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NSPS - THSOA Hydrographer Certification

The program was established in 1981 primarily to identify those individuals that were qualified to conduct the rigorous hydrographic surveys needed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Office of Coast Survey under NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration). Since that time over 300 individuals have been certified as meeting the minimum five year experience requirement and core competencies of a professional hydrographer.

THSOA provides financial support to the U.S. Hydrographer Certification Program which is run by a 10-12 member Certification Board. The National Society of Professional Surveyors (NSPS) and THSOA cooperatively administer the U.S. Hydrographer Certification program. NSPS/THSOA certification is official recognition that a person has demonstrated to the satisfaction of the Certification Board that he or she is minimally competent to conduct hydrographic surveys.

In 2006 the name was changed to add THSOA in recognition of the long standing financial and professional support provided.

Prospective examinees must have five years of experience in hydrographic surveying, two years of which have been in technical charge of surveys in the field. Applications, which require a detailed resume, must be reviewed and approved by the Hydrographer Certification Board prior to sitting for the examination.

The examination lasts three hours and consists of 160 multiple choice questions covering a wide variety of topics suggested by the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) and the International Federation of Surveyors (FIG).

The direct link to the Table of Certified Hydrographers is here.

For Additional Information.

THSOA Reimbursement Program

To emphasize the importance of the NSPS Hydrographer Certification Test (HCT), THSOA will offer to assist its members who elect to take the test by reimbursing them for their test fees.  The HCT requires a $50 application fee that is due when an applicant applies to take the test and a $150 examination/certification fee that is due when the applicant takes the test.  The total cost to take the HCT is $200.

  • Beginning 1 April 2012, THSOA will reimburse its members to cover the fees incurred in taking the HCT after that date.  The initial program will continue until further notice.  The Board may elect to continue the program on an annual basis.
  • Members must have been active (paid) members of THSOA for at least one year prior to taking the HCT.
  • Only members who sit to take the HCT after the specified date will be eligible for reimbursement.  Members who file the application fee ($50) and then elect not to take the HCT will not be eligible for reimbursement.
  • Members may request reimbursement after they have taken the HCT by filling out the on-line form on the THSOA web site.
  • Upon receipt of a reimbursement request, THSOA will check with the NSPS board to verify that the member has taken the HCT and that they qualify as a THSOA-member in good standing (paid) for at least the past year.
    • If so, the THSOA will notify the treasurer and a check for $200 will be sent to the member within 30 days.
    • If not so, THSOA will notify the applicant as to the reason for the rejection of their reimbursement.
  • The member does not have to pass the HCT to qualify for reimbursement.
  • Members will only be reimbursed for one attempt at the HCT.  Future attempts to pass the HCT will not be reimbursed by THSOA.
For Additional Information.

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