What Is Hydraulics Engineering?
Are you fascinated by the impact water can have on the landscape? Do you marvel at the use of dams to generate power, prevent floods and supply water for cities? As a hydraulics engineer you can play a vital role in the design and functionality of bridges, dams, levees and canals. Keep reading to learn more about this engineering discipline. Schools offering Mechanical Engineering degrees can also be found in these popular choices.
Hydraulics Engineering Defined
Hydraulics engineering is a field within the civil engineering that addresses the control and management of water resources. As a hydraulics engineer you'll plan and manage the flow and storage of water. You may find yourself brainstorming solutions to address future water demands for cities or planning river and costal flood control projects.
Bachelor's Degree in Hydraulic Engineering
To become trained as a hydraulic engineer, you'll need to complete a bachelor's degree. Many schools offer hydraulics engineering as a concentration or track within a general or civil engineering undergraduate degree program. In addition to gaining a solid foundation in engineering you'll learn about the concepts of hydraulic engineering through elective coursework. These courses may include fluid mechanics, hydrology and storm water management, hydraulic design and water quality controls.
Master's Degree in Hydraulic Engineering
There are many graduate degree programs available if you want an advanced education in this field. Master's degree programs in hydraulic engineering incorporate classroom instruction with research opportunities. These programs take at least two years to complete and a thesis is typically required. Graduate level coursework in hydraulic engineering may include:
- Surface hydrology
- Hydraulic analysis
- Environmental fluid mechanics
- Groundwater flow
- Sediment transport
- Open-channel hydraulics
- Hydraulic modeling
- Municipal water systems
Ph.D. in Hydraulics Engineering
As a doctorate student, you may customize your studies to a specific area of interest within hydraulic engineering, with faculty advisor approval. You'll need to conduct extensive research and study in your field, and will be required to successfully defend your work during your dissertation before a panel of faculty. Your coursework may include:
- River mechanics
- Watershed hydrology
- Large-scale hydrology
- Coastal Hydrodynamics
- Irrigation design
Employment and Salary Information
As a hydraulic engineer you'll find employment opportunities in various industries, including manufacturing and distribution, water conservation, engineering design or engineering consulting. Government agencies such as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are a major employer of civil and hydraulic engineers,
Depending on your education level you may find positions in teaching and hydraulic engineering research. According to PayScale.com, the middle 80% of hydraulic engineers earned an annual salary between $38,783 and $97,205 as of June 2011.
To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below: