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State of Washington Classified Job Specification


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Class Code: 516E
Category: Science & Engineering


Within the Department of Fish and Wildlife, designs, implements and manages fish health research and associated activities affecting hatchery-reared and wild fish; or in the area of wildlife management, conducts surgery and veterinary tasks associated with wildlife health research and population monitoring activities.

Typical Work

Supervises and conducts pathological research for identifying fish diseases, parasites, and toxins; institutes long-range experiments in medical, dietary, and procedural treatment to improve or originate cures or preventative measures;

Defines, within administratively approved limits, the parameters of such projects and selects procedures, sites, equipment, and supplies;

Schedules research projects to coincide with availability of manpower, equipment, and facilities obtainable from this and other divisions and agencies; supervises pathology personnel of the division;

Analyzes and evaluates research data; writes or reviews summary reports, and draws conclusions; institutes specific treatment subject only to administrative review;

Proposes, as related to pathological conditions, general changes in diet, preventative medications, alteration of fish hatchery facilities, or handling procedures for administrative consideration by the hatchery division supervisor;

Carries division responsibility to diagnose and prescribe treatment for all fish disease outbreaks in department-operated hatcheries; schedules subordinates for this work as necessary;

Originates division-wide procedures and standards for recording disease occurrence, intensity, treatment, effectiveness, experimental studies, and other helpful pathology-related data;

Works closely with biological and other personnel of this and other agencies to plan and supervise conduct of joint research projects; participates in interagency committees; proposes research reports for publication; serves as expert witness in Departmental legal actions;

Performs other work as required.

Knowledge and Abilities

Knowledge of: diagnostic procedures applicable to pathological conditions of vertebrate fish; symptoms of fish diseases, parasites, and toxins; treatment methods and medications in use for correction of pathological conditions; research methods appropriate for improvement or origination of diagnostic and curative procedures; fundamentals of supervision.

Ability to: plan and conduct effective pathological research; segregate pathological from physiological disorders; diagnose and prescribe appropriate treatment for common fish diseases of this area; supervise professional subordinates in this field; write and speak effectively; travel extensively.

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

For fish health research positions:

  • A graduate degree from an accredited college in fish health/pathology or Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from an accredited veterinary school.


    • Three years of professional experience in fish health/pathology.

    For wildlife health research positions:

    • A Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from an accredited veterinary school and three years of professional experience in wildlife health/pathology, to include restraint and immobilization.
    • A Ph.D. in wildlife management or research may substitute for two years of the required experience.
    • A Master's degree in wildlife management or research may substitute for one year of the required experience.

    Equivalent education/experience.

    Class Specification History

    New class: 9-12-97
    Revised minimum qualifications: 1-11-02
    Revised new class code: (formerly 92650) effective July 1, 2007