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State of Washington Classified Job Specification


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Class Code: 515M
Category: Science & Engineering


In the State Public Health Laboratory, plans, organizes and directs a major section such as the Metabolic and Genetics Section, the Reference Bacteriology Section, the Virology and Serology Section, the Communicable Disease Section or the Laboratory Resources and Development Section and assists the State Public Health Laboratory Director in the management of the laboratory. These sections employ 5 or more subordinates and address various laboratory management subdisciplines; or acts as the research coordinator for all microbiological subdisciplines of the State Public Health Laboratory.

Typical Work

Plans and directs all operational functions of a State Public Health Laboratory Section such as Communicable Disease, Environmental Services, or Laboratory Support; 

Participates with the Health Laboratory Chief in determining what tests should be run by his/her section and adapts known techniques to meet the operational facilities and standards of the sections; may act for the laboratories chief during his/her absence; 

Maintains continual surveillance over tests performed to assure adherence to proper technique and necessary standards of accuracy; bears direct responsibility for all work performed in the section; 

Conducts and coordinates laboratory studies and makes recommendations based on the findings; 

Confers regularly with personnel of local health departments, medical laboratories, physicians and representatives of other organizations (public or private) relative to existing or proposed work of his/her section; 

Plans and conducts in‑service training for employees within the section and conducts training seminars and classes for others such as medical students, microbiology students and medical laboratory operating personnel; 

Plans and conducts special studies to resolve problems within his/her operational assignment; 

Performs the duties of all other Microbiologist classes; 

Performs other work as required.

Knowledge and Abilities

Knowledge of: organization and operation of public health and medical laboratories including diagnostic tests and techniques in fields of bacteriology, serology and microscopy; public health agencies and functions on State and local level; public health laboratory practices, techniques and equipment; microbiology research methods and requirements; sources of data on current microbiology research; scientific report writing. 

Ability to: plan, organize, direct, coordinate and evaluate work of technical/ professional laboratory personnel; work cooperatively with personnel of State, local public and private laboratories; perform research studies.

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 major study in microbiology, public health, pathobiology, chemistry, medical technology, environmental health or closely allied field. College curriculum must include at least 20 semester or 30 quarter credit hours in microbiology. 


Six years of professional experience in a microbiology laboratory. 

A Master's degree in one of the aforementioned fields may be substituted for one year of experience. 

A Ph.D. degree in one of the aforementioned fields may be substituted for two years of experience. 

No more than two years of education may be substituted for laboratory experience. 

Note:  Selective certification will be allowed for candidates whose specialized experience is in the same microbiology subdiscipline as the position to be filled.

Class Specification History

Revised July 14, 1972
Revises definition, minimum qualifications, adds distinguishing characteristics
Revised May 1, 1975
Revises minimum qualifications
Revised February 9, 1979
Revises definition and minimum qualifications, adds distinguishing characteristics
Revised March 15, 1985
Revises definition and minimum qualifications, general revision, title change
(formerly Microbiologist 5), class code change (formerly 5337)
Revised March 3, 1986
Revises definition
Revised August 15, 1986
Revises definition and minimum qualifications
Revised December 12, 1986
Revises minimum qualifications
New class code, formerly 53360, effective July 1, 2007.