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State of Washington Classified Job Specification


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Class Code: 515Q
Category: Science & Engineering


In a chemical or biochemical laboratory, selects appropriate procedures and conducts chemical testing and analyses on organic, inorganic, radiochemistry, or biochemical substances to determine compliance with regulations, suitability for consumption, use or exposure; documents and validates test data.

Distinguishing Characteristics

Independently performs journey-level work under general supervision of a higher-level Chemist. Performs tests requiring an understanding of the chemical principles and theory involved for evaluation of findings. Chemists may perform bench work in an analytic unit.

Typical Work

Conducts chemical investigations of water or air pollution; food product, crop, or livestock contamination; mislabeling of agricultural products and chemicals;

Determines extent and type of sampling necessary; selects and performs appropriate laboratory procedures and analyses; completes and checks laboratory calculations and projections; formulates and reports conclusions; suggests remedial measures;

Develops laboratory routines and procedures for handling of high-volume testing under standards-maintenance programs; trains and supervises subordinate laboratory personnel; investigates erratic findings;

Determines procedures for separating, identifying, and measuring quantities of novel chemical components in foods, feeds, fertilizers, plant and animal tissue, and other samples, consults chemical journals and other technical literature for techniques which may be used or adapted for use;

Operates and performs operational calibrations on electronic analytical instruments for identification and measurement of chemical components and radiation such as gas chromatographs, infrared spectrophotometers, polariscopes, and radiation analyzers, for which standards and techniques have been recorded in chemical journals, manufacturers guides and other chemical analytical literature, employs known methods of sample preparation for measurement of microquantities;

Writes laboratory analysis and research reports; presents findings to agencies, committees, and individuals within general procedural framework;

Assists in the design or study of special laboratory equipment for adaptation to specific program requirements;

Performs other work as required.

Knowledge and Abilities

Knowledge of: inorganic, organic and analytical chemistry; sources of chemical analysis methods.

Ability to: adapt and combine standard chemical laboratory techniques and instruments for unusual analyses; estimate manpower, materials and time required for routine analyses; 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.

Persons legally authorized to work in the U.S. under federal law, including Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipients, are eligible for employment unless prohibited by other state or federal law.

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 two years of experience performing chemical analysis in an analytical laboratory.


One year of experience as a Chemist 1.

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

Class Specification History

Revised minimum qualifications effective 3-1-1966.
Revised minimum qualifications effective 11-12-1987.
Revised definition and minimum qualifications, added distinguishing characteristics effective 6-15-1990.
Revised minimum qualifications effective 1-11-1991
New class code effective July 1, 2007; formerly 53820.
Base range salary adjustment; revised distinguishing characteristics adopted June 22, 2023, effective July 1, 2023.

Revised Legal Requirements; effective June 6, 2024, due to adopted legislative action.