Studies & Degrees in Hydraulic Engineering
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Hydraulic Engineering Study Programs
The functions of water and sewer systems are a basic necessity to many societies, and hydraulic engineers are responsible for the efficiency of those systems. A course in hydraulic engineering focuses on the development, design, maintenance and repair of multiple water-transporting constructions, fluid storage units and sewage disposal systems. This branch of engineering also deals with environmental aspects of water management.
The title of hydraulic engineer defines a specific skill set, and does not extend to lower-level sewage and water plant employees. Hydraulic engineers must have a certain level of education and training other plant or company employees may not require.
Many future hydraulic engineers will attend a college, technical school or university for a bachelor’s degree program, as many jobs will require this level of education before considering the candidate for hire. Students can even continue their education and achieve a master’s in engineering. There are also some online courses and community colleges that offer associate degree programs in hydraulic engineering.
Some countries will apprentice new hydraulic engineers through recruitment workshops or other apprenticeship programs. Many of these programs, however, require candidates to possess some college education, currently be attending college or attending college in the near future.
Skills, Qualifications, and Prerequisites for Studies in Hydraulic Engineering
Many, but not all students wishing to study in this field will be required to obtain some level of higher education. This means candidates must meet the entry requirements for these institutions. Usually, this means possessing some form of secondary school completion certification or a passing score on certain standardized tests. Otherwise, there are few experience requirements for pursuing hydraulic engineering studies, though some on-the-job experience in related fields is helpful.
Those seeking to study hydraulic engineering should display some aptitude in the science, physics and mathematics, as these are the building blocks to basic engineering. Having some basic drawing or design skills, applicable to job necessities like blueprint drafting, is another essential skills for a blossoming hydraulic engineer. Students must enjoy working with their hands, and preferably have an analytical train of though with high problem-solving skills.
Other valuable skills that benefit future hydraulic engineers include:
- Ability to work well on a team.
- Excellent communication and writing skills
Successful, accomplished hydraulic engineers will obtain the following skills and areas of expertise:
- Fundamental physics, mathematics and applied science.
- Flood routing.
- Fluid power technology.
- Correct waste storage and disposal techniques.
- Laws and policies regarding water, sewage and environmental management.
- Basic hydrology, hydroclimatology and hydrometeorology.
- Repairing, maintaining and developing hydrologic machinery, water pipeline and sewage systems.
- Designing bridges, fluid reservoirs, canals, dams and other waterway systems.
- Employing land and water management techniques.
- Calculating and documenting risk analysis and frequency curves.
Hydraulic engineers work with water and sewer plants, production companies, engineering companies, environmental organizations and on government-funded water conservation or distribution projects. They work as mechanics and maintenance crew on hydrologic machinery, or as technicians for advanced hydraulics technology. With enough education and experience, they can become project supervisors or work on planning commissions as designers, consultants and project coordinators.