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State of Washington Classified Job Specification


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Class Code: 505F
Category: Science & Engineering

Class Series Concept

See Forensic Scientist 1.


Positions supervise forensic scientists and support staff within a full or limited-service forensic laboratory and as working supervisors, are also responsible for performing complex analyses on physical evidence. This involves casework where applied research, method modification, or a unique approach may be necessary; or a single definite conclusion is not possible and a weighted conclusion is warranted; or casework requiring the reconstruction of an event or series of events based upon the interpretation of physical evidence.

Typical Work

Supervises forensic scientists in a crime laboratory, which includes managing case backlogs and assigning routine and rush cases;

Documents and protects evidence according to laboratory procedures, ensuring that the chain of custody is maintained;

In an assigned forensic science discipline, examines and analyzes evidence in complex case requests, where interpretations could lead to less definitive weighted conclusions, selecting appropriate methods, techniques, and instruments;

Reports findings in the form of a written laboratory report based on the interpretation of observations and analytical results;

Participates in a forensic examination self-study program to remain current in the field and improve supervisory skills;

Assists the laboratory manager with general operations as needed;

May respond to requests for assistance at crime scenes;

Testifies as a witness in a court of law;

Provides peer review and participates in proficiency testing to maintain expertise;

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

Positions typically require a Bachelor of Science degree in forensic science, natural science, or closely related field which includes a minimum of 20 semester hours or 30 quarter hours of chemistry and 5 semester or 8 quarter hours of physics,


Five years of technical experience in a forensic science laboratory which includes two years performing analyses of physical evidence and testifying as an expert witness in courts of law.

Note: For DNA positions, applicants must have successfully completed at least one undergraduate or graduate level course in each of the following subjects: biochemistry, genetics, and molecular biology.

Class Specification History

New class replaces 53890 Forensic Scientist 4; effective June 1, 2005.
Revise class. General revision, adopted May 10, 2007, effective July 1, 2007.
Revise class. General revision. Class code and title change (from Forensic Scientist 4 to Forensic Scientist 5), adopted August 16, 2007, effective August 17, 2007.
Salary Adjustment, adopted 6/30/2015, effective 7/1/2015.
Base range salary adjustment adopted 6/30/2017, effective 7/1/2017.