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State of Washington Classified Job Specification


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Class Code: 505C
Category: Science & Engineering

Class Series Concept

See Forensic Scientist 1.


This is the senior, specialist, or leadworker level of the series. Positions perform complex analyses on physical evidence in criminal cases submitted to the forensic laboratory. Incumbents interpret analytical results, prepare written opinion reports, and testify as experts in courts of law. Complex analysis involves casework where applied research, method modification, or a unique approach may be necessary; or a single definite conclusion is not possible and weighted conclusion is warranted; or casework requiring the reconstruction of an event or series of events based on the interpretation of physical evidence.

Typical Work

Documents and protects evidence according to laboratory procedures, ensuring that the chain of custody is maintained;

In an assigned forensic science discipline, examines and analyzes evidence in complex case requests where interpretations could lead to less definitive weighted conclusion, selecting appropriate methods, techniques, and instruments;

Reports findings in the form of a written laboratory report based on the interpretation of observations and analytical test results;

May respond to requests for assistance at crime scenes;

Testifies as an expert witness in a court of law;

Provides peer review and participates in proficiency testing to maintain expertise;

Trains other forensic scientists and law enforcement officers;

May utilize a specialized computer database for evidence comparisons;

May supervise lower level staff.

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

Positions typically require a Bachelor of Science degree in forensic science, natural science, or closely related field which includes a minimum of 20 semester hours or 30 quarter hours of chemistry and 5 semester or 8 quarter hours of physics,


Three years of technical experience in a forensic science laboratory performing analyses of physical evidence which includes testifying as an expert witness in courts of law.

Examples of related fields, including but not limited to, are: pharmacology, medical technology, genetics or molecular biology, analytical chemistry, biochemistry, clinical chemistry, or toxicology.

Note:  For DNA positions, applicants must have successfully completed at least one undergraduate or graduate level course in each of the following subjects: biochemistry, genetics, and molecular biology.

Class Specification History

New class replaces 53880 Forensic Scientist 3; effective June 1, 2005.
Revise class. General revision; adopted May 10, 2007, effective July 1, 2007.
Salary Adjustment, adopted 6/30/2015, effective 7/1/2015.
Base range salary adjustment adopted 6/30/2017, effective 7/1/2017.