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Hydrogeologist 3 (In-Training)

Per Governor Inslee’s Proclamation 21-14.2 (Download PDF reader), Washington State employees must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. As a condition of employment, the successful candidate will be required to provide proof of their COVID-19 vaccination as part of the hiring process, prior to their start date. Requests for medical and religious exemptions will be considered. If you have questions, please contact with “COVID-19 vaccination” in the subject line.  

Keeping Washington Clean and Evergreen

The Nuclear Waste Program (NWP) within the Department of Ecology is looking to fill a Hydrogeologist 3 (In-Training) position. This position will be located in our Richland Field Office (RFO) in Richland, WA. Upon hire, you must live within a commutable distance from the duty station.

In this position, you will serve as a hydrogeologist supporting multiple projects by providing expert advice, permitting support, and technical reviews. You will be responsible for planning, developing, directing, and overseeing hydrogeologic analyses and technical services as well as cleanup or permitting of hazardous waste sites at Hanford within the Tri Party Agreement (TPA), state, and federal requirements.

You will be a member of the Nuclear Waste Program Cleanup Section directly supporting the program’s mission across multiple environmental restoration projects by providing technical analysis of groundwater/vadose zone data to determine existing conditions and evaluate impacts from Hanford activities to human health and the environment. Your work will assist the Program in determining the best remediation methods for cleanup and prevention of further contamination at Hanford and other mixed waste facilities.

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 Nuclear Waste Program (NWP) mission is to lead the effective and efficient cleanup of the United States Department of Energy’s Hanford Site; to ensure sound management of mixed hazardous wastes in Washington; and to protect the state’s air, water, and land at and adjacent to the Hanford site.

During Healthy Washington Roadmap to Recovery, employees are working a combination of in-office and/or telework based on position and business need. After initial training and orientation, this position will be eligible to telework up to 90% if the time. Ecology is following current state guidance regarding mask requirements, health screening questions before entry, and social distancing. Looking ahead, Ecology has recently updated the agency policies on telework and flexible and compressed work schedules. Applicants with questions about position location options, telework, and flexible or compressed schedules are encouraged to reach out to the contact person listed below in “other information.”
Application Timeline: This position will remain open until filled, with an initial screening date of November 04, 2022. In order to be considered for initial screening, please submit an application on or before of November 03, 2022. The agency reserves the right to make an appointment any time after the initial screening date.

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. 
  • A wellness program that offers education, fitness classes, and an agency-wide fondness for outdoor meetings.
  • 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?
In this position, you will collaborate with other Project Managers and Leads throughout the Program and Agency. You will also work in partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy (USDOE) and its contractors as well as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on decision documents that guide the cleanup of the Hanford Site.

What you will do: 

  • Conduct field investigations of potentially hazardous waste facilities.
  • Provide technical analysis of groundwater/vadose zone activities to determine existing conditions, current and future impacts and current and future risk to human health and the environment in support of remediation, specifically including the hydrogeologic assessments for groundwater/vadose sampling, well site construction, and compliance with appropriate regulatory standards.
  • Prepare, review, and provide comments on permit applications, letters, memos, technical reports, and bulletins. 
  • Understand and apply Water Code, Groundwater, Quality Standards, and related State and Federal laws and regulations.
  • Support and sustain Ecology and NWP management policies and decisions within Ecology, with permittees, and with the public.
  • Participate with other project staff on specific projects.

Required Qualifications:
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 ($5,013- $6,575) 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 ($5,535 - $7,262) Monthly (Goal Class)
Please note: At the Hydrogeologist 3 level, you must have a valid Washington State Geologist License and a Washington State Hydrogeologist Specialty License.

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.
Special Requirements/Conditions of Employment: 
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?

  • Please call: (360) 407-6186 or email: and we will be happy to assist.
  • If you are deaf or hard of hearing you can reach the Washington Relay Service by dialing 7-1-1 or 1-800-833-6388.
  • If you need assistance applying for this job, please e-mail Please do not send an email to this address to follow-up on the status of your application. You can view the latest status of your application on your profile's main page.
  • If you are reading this announcement in print format, please enter the following URL to your search engine to apply: 
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.
  • 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:
If you have specific questions about the position, please email Jay Decker at Please do not contact Jay to inquire about the status of your application. 

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.

Ecology employees may be eligible for the following:

Student debt: how working for Ecology can help
The Department of Ecology is a qualifying employer for the Public Service Forgiveness Program (PSLF). See for more details.
To learn more about The Department of Ecology, please visit our website at and follow, like or visit us on LinkedInTwitterFacebookInstagram 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 (360) 407-6186. Applicants who are deaf or hard of hearing may call the Washington Relay Service by dialing 7-1-1 or 1-800-833-6388.

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.