram or our blog.

To learn more about our agency, please visit our website at www.ecology.wa.gov.


The mission of the Water Resources program is to support sustainable water resources management to meet the present and future need of people and the natural environment, in partnership with Washington communities.

Some of the key work activities at the Hydrogeologist 3 level are:

  • As professional hydrogeologist, works with the Section Manager and Technical Unit supervisor to acquire, assemble, and analyze data in support of Water rights decision making using professional level techniques and analysis. 
  • Develops and prepares expert testimony for presentation before the Pollution Control Hearings Board and Superior Court. 
  • Appears and testifies as an expert witness in administrative court hearings involving water right conflicts and appeals of decisions rendered. 
  • Works closely with the Assistant Attorney Generals in preparation of testimony for hearing in support of water rights decisions and in resolution of disputes through settlement negotiations requiring mitigation.
  • Provides professional level technical assistance to local water management groups and inter-program workgroups, independently providing water resources technical expertise and guidance for planning and salmon recovery efforts. 
  • Provides hydrogeologic expertise on regional geological and hydrogeological assessments, including water budgets (recharge, evapotranspiration, etc.) the relationship between ground and surface water (hydraulic continuity and conjunctive management), the connection between water quality and quantity, instream flows and ground and surface water analytical and numerical modeling. 
  • Prepares plans and presents hydrogeological theories to educated planning groups with respect to water quantity related elements of watershed assessments. 
  • Participates in local and interstate water planning group technical committees and in the development of hydrogeologic assessments and plans, including preparing requests for proposals and reviewing consultant's proposals and draft and final reports. 
  • Assists Ecology staff and management as necessary with other hydrogeologic and water quantity issues that arise. 
  • Plans, implements, and provides direction in the collection of data on a depth to ground water, well, yields, and extent of ground water contamination, for regional monitoring well networks to determine ground water supply, mining of ground water, storage, artificial recharge, or contaminant migration. 
  • Prepares hydrographs as appropriate and evaluates the technical adequacy of ground water monitoring networks.
  • Interprets data for trend forecasting water level changes for ground water availability studies, effects of ground water withdrawals on surface water, and water resource inventories performed by the water resources program. 
  • Analyzes professional reports and publications to ensure up to date ground water availability information is provided in making water right decisions. 
  • Prepares and presents hydrogeologic information on water resource related activities to other state, federal and local governmental entities, citizen groups, consultants, and the general public. 
  • Serves a professional technical advisor on committees created to develop policies, rules, and proposed legislation concerning water resources management.

This recruitment will remain open until filled. The initial screening will be on March 8, 2019.  In order to be considered for the initial screening, please submit an application on or before March 7, 2019. The agency reserves the right to make an appointment any time after the initial screening date.


The goal class for this position is a Hydrogeologist 3 (HG3). We will consider applicants who meet the requirements for the Hydrogeologist 2 and 3 levels. If the finalist meets the requirements for the HG2 level then they will be placed into a training program to become a HG3 within a specified period of time.

Required Qualifications:
At the Hydrogeologist 2 Level – Pay Range – 58 ($4577 - $6003) Monthly:

A Bachelor's degree involving a major study in hydrogeology, hydrology, geology, or closely allied field 


Two (2) years of professional experience as a hydrogeologist, hydrologist, geologist or closely allied profession or one (1) year as a Hydrogeologist 1.

A Master's degree with a major study in hydrogeology, hydrology, geology, or closely allied field will substitute for two (2) years of experience.
At the Hydrogeologist 3 Level – Pay Range – 62 ($5053 - $6629) Monthly:

A Bachelor's degree involving a major study in hydrogeology, hydrology, geology, or closely allied field


Three (3) years of professional experience as a hydrogeologist, hydrologist, geologist or closely allied profession or one year as a Hydrogeologist 2.

A Master's degree with a major study in hydrogeology, hydrology, geology, or closely allied field will substitute for two (2) years of experience.

A Ph.D. will substitute for three (3) years of experience if major research was in hydrogeology, hydrology, geology, or closely allied field.


Must have a valid Washington State Geologist License and a Washington State Hydrogeologist Specialty License.

The experience at the Hydrogeologist 1 level can include a combination of the following: 1) Provides professional assistance in hydrogeologic analyses requiring familiarity with the basic formulas, scientific methods, and general principles of hydrogeology, hydrology, geology, soils, chemistry, meteorology, and related subjects; field surveying and technical reporting; 2) Reviews, researches, and interprets pertinent literature, in-house files, and computer data bases for specific ground water quality, water supply, or water use projects within the State;  3) Reviews hydrogeologic and hydrologic data and information in reports prepared by others to assure that such information is accurate and complete; 4) Collects, records, evaluates, and reports background information and basic data;  5) Locates and/or maps hydrologic and geologic features, diversions, storage structures, and drainage areas using office and/or field interpretation techniques;  6) Performs field measurements and sample collection;  7) Specific field activities may include measuring and analyzing of water levels in wells, well pumping rate, stream flow, stream gage discharges, and elevations (leveling); collection and classification of water quality samples, surface soil or rock samples, and drill cuttings; other on-site field work for specific investigations; 

The experience at the Hydrogeologist 2 level can include a combination of the following:  (1) Provides professional hydrogeologic review and analysis of water quality and water quantity problems. (2) Provides technical hydrogeologic assistance to other sections or programs in the department. (3) Measures streamflow. (4) Estimates low streamflow, flood magnitude and frequency analysis. (5) Conducts drought and watershed yield analysis. (6) Locates and maps contaminant migration in ground water, unsaturated zone and surface water. (7) Determines hydrogeologic characteristics of drainage basins, aquifers, and waste sites. (8) Performs field duties on pump tests, slug tests, aquifer tests, and tracer studies to determine hydrogeologic characteristics such as potentiometric surface, seasonal water level variability, hydraulic conductivity, storage coefficient, dispersivity, velocity and direction of ground water flow, and well interference. (9) Analyzes project data, interprets results and reports conclusions. (10) Oversees and approves various phases of project development and implementation. (11) Provides project leadership of technicians and hydrogeologic staff on field projects. (12) Provides professional implementation and enforcement of state laws and regulations. (13) Responds to inquiries from public officials and private interests. (14) Assists in drafting and administering contracts for detailed hydrogeologic investigations and well construction. (15) Assists in drilling and administering contracts for detailed hydrogeologic investigations and well construction (16) Prepares technical reports and memoranda.
Preferred Qualifications for the HG2 Level:

  • Possession of a valid Washington State Geologist License.

Preferred Qualifications for the HG2 and HG3 Levels:

  • Knowledge of geology and hydrogeologic issues associated with eastern Washington.
  • Experience using Geographic Information Systems software.

Special Requirements/Conditions of Employment:

At the Hydrogeologist 3 level - must possess a valid Washington State Geologist License and a Washington State Hydrogeologist Specialty License.
NOTE: For the HG3 level individuals who are interested in applying to this position, and believe they meet licensing requirements for the State of Washington based on reciprocity, are responsible for ensuring they meet licensing requirements for the State of Washington prior to submitting their application materials.  These requirements can be found at the following website:  WA State Licensing (DOL) Official Site: How to get your license: Geologists, engineering geologists, or hydrogeologists by reciprocity.
Why work for Ecology?

Joining Ecology means becoming a part of a team committed to protecting and restoring Washington State's environment.

A career in public service allows you to help solve some of the most challenging problems facing our state, while keeping the health and financial security of you and your family a priority. We combine one of the most competitive benefits packages in the nation with a strong commitment to work/life balance.

Ecology employees may be eligible for the following:
Medical/Dental/Vision for employee & dependent(s)Public Employees Retirement System (PERS),  Vacation, Sick, and other Leave*, 11 Paid Holidays per year*, Public Service Loan ForgivenessTuition Waiver,  Long Term Disability & Life InsuranceDeferred Compensation ProgramsDependent Care Assistance Program (DCAP),  Flexible Spending Arrangement (FSA)Employee Assistance ProgramCommute Trip Reduction Incentives (Download PDF reader)Combined Fund DriveSmartHealth
Student debt and how working for Ecology can help
Employees may be eligible for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program, which forgives the remaining balance on your Direct Loans after you have made 120 qualifying monthly payments under a qualifying repayment plan while working full-time for a qualifying employer. See https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/repay-loans/forgiveness-cancellation/public-service for more details.