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Laboratory Scientist

X14

Basic Purpose

Positions within this professional job family are assigned responsibilities for performing work associated with clinical, analytic and/or environmental laboratory testing. Laboratory specialty areas will include biochemistry, chemistry, immunology, microbiology, molecular biology and/or biochemical techniques.

Typical functions

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

  • Perform laboratory tests of varying complexity using standard procedures on human, animal or environmental specimens/samples for the purpose of providing information for the diagnosis, prevention, or treatment of disease and/or surveillance and/or epidemiologic purposes
  • Receive, sort and distribute specimens to appropriate laboratories/laboratory sections.  
  • Assess specimens for acceptability for testing.
  • Record information in the laboratory information system (LIS) relative to patient demographics, specimen/sample collection, identification, preservation, processing, quality control, test results and specimen referral.
  • Report test results using a laboratory information system (LIS). 
  • Provide consultation regarding the appropriateness of testing ordered and the interpretation of test results. 
  • Manipulate potentially hazardous human, animal, or other specimens/samples and analytic reagents in a safe and responsible manner within the laboratory setting.
  • Follow all safety procedures and maintain safety equipment, as needed.
  • Conduct statistical analyses and evaluate test results relative to specimen/sample information and established reference materials.
  • Assess potential problems that may arise in performance of testing and initiate appropriate action, as may be required.
  • Adhere to the laboratory's quality control policies, and periodically assess procedures and identify problems that may adversely affect test performance.
  • Prepare and maintain quality control materials to be used in laboratory testing.
  • Perform maintenance and function checks on electronic and mechanical equipment and other operations necessary for proper test performance and accurate and reliable laboratory test results and reporting.
  • Evaluate and document performance of individuals responsible for testing by direct observation of specimen/sample handling and test performance. 
  • Assess training needs of laboratory personnel and participate in regular in-service training and appropriate education on laboratory safety and testing procedures.
  • Prepare and present laboratory relevant information at local, regional or national meetings.

Level Descriptors

The Laboratory Scientist job family consists of four levels (basic, career, specialist and leadership) which are distinguished based on the complexity of assigned duties, the expertise required to complete various assignments, and the responsibility assigned for providing training, leadership and supervision to others.

Level I: Code: X14A Salary Band: J

This is the basic level of this job family where incumbents perform laboratory bench work related to a specific set of routine clinical, analytical and/or environmental laboratory tests while under close supervision.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities required at this level include knowledge of basic principles and practical applications of chemistry, biochemistry, immunology, microbiology, molecular biology and/or related laboratory specialties; and of the hazards of laboratory activities and related safety practices. Ability is required to perform basic microbiological, immunological, molecular and/or biochemical techniques; to establish and maintain effective working relationships with others; to follow instructions and to express ideas clearly and concisely, both orally and in writing.

Education and Experience requirements at this level consist of a bachelor’s degree in biological or physical science, or a closely related field.

Level II: Code: X14B Salary Band: K

This is the career level of this job family where incumbents perform laboratory bench work related to a wide spectrum of routine clinical analytical and/or environmental laboratory tests with the ability to work independently.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities required at this level include those identified in Level I plus knowledge of modern laboratory analysis techniques of chemistry, biochemistry, immunology, microbiology, molecular biology and/or related laboratory specialties; and of principles of laboratory quality control.  Ability is required to interpret laboratory tests, in context of controls and calibrators; to assess acceptability of specimens/samples for testing; to operate analytical equipment; to perform minor troubleshooting of test methods; and to review the work related to testing performed by other laboratory staff.

Education and Experience requirements at this level consist of a master’s degree in biological or physical sciences, or a closely related field; OR a bachelor’s degree in biological or physical sciences, or a closely related field, plus two years of experience performing clinical analytical and/or environmental laboratory testing.

Level III: Code: X14C Salary Band: L

This is the specialist level of this job family where incumbents perform laboratory bench work related to a wide variety of routine and specialized clinical and/or analytic laboratory tests with minimal supervision and may assist in components of the laboratory management program.  At this level incumbents may train, assist and/or review the work of level I and II employees and other laboratory personnel as assigned. Some positions may be assigned occasional limited supervision of other laboratory employees during short-term special projects or highly complex analyses[MM1] .

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities required at this level include those identified in Level II plus the ability to collect and organize quality control data; and to train individuals in performance of testing methods;

Education and Experience requirements at this level consist of a master’s degree in biological or physical sciences, or a closely related field, plus two years of experience performing clinical and/or analytic laboratory testing; OR a bachelor’s degree in biological or physical sciences, or a closely related field, plus three years of experience performing clinical analytical and/or environmental laboratory testing.

Level IV: Code: X14D Salary Band: M

This is the leadership level of this job family where incumbents are assigned responsibilities involving the supervision of staff and operations of a clinical and/or analytic laboratory. Individuals at this level will provide training to other laboratory personnel, assist in performing laboratory testing and will complete routine laboratory administrative work.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities required at this level include those identified in Level III plus knowledge of principles of supervision and training.  Ability is required to supervise individuals within a laboratory, including task assignment, workflow, and scheduling; to create and write documents to reflect standard operating procedures; to plan, execute, and oversee an effective validation/verification process prior to implementation of all new laboratory testing; to plan, execute, and oversee an effective quality management program for the laboratory; and to provide effective consultation to healthcare providers and other agency officials.

Education and Experience requirements at this level consist of a master's degree in biological or physical sciences, or a closely related field, plus four years experience performing clinical and/or analytic laboratory testing; OR a bachelor’s degree in biological or physical sciences, or a closely related field, plus five years of experience performing clinical and/or analytic environmental laboratory testing.

Special Requirements

Positions within the State Department of Health have physical demands and work environment requirements.  These include being able to lift forty pounds and stand for long periods of time as well working with infectious or hazardous material. Medical evaluation for respiratory fitness is an Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requirement for all persons required to wear a respirator to perform their job duties.

Any person considered for employment by the State Department of Health who uses marijuana or holds a medical marijuana card, regardless of state law, is considered by the Federal Government to be an unlawful user of a controlled substance and is therefore a “restricted person” and prohibited by federal law from having access to select agents and toxins.

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