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State of Washington Classified Job Specification


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Class Code: 515R
Category: Science & Engineering


In laboratory that performs organic, inorganic, radiochemistry, biochemical or analytical performs one or more of the following:
  • Leads lower level chemists and/or technical staff and conducts quantitative and qualitative chemical analysis;
  • Serves as a contracts officer, reviewing and responsible for analytical data quality;
  • Plans, documents, reviews and approves the agency's quality assurance plan for laboratory functions;
  • Supervises chemists and/or lab assistances;
  • Is a designated specialist with experience in a specialty area of chemistry.

Typical Work

Heads a small laboratory or chemical analysis program employing other professional chemists, assuming final responsibility for the adequacy and technical accuracy of analyses performed;

Programs laboratory use of a variety of instruments such as gas chromatographs, polariscopes, infrared spectrophotometers, internal flow counters and multichannel analyzers and develops testing standards and guides for other professional chemistry personnel using this equipment;

Meets with department and non-department personnel to discuss laboratory findings and interpretations and to discuss the needs for proposed chemical investigations;

Performs original chemical research to develop methods of chemical analysis and measurement or new applications of existing instrumentation and the methods, limitations and standards therefore, or to extend chemical and physical principles into fields not previously reported in professional literature;

Plans major chemical research projects; estimates manpower, equipment, and other costs associated with proposed jobs; determines type and amount of laboratory equipment needed for current and projected studies;

Testifies as a chemical expert in a specialized field at court or other official hearings; represents the department on interagency technical committees as top chemist in his/her specialty, and makes tentative agreements for cooperative technical projects;

Performs other work as required.

Knowledge and Abilities

Knowledge of: inorganic, organic and analytical chemistry; physical chemistry related to modern analytical instrumentation; research methods in microchemistry; research report writing; principles of good supervision.

Ability to: plan large-scale chemical studies, including instrumentation and manpower utilization; supervise and train chemists in a laboratory setting; present technical information clearly, both orally and in writing.

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

A Bachelor's degree with a major in chemistry or a Bachelor's degree with a minimum of 30 semester hours or 45 quarter hours of college level chemistry and four years of experience performing chemical analysis in an analytical laboratory.


Two years of experience as a Chemist 2.

NOTE: A Master's degree will substitute for two years of the required experience or a Ph.D. degree will substitute for three years of the required experience provided a Bachelor's degree and the required college-level chemistry have been achieved.

Class Specification History

Revised effective 3-1-1966.
Revised minimum qualifications effective 11-12-1987.
Revised definition and added distinguishing characteristics effective 6-15-1990.
Revised minimum qualifications effective 1-11-1991.
New class code effective July 1, 2007; formerly 53830.
Revised definition and distinguishing characteristics; base range salary adjustment; revised typical work adopted June 22, 2023, effective July 1, 2023.