County of Alameda

Chemist (#5553)

Bargaining Unit: SEIU 1021 - Misc Prof/Tech (011)
$48.83-$58.38 Hourly / $3,906.40-$4,670.40 BiWeekly /
$8,463.87-$10,119.20 Monthly / $101,566.40-$121,430.40 Yearly

Under general supervision, to conduct a variety of chemical, physical, biological and bacteriological tests in the examination and analysis of water samples at various stages in the water treatment and distribution system; to conduct chemical analyses of meat, alcohol, and food products; to conduct complex analytical procedures using standardized chemical and biochemical methods and techniques; and performing other related duties.


Chemist is the journey-level classification in this series. The positions of Chemist are located in either the Department of Environmental Health (Public Health Option) or Zone 7, Flood Control and Water Conservation District (Water Quality Option). The class of Chemist is distinguished from the next higher one of Supervising Chemist in that the latter class is assigned the responsibilities of a first-line supervisor and the overall management of the laboratory. The primary responsibility of the Chemist is to perform both routine and complex laboratory analyses, which require well-rounded knowledge of chemistry and of the ability to interpret the results of these tests. While much of the work performed by incumbents of the class of Chemist is prescribed by standardized procedures, there are occasions for engaging in applied research projects and performing special chemical and biological analyses.

NOTE: The following are the duties performed by employees in this classification. However, employees may perform other related duties at an equivalent level. Each individual in the classification does not necessarily perform all duties listed.

1. Performs various standard tests in the chemical, physical, and biological examination of water in various stages of treatment; interprets results; conducts analyses of meat, alcohol, food products, additives, fat and chemical contamination; analyzes water, wastewater, chemical compounds, elements, and gases.

2. Performs nonstandard bacteriological analyses; identifies biological growths by microscopic examination; compares and analyzes test results and determines compliance with applicable health and safety codes and regulations; prepares reagents necessary for analytical procedures.

3. Operates laboratory equipment such as: Balances, spectrophotometers, chromatographs, mass spectrometers, hydrometers, pH meters, and a variety of other technical apparatuses; may inspect, adjust, and make minor repair to plant and laboratory equipment; may be responsible for instrument maintenance using checklists, calibrations and servicing; conducts general laboratory cleanup and equipment maintenance.

4. Formulates and recommends new or proposed analytical lab procedures; updates and reviews current procedures to ensure continued compliance with mandated State and Federal regulations relating to the examination and analysis of water; may serve as an expert witness in hearings or legal proceedings.

5. Collects samples of ground and surface water; takes samples of items such as raw, settled, filtered and treated water, sludge and wastewater; reports findings to requesting authority; performs inspections and analyzes water outside of the laboratory for individuals or private or public entities; reports on general sanitary conditions of water facilities; makes calculations and maintains records and statistical data on lab activities; prepares reports on work performed.

6. Conducts special studies to improve water treatment process; makes determinations of trace elements by atomic absorption and/or inductively coupled plasma/mass spectrometry; makes determinations of organic contaminants by gas chromatography and/or gas chromatography/mass spectrometry; may serve as leader of short-term field and laboratory chemical or biochemical projects; interprets results of tests performed by technicians and other field personnel; instructs and trains others in routine examinations of water.


Graduation from an accredited college or university with specialization in Chemistry, Bacteriology or a similar science which included courses in analytical Chemistry or Bacteriology,



The equivalent of one-year full-time experience performing analytical chemistry in a laboratory setting, which included the use of spectrophotometers, microscopes, analytical balances, pH meters, distillation apparatus, and chromatographic equipment for gases and liquids.


Possession of a valid California Motor Vehicle Operator's license.

NOTE: The Civil Service Commission may modify the above minimum qualifications in the announcement of an examination.

NOTE: The level and scope of the following knowledge and abilities are related to duties listed under the “Examples of Duties” section of this specification.

• Principles, methods, techniques, equipment and materials used in conducting chemical, physical, or biological and bacteriological tests used in quantitative and qualitative analysis.
• The operation and care of laboratory equipment.

Ability to:

• Perform a variety of standard and specialized chemical, physical, or biological and bacteriological tests.
• Interpret test results and take or recommend corrective action.
• Train and instruct other employees in the routine aspects of chemical analysis.
• Prepare comprehensive correspondence and reports.
• Maintain accurate records.
• Work and communicate effectively with other employees and the public.

Old document: 1142h
New document: Jobspecs/5553
CSC Date: 1/30/91


Alameda County offers a comprehensive and competitive benefits package that affords wide-ranging health care options to meet the different needs of a diverse workforce and their families. We also sponsor many different employee discount, fitness and health screening programs focused on overall well being.  These benefits include but are not limited to*:

For your Health & Well-Being

  • Medical – HMO & PPO Plans
  • Dental – HMO & PPO Plans
  • Vision or Vision Reimbursement
  • Share the Savings
  • Basic Life Insurance 
  • Supplemental Life Insurance (with optional dependent coverage for eligible employees) 
  • County Allowance Credit
  • Flexible Spending Accounts - Health FSA, Dependent Care and Adoption Assistance
  • Short-Term Disability Insurance
  • Long-Term Disability Insurance
  • Voluntary Benefits - Accident Insurance, Critical Illness, Hospital Indemnity and Legal Services
  • Employee Assistance Program

For your Financial Future

  • Retirement Plan - (Defined Benefit Pension Plan)
  • Deferred Compensation Plan (457 Plan or Roth Plan)

For your Work/Life Balance

  • 12 paid holidays
  • Floating Holidays
  • Vacation and sick leave accrual
  • Vacation purchase program
  • Catastrophic Sick Leave
  • Group Auto/Home Insurance
  • Pet Insurance
  • Commuter Benefits Program
  • Guaranteed Ride Home
  • Employee Wellness Program (e.g. At Work Fitness, Incentive Based Programs, Gym Membership Discounts)
  • Employee Discount Program (e.g. theme parks, cell phone, etc.)
  • Child Care Resources
  • 1st United Services Credit Union 

*Eligibility is determined by Alameda County and offerings may vary by collective bargaining agreement.  This provides a brief summary of the benefits offered and can be subject to change.


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