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State of Washington Classified Job Specification


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Class Code: 515P
Category: Science & Engineering


In a chemical or biochemical laboratory, performs repetitive chemical testing and analysis of organic, inorganic, radiochemistry, or biochemical substances using a variety of instruments, standardizes solutions and prepares reagents to make determinations.

Distinguishing Characteristics

Under close supervision positions perform professional entry-level routine tests that require an understanding of the chemical principles and theory involved for evaluation of findings. Chemists may perform bench work in an analytic unit.

Typical Work

Performs a variety of repetitive laboratory procedures, tests, and analyses of such substances as animal tissue and fluid, food products, water and air samples, livestock feeds, fertilizers, insecticides, or other substances to ascertain the presence or the quantity of known or suspected ingredients;

Participates in unusual chemical analyses of determinative nature, performing standardized portions of such procedures, and assisting in the nonroutine functions;

Obtains field samples for analysis; precipitates, filters, and separates desired components; adjusts and reads laboratory instruments such as titrimeter, spectrophotometer, colorimeter, polariscope, and pH meter; records results and makes standard laboratory calculations including stoichiometric computations;

Operates electronic analytical instruments for identification and measurement of chemical components and radiation such as gas chromatographs, infrared spectrophotometers, and radiation analyzers to perform routine analyses; identifies abnormal instrument results and investigates causes;

Organizes laboratory reports and records; writes routine correspondence relative to laboratory findings and samples; assists in training and direction of nonprofessional laboratory personnel;

Performs other work as required.

Knowledge and Abilities

Knowledge of: inorganic, organic and analytical chemistry; chemical formulae, equations, and computations.

Ability to: perform chemical and physical tests and analyses.

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.


Equivalent education/experience.

Class Specification History

Revised effective 7-1-1965.
Revised minimum qualifications effective 11-12-1987.
Revised definition and added distinguishing characteristics: 6-15-1990.
New class code effective July 1, 2007; formerly 53800.
Base range salary adjustment; revised distinguishing characteristics adopted June 22, 2023, effective July 1, 2023.