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Environmental/Chemical Lab Scientist

R10

Basic Purpose

Positions in this family are responsible for planning, performing, implementing and supervising laboratory analyses, quality assurance and special studies.  This includes analyses and studies used to determine compliance with state and federal rules, consumer protection regulations, agriculture products standards, highway construction materials specifications, and environmental quality of lakes, rivers, aquifers and air. These positions will provide consultation and assistance in the formulation of regulations and standards.  Laboratory specialty areas will include chemistry, biology and physics.

Typical Functions

The functions within this job family will vary by level, but may include the following:

  • Analyzes air, water, soil, waste, highway construction materials, and agricultural samples to determine levels of compliance with state and federal regulations or applicable specifications.
  • Implements the use of approved methods and procedures in the analysis of samples, and of Quality Assurance practices and procedures in all analytical and study processes.
  • Develops methods and procedures needed for laboratory analyses used in the determination of quality, formulation standards and compliance where no approved procedures exist.
  • Plans or aids in the planning of special studies requiring the collection and analysis of samples leading to the protection of the public health and the environment.
  • Maintains all equipment related to analysis within the laboratory.
  • Maintains supply inventories necessary to perform all laboratory analyses.
  • Serves as expert witness in the interpretation of laboratory analysis for the enforcement of state and federal regulations.
  • Evaluates and prepares reports on the results of analyses and studies.
  • Provides consultation on laboratory analyses and studies performed both within and outside of the laboratory for development of regulations and compliance standards, or evaluation of environmental situations.
  • Researches, develops and assists in the implementation of long term planning for the efficient use of the state’s air, water, land and agricultural resources.

Level Descriptors

The Environmental/Chemical Laboratory Scientist job family has four levels of work which are distinguished by the complexity of assignments, the level of expertise required to perform the duties assigned, and the responsibility for providing leadership to others.

Level I: Code: R10A Salary Band: J

This is the basic level of the job family where employees are assigned duties for performing routine entry level work in evaluating regulations concerning analytical data and methods, applying them to performance of assigned analysis, preparing technical reports for special studies, and making recommendations on remedial actions to correct problems.  In this role they will perform tasks involved with routine chemical analysis and report preparation, and will assist with technical investigations, planning and implementing research projects, and complex chemical analysis.  Assigned duties may include sample preparation and extraction, gas chromatography, gas chromatography mass spectrometry, liquid chromatography, atomic absorption spectrometry, inductively coupled plasma spectrometry (ICP) and ICP mass spectrometry, ion chromatography, flow injection, radio chemistry, wet chemical, biological, microbiological, and physical analyses.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities required to perform work at this level include knowledge of chemical laboratory testing procedures and equipment; of instruments and test apparatus; of the purpose of the chemical analysis being performed and of the materials being analyzed.  Ability is required to operate laboratory equipment, to write technical reports and to apply laboratory safety procedures.

Education and Experience requirements for entry at this level consist of a bachelor's degree in chemistry, biological or environmental science. 

Level II: Code: R10B Salary Band: K

This is the career level of the job family, where employees are assigned duties and responsibilities at the full performance level including performing less complicated analyses or studies in a specialized area such as metals, organics, or biology, and may assist with more complex analyses.  Employees may further specialize by moving into more refined areas such as gas chromatography mass spectrometry.  In this role they will plan and outline normal work activities, interpret data and results, maintain records, and make recommendations related to the analyses and studies performed.  Emphasis is placed on the accuracy and precision of testing and in the achievement of optimum utilization of equipment methods and procedures used in laboratory analysis.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities required to perform work at this level include those identified in Level I plus knowledge of current research in the field and ability to perform physical tests and analyses.

Education and Experience requirements for classification at this level consist of the requirements included in Level I, plus one year of professional level experience in a laboratory; OR a master’s degree in chemistry or biological or environmental science.

Level III: Code: R10C Salary Band: L

This is the specialist level of this job family where employees are routinely assigned responsibilities for performing highly independent research in a specialized laboratory area.  This includes designing special studies and projects, developing and writing specifications, investigating inquiries and complaints from the field, and making recommendations and reports. Employees at this level will have a clear specialization in a laboratory science area and may be recognized as an expert in the specialty, and may serve as an expert witness and represent the agency at meetings or during legal proceedings.  Some positions may be assigned occasional limited supervision of other laboratory employees during short-term special projects or highly complex analyses.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities required to perform work at this level include the knowledge and skills identified in Level II plus additional knowledge of chemical research, of developments in the laboratory's specialty, and of physical science reference materials and ability to achieve acceptable test volume and quality targets and to present findings and research data to professional groups.

Education and Experience requirements for classification at this level consist of those identified at Level II and one additional year of professional experience in a laboratory.

Level IV: Code: R10D Salary Band: M

This is the leadership level of the job family where employees are assigned responsibility for directing and supervising the work activities of a laboratory area, such as Gas Chromatography, Metals, Wet Chemistry, Radiochemistry, Mass Spectrometry Microbiology or Quality Assurance and control.  This includes implementing Quality Assurance criteria and making recommendations on complex regulatory and non-regulatory matters related to analysis and studies performed.  Positions are assigned responsibility for the supervision of other laboratory staff, including reviewing and assigning work, providing training and evaluating performance.  This includes assigning and reviewing work of other laboratory staff, ensuring completion of assigned activities and providing training.  It may also include responsibility for direct supervision, including administrative tasks such as completing performance evaluations, approving leave and initiating disciplinary action.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities required to perform work at this level include those identified in Level III plus knowledge of supervisory practices and principles and ability to supervise and direct the work of others.

Education and Experience requirements for classification at this level consist of those identified at Level III.

Selective Qualifications

Some positions may require education and experience in a specific degree or laboratory area.

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