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In Hydrology, It All Begins with the Tech

American Institute of Hydrology (AIH)

In 2007 the AIH in Carbondale, Illinois, rolled out its new certification program for hydrologic technicians throughout the US and abroad. It was discovered that the success of any project in hydrology begins with accurate data collection. To better define the competence of the data collectors, it was determined that a certification process could ensure that current standards are being followed by employees.
What"s In It for Me?
The AIH lists the following as key reasons to go through with the certification process:
  • To gain recognition as being an important participant in hydrology work.
  • To gain credentials and the endorsement by peers in the field.
  • The public can be assured that the technician is providing the most reliable, credible data.
  • Potential employers can be assured that a future employee is able to provide skilled service.
  • Employers will be able to prove that their technicians are highly qualified.
  • To emphasize the importance of proper data collection in the industry.
  • To demonstrate discipline-level competence.
Three Levels to Go For
The Level I Certification requires a minimum of one year of practical experience under a professional hydrologist or senior level hydrologic technician or an Associate or Bachelor of Science degree with a minimum of 12 hours of water related coursework. The certification is achieved upon passing a multiple-choice exam that has 100 questions about water techniques, basic electronics, and field safety.
Level II Certification is not general. The certification is specific to one of three categories: Surface Water, Ground Water, or Water Quality. Five years minimum of practical experience is required and at least 12 continuing education credits in the specific category. The 100 multiple-choice questions center on the specific techniques, equipment, and safety relevant to the category.
Level III Certification is similar to Level II, but has more advanced problems on the exam, including public relations and network design questions. Twelve years of practical experience is required, and 24 hours of continuing education credits in hydrology and database management are mandatory.
For more information on application fees and testing dates, go to
By Chris Navarro
Get Hydrology Jobs, Contributing Editor

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