You are here

Home » State Human Resources » Compensation & job classes » Classified Job Listing » » State of Washington Class Specification

State of Washington Classified Job Specification


<< Classified Job Listing

Class Code: 507J
Category: Science & Engineering


Leads lower level fingerprint technicians and performs advanced biometric identification and criminal record work consisting of analyzing, classifying, comparing, searching, and verifying biometrics of unknown and known persons and crime suspects according to acceptable methods. Reviews the completed work of fingerprint technicians and assists in their training. Performs identification and non-identification of biometrics for employment and licensing purposes. Assumes responsibility of the fingerprint unit in the absence of the supervisor.

Typical Work

Schedules and assigns the work of technicians and clerical staff within the unit;

Provides training to fingerprint technicians and clerical staff;

Performs leadworker tasks over other technicians and clerical staff; provides guidance and direction to fingerprint technicians;

Assists the Fingerprint Supervisor in reviewing the activities of technicians and clerical staff assigned to a shift; 

Assumes responsibility for the fingerprint unit in the supervisor’s absence and performs operational duties;

Prepares and enters updates in ABIS to ensure database integrity, including ABIS deletions;

Performs double verification manually and electronically of the identification and classification of Fingerprint Technicians;

Classifies fingerprint cards according to the Henry System, Alphanumeric, NCIC, or modifications of these methods required by the Automated Biometric Identification System (ABIS);

Performs ABIS searches on incoming biometric submissions previously compared against the WASIS data base with negative results to determine whether any prior criminal history exists on those individuals under a different name; compares biometrics on subsequent arrest cards with the indicated biometric records already on file;

In the absence of the supervisor, serves as a resource to and assists criminal justice and non-criminal justice agencies with fingerprint or palm print comparisons and searches;

Identify the structures of friction ridge skin and distinguishes the minutiae characteristics for the purpose of effecting identifications;   

Analyze, decipher and classify electronically received poor quality fingerprints and palm prints;

Analyze, compare and classify palm prints when submitted in hard card form. Ensure palm prints are registered correctly into the ABIS database;

Ensure palm prints are registered correctly into the ABIS database;

Analyze and decipher between an actual poor quality print and a livescan device compression or distortion print;

Analyze, compare, evaluate, and verify (ACE-V), criminal and applicant biometric data against ABIS database to assist criminal justice and non-criminal justice, private and public sector agencies determine identify of unknown and known subjects;

Perform quality control (QC) on biometric submissions to prepare for search and comparison of the ABIS database.  Substitute better quality biometrics when applicable to maintain database image integrity;

Decipher software error messages;

Identify ABIS system issues and be able to diagnose and troubleshoot the issue using appropriate interfaced systems.  Determine if the trouble is ABIS operating system hardware or software, interfaced criminal history database, live scan device or other oustside agency system. Request trouble ticket from the trouble source and track the progress of the resolution until completed; 

Conducts complicated comparisons and searches;

Takes fingerprints and palm prints electronically and with black printer ink;

Provides training to Forensic Scientists for Automated Biometric Identification System (ABIS) entries and searches;

Provides instruction to criminal justice and non-criminal justice agencies and the public and private sector on how to take fingerprints and palm prints;

Provide testimony on fingerprint identifications comparisons; prepare exhibits of fingerprint identifications for court testimony;

Write technical evidence reports for identifications made for federal agencies, criminal justice agencies, coroners, and medical examiners;

Completes special projects as directed by the supervisor;

Performs other duties as required.

Knowledge and Abilities

Knowledge of:  techniques of fingerprint science in the determination of pattern types, ridge counting, and whorl tracing and of the Henry Method of Classification (with FBI extensions), or modification of this method required by the Automated Biometric Identification System (ABIS); principles of effective leadership; rules of evidence and court testimony procedures; fingerprint photography; procedures involved in fingerprint classification training.

Ability to: write legibly; communicate effectively in verbal and written form; follow written and oral instructions; perform advanced techniques of fingerprint science and other biometric data; analyze and classify fingerprints and palm prints using the Henry method of classification; instruct others in classification techniques; assist in fingerprint photography and the preparation of court exhibits; testify in court.  Effectively communicate with co-workers, criminal justice and non-criminal justice agencies and the general public; ability to maintain confidentiality.


Legal Requirement(s)

There may be instances where individual positions must have additional licenses or certification. It is the employer’s responsibility to ensure the appropriate licenses/certifications are obtained for each position.

Desirable Qualifications

One year as a Fingerprint Technician 2.


Four years of technical fingerprint classification experience in the identification section of a law enforcement agency.

Note:  Technical fingerprint classification experience is defined as experience requiring the application of the basic technique of fingerprint science in determination of pattern types through ridge counting, whorl tracings, and use of the Henry Method of Classification (with FBI extensions).

Class Specification History

New class: 5-10-96 (effective 7-1-96)
New class code: (formerly 41531) effective July 1, 2007
Revised salary range, definition, typical work, knowledge and abilities; adopted June 30, 2017; effective July 1, 2017.