County of Alameda

Criminalist III (#8525)

Bargaining Unit: SEIU 1021 - Misc Prof/Tech (011)
$62.15-$74.93 Hourly / $4,972.00-$5,994.40 BiWeekly /
$10,772.67-$12,987.87 Monthly / $129,272.00-$155,854.40 Yearly

Criminalists utilize scientific methods and techniques in the recognition, collection, and characterization of physical and digital evidence in the Crime Laboratory as well as at crime scenes. They prepare written reports regarding their findings and interpretations and provide expert testimony in court. They perform related duties as required. All positions are located in the Sheriff’s Office and may be subject to overtime.


Criminalist III is an above journey-level classification working under general direction. Incumbents perform the more complex technical work in the criminalistics laboratory, assist in the maintenance of instruments, supplies and records, serve as lead persons for other criminalists in specific areas of expertise, and train law enforcement personnel in methods of collecting and preserving evidence and using breath alcohol equipment.


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. Establishes and maintains competency in specialty discipline(s) where casework is assigned and performed.

2. Utilizes various analytical techniques such as photography, microscopy, wet chemistry, chromatography, mass spectrometry, spectroscopy, DNA typing, database searching, and digital media processing for the identification and comparison of evidence such as biological fluids, toxic substances, drugs, ignitable materials, digital media, firearm related items, as well as fingerprints and impression evidence.

3. Complies with established quality control procedures to ensure proper functioning of reagents and equipment.

4. Adheres to established safety standards in the preparation, storage, and disposal of chemicals and testing of evidence materials.

5. Maintains laboratory equipment, instruments, and work area.

6. Prepares materials for presentation in court; appears as an expert witness and interprets results of laboratory findings to law enforcement officers, attorneys and the courts.

7. Prepares clear, comprehensive, and accurate reports and maintains accurate records of laboratory findings through detailed notes, photographs, sketches, and maintenance of analytical data.

8. Processes crime scenes utilizing observational skills, note-taking, sketching, photography, and laser scanning in order to identify, document, and collect and interpret evidence.

9. Assists less experienced laboratory personnel and law enforcement officers in the methods of analysis employed in the laboratory and in the methods used for collecting and preserving evidence.

10. Researches, develops, and/or evaluates methods and procedures for laboratory testing of physical or digital evidence.

11. Participate in community outreach activities such as tours, presentations, and mentoring.

12. Perform related work as required.


Either I

The equivalent of two years’ full-time experience in the class of Criminalist II in the Alameda County classified service.




Possession of a bachelor's degree in criminalistics from an accredited college or university or a bachelor's degree in an appropriate and relevant science such as chemistry, physics, or biochemistry from an accredited college or university, and


The equivalent of four years of recent full-time, experience as a criminalist or forensic chemist performing laboratory work equivalent to that of a general criminalistics laboratory.


Candidates for all three classes must possess a valid California Motor Vehicle Operator's License.

Special Requirements:

1) Candidate for all three classes must be found to be free of uncorrected colorblindness at the time of the County pre-employment physical examination.
2) A thorough background investigation will be conducted of all prospective Criminalists to ensure they are suitable for law enforcement related work.
3) Criminalists will be required to work day, evening, night, rotating shifts, or call back shifts including weekends and holidays.

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.

Knowledge of:

• The principles of forensic science, chemistry, physics, biochemistry, microscopy, statistics, photography, and natural sciences as related to forensic laboratory examinations and crime scene processing.
• Basic principles of operation for scientific instruments and apparatus used in forensic laboratory examinations and crime scene processing.
• Modern criminal investigation and identification techniques and procedures.
• Basic laboratory safety procedures.
• Basic legal and courtroom processes.

Ability to:

• Conduct basic chemical, instrumental, biological, microscopic, digital, and other forensic laboratory analyses as required.
• Conduct crime scene documentation, evidence collection, and interpretations as required.
• Present evidence clearly and accurately in court when called on as an expert witness.
• Prepare and maintain clear, accurate, and detailed case records, statistics, and reports.
• Provide training and assist in evaluating the work of others.
• Follow detailed technical instruction while maintaining an exceptional level of quality.
• Approach change positively.
• Learn and assimilate information in a timely manner.
• Identify issues and develop solutions.
• Maintain focus under pressure.
• Communicate clearly and effectively, orally and in writing, with scientists, law enforcement personnel, attorneys, the public, and the courts.
• Work effectively in an environment in which incumbent may encounter disturbing, sensitive, or confidential situations.
• Work effectively in a highly structure, rank-organized environment.
• Establish and maintain effective work relationships with those contacted in the performance of required duties.
• Work safely with a wide variety of materials which may contain biohazards and/or hazardous materials.
• Effectively resolve analytical problems through the application of logical thought processes, consultation of the scientific literature and/or applied research.
• Respond to crime scenes outside of normal working hours.

Revised: HC:ab 9/85
Old doc: 0799h
New doc: 8523-8524-8525.doc
CSC Date: 9/25/85
ID:pf Rev. 10/3/01
Csc Date: 1/16/02
ID:pf 10/16/02
CSC Date: 11/6/02
DS:cs Revised 5/27/10
CSC Date: 6/16/10
AM:jf Revised 9/13/17
CSC Date: 12/6/17


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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