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State of Washington Classified Job Specification


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Class Code: 507H
Category: Science & Engineering


Performs basic technical fingerprint and other biometric identifications and criminal records work consisting of analyzing, classifying and comparing biometrics of unknown and known persons and crime suspects according to acceptable methods. Perform identification and non-identification of biometrics for employment and licensing purposes.

Distinguishing Characteristics

In an in-training capacity, positions at this level work under close supervision and are learning all components of basic technical fingerprint and biometric classifications and identifications.

Typical Work

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

Decipher and classify palm prints and other biometric data according to industry standard;

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

Previews paper fingerprint card submissions for acceptable quality fingerprints; rejects poor quality submissions;

Operates high volume card scanner in conjunction with entering control fields to initiate biometric searches;

Operates biometric workstation to conduct quality control and visual verification of ABIS searches;

Searches new biometrics that were checked against the name file with negative results through the master biometric file for the purpose of determining whether they are those of persons whose biometrics are already in file under a different name; compares biometrics on subsequent arrest cards with the indicated biometric records already on file;

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

Gives instruction to public and private sector in how to take fingerprints and palm prints;

Receives training in effective courtroom testimony; may present testimony on fingerprint comparisons;

Performs other work as required;

Knowledge and Abilities

Knowledge of:  sequencing and filing by alpha and numeric designations; criminal history records keeping procedures; basic techniques of fingerprint science in the determination of pattern types, ridge counting, whorl tracing, and the Henry Method of Classification (with FBI extensions) or modifications of this method required by the Automated Biometric Identification System (ABIS). 

Ability to: write legibly; follow written and oral instructions; learn to take fingerprints; learn advanced techniques of fingerprint science.

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

High school graduation or GED equivalent.


One year of experience in a recognized law enforcement agency.


One year of experience in fingerprint pattern determination/ridge encoding using an Automated Fingerprint Identification System. 

One year of college course work in law enforcement will substitute for the above required experience.

Class Specification History

New class: 5-21-73

Revised definition, minimum qualifications, and general revisions: 11-13-87

Revised definition and minimum qualifications: 11-15-91

New class code:  (formerly 41520) effective July 1, 2007

Revised salary range, definition, typical work, knowledge and abilities; added distinguishing characteristics; adopted June 30, 2017; effective July 1, 2017.