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State of Washington Classified Job Specification


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Class Code: 515R
Category: Science & Engineering


In an organic, inorganic, radiochemistry, biochemical or analytical laboratory section performs one 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 one or more chemists on a shift;

• Is a designated specialist with experience in a specialty area of chemistry.

Distinguishing Characteristics

Specialist positions are recognized and designated, in writing, by the deputy director level or designee as the agency's authority in a specialty area of chemistry. Agency criteria for specialist designation shall be approved by the Department of Personnel. Changes to criteria will be made by the Department of Personnel with consultation with agency.

Typical Work

Heads a small laboratory or chemical analysis program employing other professional chemists, in which he/she assumes 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 nondepartment 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 3-1-66
Revised minimum qualifications: 11-12-87
Revised definition and added distinguishing characteristics: 6-15-90
Revised minimum qualifications: 1-11-91
New class code: (formerly 53830) effective July 1, 2007