Project Hydrogeologist-Permit Writer (Hydrogeologist 3) (In-Training)

State of Washington

State of Washington

Marketing & Communications
Lacey, WA, USA
Posted on Wednesday, May 17, 2023

Keeping Washington Clean and Evergreen

The Water Resources (WR) program within the Department of Ecology is looking to fill a Project Hydrogeologist-Permit Writer (Hydrogeologist 3) (In-Training) position in our Southwest Region Office in Lacey, WA. Upon hire, you must live within a commutable distance from the duty station.

Note: This position offers a career path and on-the-job training. This position allows you to progress through the Hydrogeologist field and achieve the goal class of a Hydrogeologist 3 (HG3). Candidates will be considered at the HG2 and the HG3 levels, depending on their qualifications. For salary levels for each, please see the qualifications section.

In this position, you will manage and protect Washington’s groundwater and surface water supplies, protecting senior water rights (including yet to be quantified Tribal water rights), and protecting streamflows and providing technical assistance to a wide range of state residents. You will work with local and Tribal government agency staff, hydrogeological, engineering and environmental consultants, real estate agents, attorneys and sister state agencies such as the Department of Health and Department of Fish and Wildlife. The work in this position is extremely rewarding and challenging. If you like doing field visits to the different reaches of this Region, this position may be especially rewarding to you.

Ecology’s Southwest Region has an overall population of over two million people. The Region is comprised of 12 Counties (ranging in population from 4,000 to over 900,000 people), 14 sovereign Tribal Nations, 20 different watersheds (12 of which have separate and specific instream flow regulations), and a wide variety of water uses ranging from municipal, multiple domestic, irrigation, fish propagation, power generation to single domestic uses. In addition, Ecology’s Southwest Region has two National Parks, one National Volcanic Monument, the mouth and lower portion of the 4th largest river discharge in North America and several thousand miles of ocean and inland sea coastline.

Agency Mission: Ecology's mission is to protect, preserve and enhance Washington's environment and to promote the wise management of our air, land and water for the benefit of current and future generations.

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

Tele-work options for this position: This position will be eligible for up to a 90% tele-work schedule after initial training. During the first six-months of initial training, this position is required to work in the office two days per week. Applicants with questions about position location options, tele-work, and flexible or compressed schedules are encouraged to reach out to the contact person listed below in “other information.” Schedules are dependent upon position needs and is subject to change.

Application Timeline: This position will remain open until filled, we will review applications on May 30, 2023. In order to be considered, please submit an application on or before May 29, 2023. If your application isn't received by this date, it may not be considered. The agency reserves the right to make a Hire any time after the initial screening date.

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 Forgiveness, Tuition Waiver, Long Term Disability & Life Insurance, Deferred Compensation Programs, Dependent Care Assistance Program (DCAP), Flexible Spending Arrangement (FSA), Employee Assistance Program, Commute Trip Reduction Incentives (Download PDF reader), Combined Fund Drive, SmartHealth *Click here for more information

About the Department of Ecology

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. Join a team that is highly effective and collaborative, with leadership that embraces the value of people. To learn more, check out our Strategic Plan.

Ecology cares deeply about employee wellness; we go beyond traditional benefits, proudly offering:

  • A healthy life/work balance by offering flexible schedules and telework options for most positions.
  • An Infants at Work Program that is based on the long-term health values of infant-parent bonding and breastfeeding newborns.
  • Continuous growth and development opportunities.
  • Opportunities to serve your community and make an impact through meaningful work.

Our commitment to DEIR
Diversity, equity, inclusion, and respect (DEIR)
are core values central to Ecology’s work. We strive to be a workplace where we are esteemed for sharing our authentic identities, while advancing our individual professional goals and collaborating to protect, preserve, and enhance the environment for current and future generations.

Diversity: We celebrate and appreciate diversity; our unique perspectives and abilities enrich us all and lead to innovative approaches and solutions.
Equity: We champion equity, recognizing that each of us need different things to thrive.
Inclusion: We intentionally create and hold space so that we all have meaningful opportunities to participate and contribute to Ecology’s work.
Respect: We treat each other with respect and dignity, acknowledging the inherent worth of our diverse perspectives and lived experiences, even in times of uncertainty and disagreement.

We believe that DEIR is both a goal and an action. We are on a journey, honoring our shared humanity and taking steps to demonstrate our commitment to a vision where each of us is heard, seen, and valued.


What makes this role unique?

Ecology’s Southwest Region in particular has a wide variety of water availability challenges with annual precipitation rates ranging from 15 inches to over 100 inches and geological conditions that create sustainable groundwater supplies in some parts of the region and limited supplies in others.

In this role, your daily working experience will include supporting a wide variety of dedicated and passionate hydrogeologists, environmental scientists, attorneys, and policy and management professionals. You will perform daily outreach to the public we serve (who have a variety of educational, economic, cultural, and social backgrounds) which enhances this role’s professionally challenging and rewarding work. You will also write Reports of Examination (ROEs), Hydrogeology Memos (HG Memos), comment letters and water system plan review letters which provides added challenges along with the opportunity to enhance your writing and communication skills.

What you will do:

  • Analyze water rights permit applications – research, acquire, assemble, extract, document, and analyze water rights records from Ecology and other relevant sources.
  • Write Reports of Examination (ROEs) - prepare written reports of examinations that result in agency decisions on water rights applications.
  • Write Hydrogeology Memos (HG Memos) – prepare memos to assist non-hydrogeologist permit writers in writing ROEs (HG Memos consist of a summary of the application, proposed location and use of water, description of the regional setting (topography, surface water features, area hydrogeology, description of hydrogeological units, description of the source wells, summary of the physical and legal availability of water, summary of any relevant instream flow regulations, professional judgment on any impairment considerations, and references).
  • Water rights mapping – with assistance from staff assigned mapping work, develop and provide an area map using agency approved GIS software and standards, water rights place of use and point of withdrawal/diversion as described in the water rights document; perform field work as necessary in order to obtain GPS coordinates for identified withdrawals/diversions.
  • Conduct field investigations of water rights applications and give public presentations on water rights and water resources related issues when necessary/needed.
  • Conduct daily outreach to the public we serve.

Required Qualifications:
Years of required experience indicated below are full-time equivalent years. Full-time equivalent experience means that any experience where working hours were less than 40 hours per week will be prorated in order to meet the equivalency of full-time. We would calculate this by looking at the total hours worked per week, divide this by 40, and then multiply by the total number of months worked. Examples of the proration calculations are:

  • 30 hours worked per week for 20 months: (30/40) x 20 months = 15 months full-time equivalent
  • 20 hours worked per week for 12 months: (20/40) x 12 months = 6 months full-time equivalent
Experience for both required and desired qualifications can be gained through various combinations of formal professional employment, education, and volunteer experience. See below for how you may qualify.

This is an In-Training position. 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.

At the Hydrogeologist 2 Level – Pay Range – 58 ($5,214 - $7,016 Monthly) (In-Training)

Option 1: A Bachelor's degree involving a major study in hydrogeology, hydrology, geology, or closely allied field AND Two (2) years of professional experience as a hydrogeologist, hydrologist, geologist, or closely allied profession.

Option 2: A Master's degree or higher with a major study in hydrogeology, hydrology, geology, or closely allied field.

Option 3: One (1) year as a Hydrogeologist 1, at the Department of Ecology.

At the Hydrogeologist 3 Level – Pay Range – 62 ($5,756 - $7,739 Monthly) (Goal Class)

Option 1: A Bachelor's degree involving a major study in hydrogeology, hydrology, geology, or closely allied field AND Three (3) years of professional experience as a hydrogeologist, hydrologist, geologist or closely allied profession.

Option 2: A Master's degree with a major study in hydrogeology, hydrology, geology, or closely allied field AND One (1) year of professional experience as a hydrogeologist, hydrologist, geologist or closely allied profession.

Option 3: A Ph.D. if major research was in hydrogeology, hydrology, geology, or closely allied field.

Option 4: One year as a Hydrogeologist 2, at the Department of Ecology.

Please Note: At the HG3 level, possession of a Washington State Geologist License and Hydrogeology Specialty License is required.

Special Requirements/Conditions of Employment:

  • Must possess and maintain a valid driver’s license.
  • At the HG3 level, must possess a Washington State Geologist License and Washington State Hydrogeologist Specialty License.

NOTE: 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. 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.
Supplemental Information

Ecology seeks diverse applicants: We view diversity, equity, inclusion, and respect through a broad lens including race, ethnicity, class, age, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, immigration status, military background, language, education, life experience, physical disability, neurodiversity, and intersectional identities. Qualified candidates from all backgrounds are encouraged to apply.

Need an Accommodation in the application and/or screening process or this job announcement in an alternative format?

Application Instructions:

It's in the applicant's best interest to submit all of the documents listed below. Applications without these documents may be declined.

  • A cover letter describing why you are interested in this position.
  • A resume outlining your experience and education (if applicable) as it relates to the minimum qualifications of this position.
  • A list of three professional references.

Please do NOT include your salary history. Wage/salary depends on qualifications or rules of promotion, if applicable.

For Your Privacy:
When attaching documents to your application (such as Resume, Cover Letter, Transcripts, DD-214, etc.):

  • Please be sure to remove private information such as your social security number, date of birth, etc.
  • Do not attach documents that are password-protected, as these documents may not be reviewed and may cause errors within your application when downloaded.
Additional Application Instructions for Current Ecology Employees:

Please make sure to answer the agency-wide questions regarding permanent status as a classified employee within the Washington General Service or Washington Management Service. Do not forget to select Department of Ecology as a response to question 2, and type your personnel ID number for question 3. If you are not sure of your status or do not know your personnel ID number, please contact Human Resources.

Application Attestation:

The act of submitting application materials electronically is considered affirmation that the information is complete and truthful. The state may verify this information and any untruthful or misleading answers are cause for rejection of your application or dismissal if employed.

Other Information:

To request the full position description: email

Why work for Ecology?

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.

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 your health and financial security a priority. We combine one of the most competitive benefits packages in the nation with a strong commitment to life/work balance.

To learn more about The Department of Ecology, please visit our website at and follow, like or visit us on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or our blog.

Collective Bargaining: This is a position covered by a bargaining unit for which the Washington Federation of State Employees (WFSE) is the exclusive representative.

Equal Opportunity Employer: The Washington State Department of Ecology is an equal opportunity employer. We strive to create a working environment that includes and respects cultural, racial, ethnic, sexual orientation and gender identity diversity. Women, racial and ethnic minorities, persons of disability, persons over 40 years of age, veterans, military spouses or people with military status, and people of all sexual orientations and gender identities are encouraged to apply. Persons needing accommodation in the application/testing process or this job announcement in an alternative format may call . Applicants who are deaf or hard of hearing may call the Washington Relay Service by dialing 7-1-1 or .

Note: This recruitment may be used to fill other positions of the same job classification across the agency. Once all the position(s) from the recruitment announcement are filled, the recruitment may only be used to fill additional open positions for the next sixty (60) days.