A hydrographer is responsible for conducting surveys to measure the depth, shape and physical features of a seabed. They are responsible for maintaining and calibrating specialist equipment such as sonars to ensure reliable data is produced. Hydrographers regularly work offshore on the proposed wind farm site.

Lifecycle stages

Development and project management.

Typical employer

Developer or specialist contractor.

Place of work

Onshore in an office. Offshore on a vessel at the development site.

Typical working pattern

Full-time. Fixed term (typically up to 140 days) contract. At far-shore projects, hydrographers usually live offshore on vessels and typically work two-weeks-on/two-weeks-off.

Education, training and qualifications

Minimum NFQ level 7 in hydrography, ocean science or related subject.

Relevant certifications are desirable such as an IHO (International Hydrographic Organisation) CAT A or B, STCW or GIS software experience.

Typical entry position & transferable sectors

Entry roles can include graduate hydrographic surveyors.

Transferable from maritime sectors or from a career as a land surveyor and then pursuing an NFQ level 9 in hydrography to transition to this role.

Career possibilities

Hydrographers can progress on as a senior hydrographer. There are also opportunities for self-employment or freelance work, known as contract surveys, after 5 of more years of experience.

Full time salary estimate

€29,000-€55,000 per year, depending on experience. Additional offshore day rate for work done offshore on vessels. This salary range is for this specific role.