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State of Washington Classified Job Specification


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Class Code: 509E
Category: Science & Engineering


Perform work related to study or research in a scientific or engineering field such as general physics, chemistry, meteorology, oceanography or mineralogy. Prepare reports, record information, prepare charts, graphs, read instruments, perform calculations, prepare and construct apparatus as directed or in accord with established procedures.

Distinguishing Characteristics

Positions allocated to this class are distinguished by the requirement for performing work in support of an engineer or research scientist such as a physicist, geologist or meteorologist under direct supervision. Work locations may be in the laboratory, in the field, or at sea. Incumbents require a working knowledge of machine shop, wood shop and electronic tools and equipment as required to perform work involving simple procedures in glass blowing, metal work, soldering and wiring, working with plastics and other materials. Specific technical knowledge or skills required for a particular position may be identified within the class framework if considered necessary for job accomplishment.

Typical Work

May operate instruments and equipment such as microscopes, radiation counters, centrifuges, electronic equipment, refraction equipment, spectroscopes, light and polarizing microscopes, electron microscopes, polishing equipment, x-ray equipment, electrocardiographs, spectrophotometers, amino acid analyzer, NMR, etc.;

Perform simple repairs and preventive maintenance to laboratory equipment and test equipment as directed; assist in construction of new equipment;

Read and record data from instruments or other sources such as weather maps, thermometers, barographs, seismographs, pressure gauges or vacuum gauges;

Operate photography equipment, develop pictures and films;

Mount specimens on glass slides or other devices for study;

Plot graphs, charts, sketch maps, work with computer printouts; under guidance prepare reports and correspondence;

Operate marine equipment and vehicles, automobiles and light trucks; provide logistic support for field experiments;

Work in the field to assist in construction of structures such as instrument towers and antenna masts; work in the laboratory to assist in the construction of facilities such as wind tunnels, light gas guns, shock tubes, etc.;

Perform related duties as required.

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

Two years college credits with major study in engineering or science, OR two years work experience equivalent to that performed by a research aide; possession of a motor vehicle operator's license may be required.

The announcement of position vacancy (recruiting bulletin) may specify course work or experience within a specific discipline if determined necessary by the personnel officer. Selective certification from the employment list will be permitted to meet unique requirements of specifically identified positions.

Class Specification History

New Class: 1-3-73
New class code, formerly 4850, effective July 1, 2007.