Hydrologic Technician

U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)
Havre, MT
Added: March 20, 2024

What General Information Do I Need To Know About This Position?

Salary: $72,553 (Step 1) to $94,317 (Step 2)

Relocation Incentives May Be Authorized

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This job is open to

  • Career transition (CTAP, ICTAP, RPL) Federal employees who meet the definition of a "surplus" or "displaced" employee.
  • Internal to an agency Current federal employees of this agency.

Clarification from the agency

Open only to current USGS employees serving on perm competitive service appts; OR current USGS employees, regardless of current status, who are elig for consideration under a noncompetitive auth such as those specific to 30% disabled vets, VRA, Individuals with Disabilities, Pathways Interns & Recent Grads who are elig for noncomp conversion, etc.; OR current or former employees who are serving, or previously served, on temp or term appt in a land mgmt agency.


As a Hydrologic Technician within the WYOMING-MONTANA WATER SCIENCE CENTER, some of your specific duties will include:

  • Plans, schedules and coordinates collection of stream flow and discharge measurements at all stages, applying both conventional and unconventional methods to a variety of field conditions.
  • Determines appropriate methods for measurements, adapting equipment and techniques as needed to accommodate unusual conditions
  • Plots discharge measurements, develops stage-discharge, velocity index curves and/or other complex ratings such as those used at culverts, gates, pumps, etc. and estimates extensive periods of missing record and nonroutine flow of tidal, backwater, or ice periods
  • Makes complex determinations of vertical and horizontal datums using appropriate geo-stationary reference techniques and documents the procedure used to compute records adapting conventional procedures when needed
  • Performs statistical and/or technical investigations of a wide variety of hydrologic data collected in the field and reviews technical interpretations prepared by other technicians and makes corrections to methods and conclusions, as needed
  • Develops and/or adapts safety inspection protocols and performs routine safety inspections of work areas.

Physical Demands

Working Environment:

Requirements Conditions of Employment

Key Requirements

  • Selectee may be subject to serving a one-year probationary period.
  • More requirements are listed under Qualifications and Other Information.
  • Selectee must provide a valid state driver's license & safe driving record.
  • Selectee subject to successful completion of a pre-employment medical exam.

Are There Any Special Requirements For This Position?

  • Pre-Employment Medical - Taking and passing a pre-employment medical examination at Federal expense is required due to the physical demands of this job.
  • Driver's License/Driving Record - You will be required to operate a government-owned or -leased vehicle in the performance of your official duties. Applicants for this position must meet the following requirements:(1) possess a valid State license, and (2) possess a safe driving record. If selected, you will be required to provide proof of a valid State license & a copy of your driving record.
  • Because this position requires travel for official business, the selectee will be required to apply for a charge card within 30 calendar days of appointment. Individuals who have delinquent account balances from a previous Government charge card will be required to satisfy their existing obligation before a new card can be issued.
  • A background investigation will be required for this position. Continued employment will be subject to the applicant's successful completion of a background security investigation and favorable adjudication. Failure to successfully meet these requirements will be grounds for termination.
  • Throughout the recruitment and hiring process we will be communicating with you via email; therefore, it is imperative that the email address you provide when applying for this vacancy remains active. Should your email address change, please notify the point of contact identified in the vacancy announcement as soon as possible so that we can update our system.
  • If you are a Federal employee applying for a promotion (under merit promotion procedures) you must meet time-in-grade requirements by the closing date of the announcement.


Applicants must meet one of the following to qualify for the GS-11 level:

One year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the GS-10 level in the Federal service that is in or related to the duties of this position. Specialized experience may include work as a technician or aid in engineering, earth, physical, or natural science, forestry, soil conservation, or surveying; trades or crafts work in maintenance or construction of facilities or equipment related to hydrology; drafting; or construction estimating if it equipped the applicant with the knowledge, skills and abilities to perform successfully the duties of this position.

Examples of GS-10 level assignments: 1) Installing, adjusting, inspecting, and servicing crest-stage indicators, well-recorders, and other instruments for the collection of ground and surface water data; and checking gage settings to ensure continuing accuracy of the records obtained from instruments; 2) Measuring stream discharge utilizing various devices; observing and noting conditions which may have a bearing on stage-discharge relationships; making and compiling observations of the fluctuations of ground water levels in designated wells; and collecting water samples for chemical analysis. For examples 1-2, assignments included responsibility for the development of the plans, assembly, analysis and evaluation of data, and the preparation of appropriate reports. There were opportunities for unreviewed decision making. Work was carried out with an unusual amount of autonomy and required the modification of applicable methods and techniques. Responsibilities included the resolution of problems that impeded the progress of the project, with cooperating agencies (state and federal) and private individuals.

Other examples of GS-10 level assignments include: 1) Making reconnaissance surveys for the location of new river gaging stations; and preparing plans for gaging stations and such supporting equipment as automatic controls, cableways, and other accessories required for a complete stream-gaging facility; 2) Collecting data and preparing reports on the ground water levels. Data consists of quarterly and annual measurements of water levels in ground water observation wells, and measurement of the amount of ground water pumped from irrigation and other wells. For examples 1-2, assignments involved working independently within the general instructions (related to scope, objectives, time limitations, priorities, etc.) provided at the outset of the assignment/project. Significant discretion was exercised in selecting from among a large variety of feasible alternatives. Approval was obtained prior to implementing significant deviations from established guidelines.

  • OR

Applicants may substitute successful completion of 3 years of progressively higher level graduate education (54 semester hours, 81 quarter hours or the equivalent) leading to a PhD or equivalent doctoral degree in hydrology or other field of study directly related to the work of this position for the required 1 year of specialized experience if it provided the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to perform the work of this position.

  • OR

Applicants may substitute a combination of appropriate specialized experience (as described above) and appropriate graduate level education (as described above) that is beyond the first 2 years of progressive graduate study to meet the qualification requirements.

You must meet all qualification and eligibility requirements for the position by the closing date of the announcement.


  • Experience refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work done through National Service programs (e.g. Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) and other organizations (e.g., professional; philanthropic; religious; spiritual; community; student; social). Volunteer work helps build critical competencies, knowledge, and skills and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.
  • Education completed in colleges or universities outside the United States may be used to meet the above requirements. You must provide acceptable documentation that the foreign education is comparable to that received in an accredited educational institution in the United States. For more information on how foreign education is evaluated, visit: .

Additional Information

Other Information:

  • Applicants who include vulgar, offensive, or inappropriate language or information in their application package will be ineligible for further consideration for this position.
  • The application contains information subject to the Privacy Act (P.L. 93-579, 5 USC 552a). The information is used to determine qualifications for employment, and is authorized under Title 5, USC, Section 3302 and 3361.
  • The Department of the Interior (DOI) places a high value on diversity of experience and cultural perspectives and encourages applications from all interested eligible candidates. Diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA) are fundamental principles that guide the Department and allow us to successfully achieve our mission.

Agency Benefits:

  • USGS has determined that the duties of this position are suitable for telework and the selectee may be allowed to telework in accordance with the DOI Telework policy and with supervisor approval. The official worksite for the selectee is the duty station identified in this vacancy announcement. The selectee will typically report to this duty location on a regular and recurring weekly basis.
  • For additional information on our internal telework policy, please reference the Department of the Interior Telework Handbook at: .
  • Working for the U.S. Geological Survey offers a comprehensive benefits package that includes paid vacation, sick leave , and holidays ; health, life, dental, vision, and long term care insurance, flexible spending accounts , and participation in the Federal Employees Retirement System .

A career with the U.S. government provides employees with a comprehensive benefits package. As a federal employee, you and your family will have access to a range of benefits that are designed to make your federal career very rewarding. Opens in a new window Learn more about federal benefits .

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Eligibility for benefits depends on the type of position you hold and whether your position is full-time, part-time or intermittent. Contact the hiring agency for more information on the specific benefits offered.