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Chemist III

Effective: 10/18/05
Range S-71
Respirator Class: 3


Perform a variety of specialized chemical, biochemical, bacteriological, microbiological, and toxicity analyses of water, receiving waters, wastewater, and related solids and by-products relevant to wastewater collection, treatment, and disposal; collect samples; perform complex research projects.

Distinguishing Characteristics

This is the journey level research class in the Chemist series and is distinguished from the II level by the ability to perform the full range of duties as assigned including the conduct of the most complex research projects which positions in the I and II levels usually assist in.  Positions in this class are responsible for conducting non-routine research projects, the operation and maintenance of the gas chromatograph/mass spectrometer instruments, and function independently with minimum direction. Positions in this class are distinguished from the Senior level in that responsibilities do not include administrative or managerial duties relevant to the daily operation of the laboratory.

Supervision Received and Exercised

  • Receive general supervision from the Laboratory Superintendent and indirect supervision from the Senior Chemist. 
  • May exercise technical supervision over subordinate laboratory personnel.

Examples of Essential Duties

Duties may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Perform a variety of chemical, biochemical, bacteriological, microbiological, and toxicity analyses of water, wastewater, and related solids and liquids relevant to wastewater treatment collection, treatment, and disposal.
  • Assist in preparing and completing daily reports relevant to regulatory monitoring and process control requirements; perform complex research projects requiring special chemical and biological analyses.
  • Provide analytical support to all sections within the laboratory, including weekends and holidays, to assure meeting regulatory monitoring and process control requirements.
  • Perform complex chemical and mathematical calculations and statistical analyses for test results; maintain appropriate records and logs.
  • Research literature and consult with scientists in the fields of interest to gather information for development of new methods with established goals.
  • Plan, coordinate and perform projects to develop methods to analyze for non-traditional constituents at ultra-low concentrations.
  • Analyze for organics at part-per-trillion levels.
  • Operate a variety of laboratory equipment including the gas chromatograph/mass spectrometer, the atomic absorption spectrophotometer, as well as other computer-controlled analyzers.
  • Maintain, repair and modify research instruments to achieve femto-gram detection needed for research works.
  • Monitor and sample continuous bioassay system.
  • Work with outside agencies on special projects; prepare technical reports and correspondence.
  • Evaluate instruments and their capabilities; make recommendations and write specifications for purchase.
  • Perform related duties as required.

Minimum Qualifications

Knowledge of:

  • Standard methods for the analysis of water and wastewater.
  • Sampling techniques and statistical analysis
  • Modern laboratory equipment and its uses.
  • Mathematics as it applies to laboratory work.
  • Personal computers and software.
  • District’s organization, functions, rules, and regulations.
  • Current developments in technology and instrumentations related to practices and procedures.
  • Theoretical and analytical organic and inorganic chemistry and advanced scientific research methodologies.
  • Safety hazards and appropriate precautions applicable to work assignments.

Ability to:

  • On a continuous basis analyze data calculations, identify which rules and procedures apply, interpret procedures, know chemistry and safety rules, problem solve deviations from expected results and poor performance of instruments, remember reference sources, and explain procedures to other analysts.
  • Walk around lab areas and stand for long periods of time while performing tests on a continuous basis, perform simple grasping and fine manipulation, and lift or carry weight of 50 pounds or less.
  • Analyze and interpret the results of routine laboratory tests of water and wastewater.
  • Conduct of the more complex research projects.
  • Implement the laboratory’s quality analysis/quality control, safety and chemical hygiene problems.
  • Apply sound, technical knowledge and professional judgment.
  • Maintain and requisition laboratory supplies and equipment.
  • Evaluate instruments and their capabilities; make recommendations and write specifications for purchase of instruments.
  • Apply theory and principles of analytical and instrumental chemistry into research and method development.
  • Train other chemists on developed methods.
  • Maintain accurate records and prepare appropriate reports; write technical reports and correspondence.
  • Learn and observe all appropriate safety precautions as required by the District including, but not limited to, Cal/OSHA General Industry Safety Orders, the District’s Respiratory Protection Program, and District Safety Directives.
  • Work shift, on‑call, weekends, and holidays as assigned.

Experience and Education

Any combination equivalent to experience and education that could likely provide the required knowledge and abilities would be qualifying. A typical way to obtain the knowledge and abilities would be:


  • Two years of experience comparable to that of a Chemist I at the District, plus one year of experience performing organic chemical analysis, using a gas chromatograph/mass spectrometer.


  • Equivalent to a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university with major work in chemistry, bacteriology, or a related science.

Licenses and Certificates

  • Possession of a Grade III Laboratory Technologist Certificate issued by the California
  • Water Environment Association or must obtain the certificate within one year of appointment.
  • Possession of a valid California Driver's License.

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