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State of Washington Classified Job Specification


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Class Code: 515J
Category: Science & Engineering


Performs basic microbiological analysis.  Cultivates, isolates, and assists in identifying bacterial and other micro-organisms present in plants, fish, wildlife and/or body fluids, exudates, skin scraping, or autopsy and surgical specimens and performs various microbiological tests to provide data on cause and progress of disease and other public health/safety issues.

Distinguishing Characteristics

This is the first level position of series focusing on microbiology and microbiological specialties. Under general supervision, performs basic, standardized laboratory procedures such as identifying bacteria, weighing or pipetting chemicals to make buffers or other solutions and assist higher level microbiologists in standard laboratory procedures such as biochemical differential testing for bacteria identification, antibiotic sensitivity testing, chloroform testing for virus cell walls, serologic testing for antibodies, testing for antigens, and various other tests used for public health/safety issues.

Typical Work

Performs primary isolation techniques of microorganisms; prepares media and reagents; 

Performs microscopic, serological molecular techniques and biochemical or related procedures on samples referred by private or public laboratories for initial identification or confirmation; compiles and maintains records of the characteristics of the organisms identified; 

Conducts a variety of standardized bacteriologic and serologic or related subdiscipline examinations with supervisory review of methods, accuracy, and the quantity of output; 

Assists with serologic tests by preparing antigen emulsions, pipetting serums, and making preliminary readings of test results; 

Determines proper dispositions of tissue specimens to ensure a rapid prognosis of pathogens; 

Records results and assembles data for interpretation; keeps records;

Performs plate counts, coliform counts, and antibiotic testing; 

Processes clinical specimens to identify microbiological isolates; makes preliminary identification on the basis of microscopic examination, and biochemical tests; 

Isolates and identifies organisms by using cultural, biochemical, microscopic analyses, and maintains stock cultures; 

Analyzes blood, tissue, and fecal specimens to identify parasites such as anaplasma, roundworms, mites, and coccidia; 

Performs animal inoculations; 

Records results and assembles data for interpretation; keeps records; 

Analyzes blood, tissue and fecal specimens to identify parasites such as anaplasma, roundworms, mites, and coccidia; 

Cultures, isolates and identifies M. tuberculosis and related organisms; performs growth rate studies, pigment production studies, biochemical tests and animal inoculation for the purpose of identifying mycobacteria; 

Performs related duties as required.

Knowledge and Abilities

Knowledge of:  pathogenic bacteria, viruses and rickettsia; serologic diagnosis; water and milk bacteriology, virology, and chemistry; parasitology; mycology; immunology; laboratory terminology, techniques, and equipment; standard analyses and microscopic examinations used in diagnosis of communicable diseases; microbiology research methods and requirements; report preparation; sources of data on current microbiology research.   

Ability to:  perform basic standardized laboratory analyses and microscopic examinations; understand and follow oral and written instructions and formulae; make standard tests with professionally reliable results; read tests and interpret results; adapt tests described in professional journals to use in the laboratory. 

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 in chemistry, biology, microbiology, biochemistry, zoology, or a related science 


Equivalent education/experience.

Class Specification History

New class, consolidates 6410 Microbiologist I, 53300 Microbiologist 1; adopted May 10, 2007, effective July 1, 2007.