Hydrographers are interested in the properties of water flow both on and beneath the earth's surface. Professionals working in this field spend their time both collecting and analysing data, using their theoretical expertise to make conclusions about naturally occurring systems and patterns and the environmental impact that humans have on these. Areas of interest within this discipline include tidal patterns, water level and quality in the sea and estuaries, rainfall and underwater geography.

Hydrographers present their recommendations and findings to governments departments and local councils who develop both strategy and policy on issues such as water supply (e.g. dams and irrigation), protection against natural disaster and marine facilities. Employment may also be found in the shipping and resources industry and other sectors such as defence and port management which require the use of navigation systems. This discipline is of particular relevance for areas which are experiencing water supply problems and is therefore expected to see continued growth in Australia.