What are the Different Types of Hydrographic Surveyor Jobs?

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  • Written By: Klaus Strasser
  • Edited By: J.T. Gale
  • Last Modified Date: 02 November 2019
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In general, hydrographic surveyors are specialists in the collection and analysis of data related to a marine environment. According to the vast number of enterprises where maritime knowledge can play an important role, there are many different hydrographic surveyor jobs. Hydrographic surveyors might be involved in such tasks as searching for suitable locations to construct offshore oilrigs or docks, mapmaking, technical assistance, or dredging.

The basic function of the hydrographic surveyor is to measure and map the floor of a body of water, analyzing their construction and morphology. Hydrographic surveyors usually are trained scientists who are familiar with environmental issues. All types of marine environments may be surveyed including riverbeds, lakebeds, seabeds, inland waters, rivers, ports, and oceans.

Hydrographic surveyor jobs can be broken down into two parts: the collection of data and the analysis of data. It is quite normal for an accredited hydrographic surveyor to have a thorough knowledge of both aspects of the job. Since hydrographic surveyor jobs can take place in many of different environments, hydrographic surveyors generally specialize in studying specific waterbeds or performing precise tasks.


Specialization also can be important because of the different types of technologies that are used on the job. This technology could include echo sounders, sonars, and specialized software, all of which are used to collect and process information. This data then may be used to produce things like nautical charts and maps, or be employed in maritime navigation, providing sailing vessels with valuable information about the safest and most efficient routes for traveling on the open seas.

Other hydrographic surveyor jobs may require a familiarity with operating deep-sea underwater vehicles, which are used to collect information from the ocean floor. These vehicles may be remote controlled, or piloted by the hydrographic surveyor. The information collected on these expeditions in turn can be used by various specialists, such as oceanographers.

Gas and mineral exploration companies often employ hydrographic surveyors to assist with their projects. The hydrographic surveyor may be hired to explore and discover areas that contain gas or minerals. They also can be an important part of the planning process when setting up oil rigging equipment in a safe and efficient manner.

Some hydrographic surveyors work exclusively onshore. They may have any number of different tasks, such as providing assistance to hydrographic surveyors who are working offshore, supplying them with invaluable technical advice and problem-solving strategies. Onshore hydrographic surveyors also may work in an academic setting, educating students about the field.


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