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State of Washington Classified Job Specification


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Class Code: 505B
Category: Science & Engineering

Class Series Concept

See Forensic Scientist 1.


This is the journey level of the series. Positions at this level perform routine analysis on physical evidence in criminal cases submitted to the forensic laboratory. Incumbents interpret analytical results, prepare written opinion reports and may testify as an expert witness in courts of law. Incumbents will have completed the majority of their training in an assigned discipline and will focus on the routine analysis of physical evidence. Routine analysis involves laboratory examination in which the items to be tested require a single specific examination or a standard battery of examinations or analyses, the results of which lead to a definitive conclusion acceptable to experts in the field.

Typical Work

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

In an assigned discipline, examines and analyzes evidence in routine-type requests where interpretations are straightforward and objective, 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;

May testify as an expert witness in courts of law;

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

Maintains the laboratory instruments and equipment in good working order;

May utilize a specialized computer database for evidence comparisons.

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 8 quarter hours of physics,


One year technical experience in a forensic laboratory performing analyses of physical evidence. Examples of related fields, including but not limited to, are: pharmacology, medical technology, genetics or molecular biology, analytical chemistry, biochemistry, clinical chemistry, nuclear 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 53870 Forensic Scientist 2; 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.