Recruitment #2207-1901-001


Located on the western shore of Lake Michigan, Milwaukee is an urban hub bursting with energy. Milwaukee provides a casual sophistication – big city appeal without the big city hassles. We are accessible and affordable, and our residents are welcoming. Milwaukee has evolved through the years, bringing together its unsurpassed old world charm with a breathtaking Art Museum, top-flight arts and cultural attractions, professional sports, lakefront festivals, recreational opportunities, and great restaurants.

The City of Milwaukee is proud to employ a diverse workforce that is committed to providing exemplary service to the City’s residents. If you have a passion for being a part of an inclusive team of public servants, please consider the following opportunity.


Under the direction of Assistant Laboratory Director, the Chemist independently performs analysis for lead in dust wipes, paints, soil, water, and blood for all Milwaukee Health Department (MHD) programs, including Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention, Environmental Lead Chemistry, Food and Water Control, Asbestos Control, and Industrial Hygiene.

Essential Functions

Environmental Lead Chemistry

  • Test household dust wipes, paint chips, soil, and any other material for lead content using Atomic Absorption (AA) spectrophotometry.
  • Maintain the highest standard of quality data by following laboratory accreditation policies and procedures.
  • Conduct regular proficiency testing and competency for pre-analytical, analytical, and post-analytical phases of the Quality Management System.
  • Assist in routine quality assurance (QA) and quality control (QC) procedures for the Lead Program.

Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention

  • Analyze whole blood specimens for lead concentration using the Atomic Absorption (AA) spectrometer.
  • Conduct regular State and CDC proficiency testing and maintain competencies for laboratory accreditation.
  • Measure the hematocrit and hemoglobin concentration in whole blood specimens.
  • Test household water and other miscellaneous samples for lead content, such as toys and dishes.

Allergen Testing

  • Conduct household and environmental sample processing utilizing Enzyme-linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) for allergens analysis.
  • Assist with Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) data entry and test result reporting.

Environmental Chemistry

  • Monitor drinking and beach water for microbes and biological toxins.
  • Perform analysis of unknown chemicals in water, air, or other environmental matrices.
  • Perform analysis of drinking water, wastewater, organic wastes, and other complex matrices and organic pollutants using gas chromatograph mass spectrometry (GC-MS) and/or liquid chromatograph mass spectrometry (LC-MS) or inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS)/optical emission spectroscopy (OES).
  • Identify various forms of asbestos in bulk solid samples using polarized light microscopy.

Food and Water Control

  • Measure the fat content of ground beef and the salt content in smoked fish samples using ion chromatography.
  • Measure the conductivity and resistivity of laboratory water.
  • Measure inorganic chemicals to support relevant City departments and programs.
  • Measure the ammonia, phosphate, and turbidity of lake and river waters.

General Duties

  • Maintain accurate records to assure quality assurance (QA) and quality control (QC) for all analytical procedures.
  • Assist in developing, validating, and maintaining chemistry analytical techniques.
  • Perform routine maintenance and troubleshooting of analytical instrumentation and equipment.
  • Work closely with supervisory staff on method selection, development, and improvement projects.
  • Perform data entry in the Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS).
  • Participate in laboratory safety programs.
  • Periodically attend meetings, training programs, and conferences related to work.

We welcome qualified individuals with disabilities who are interested in employment and will make reasonable accommodations during the hiring process in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990, as amended by the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA) of 2008.

Conditions of Employment

Please be advised that new employees are required to have received either both doses of the Moderna or Pfizer or one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine prior to their employment start date or have an approved religious or medical accommodation prior to their employment start date. You can find further information relative to the City’s COVID-19 Vaccination Policy here.

The Chemist must be willing and able to do the following:

  • Have the ability to differentiate and quantify colors and odors.
  • Have the physical ability to stand and walk, stoop and kneel, and push and pull.
  • Wear a surgical mask and/or particulate respirator (N95 or higher) and have both a respirator fit test and a tuberculosis (TB) skin test annually.
  • Travel outside of the City of Milwaukee, including occasional overnight travel, for the purpose of attending conferences, workshops, and trainings.
  • Participate in a 24-hour emergency on-call rotation schedule, including weekends.
  • Successfully pass a thorough background check.

Minimum Requirements

  1. Bachelor’s degree in physical chemistry, environmental chemistry, analytical chemistry, organic chemistry, biochemistry, toxicology, forensic science, or a closely related field from an accredited college or university.
  2. Two years of relevant experience as a chemist, such as environmental chemistry laboratory experience, in an academic, public health, or commercial setting.

 Equivalent combinations of education and experience may be considered.

NOTICE: Please do not attach your academic transcripts to your employment application. The hiring department will verify candidates’ education as part of the background screening process prior to extending any job offers.

Desirable Qualifications

  • Master’s degree in chemistry, analytical chemistry, organic chemistry, biochemistry, biophysical chemistry, geochemistry, environmental chemistry, or a closely related field from an accredited college or university.

Knowledge, Skills, Abilities & Other Characteristics


  • Knowledge of public health principles and practices.
  • Commitment to public safety and disease prevention.
  • Knowledge of chemistry (i.e., the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances); chemical processes, and safety (i.e., safety datasheet uses, interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal of chemicals).
  • Knowledge of and ability to safely use the following methods for chemical analysis:
    • Flame AA
    • Graphite Furnace AA
    • Ion chromatography
    • Gas chromatograph mass spectrometry (GC-MS) and liquid chromatograph mass spectrometry (LC-MS)
    • Time-Resolved Fluorescence (TRF)
    • Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR)
    • Inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS)
    • Optical emission spectroscopy (OES)
  • Knowledge of and ability to safely use the following types of equipment for chemical analysis:
    • Flame ionization detectors (FIDs)
    • Electron capture detectors (ECDs)
    • Microplate readers
    • Nucleic acid sequencers (optional)
    • Microscopes
    • Centrifuge
    • Scales
    • Chemical fume hoods
  • Ability to interpret mass spectral data.
  • Knowledge of mathematical and statistical concepts.
  • Ability to read and interpret professional journals, technical documentation, and laws and regulations.
  • Ability to write reports, correspondence, and procedures.
  • Skill in using computer applications such as MS Office software, spreadsheet, the Internet, and job-related databases (i.e., LIMS).


  • Interpersonal skills to maintain effective, positive relationships with coworkers, other City departments, and the public.
  • Ability to work well both independently and as part of a synergistic team.
  • Ability to work cooperatively, effectively, and fairly with coworkers and residents whose backgrounds may differ from one’s own.

Critical Thinking and Professionalism

  • Planning, organizational, and time management skills.
  • Analytical, problem-solving, and research skills.
  • Ability to meet quality and productivity standards.
  • Ability to follow safety and security protocols, including guidelines and policies regarding personal protective equipment (PPE).
  • Ability to manage departmental resources in a responsible way.
  • Ability to maintain confidentiality and perform work in an ethical manner.
  • Ability to remain calm during emergency situations.
  • Willingness to pursue training and development opportunities to stay apprised of technical advances, regulatory standards, industry issues, and public health trends.

Current Salary

The current salary range (Pay Range 2FN) is $49,260-$68,968 annually, and the resident incentive salary range for City of Milwaukee residents is $50,738-$71,037 annually. Appointment above the minimum is possible based upon level of experience and other qualifications and is subject to approval.


The City of Milwaukee provides a comprehensive benefit program that includes the following:

  • Defined Benefit Pension Plan
  • 457 Deferred Compensation Plan
  • Health and Dental Insurance
  • Paid Parental Leave
  • Comprehensive Wellness Program
  • Onsite Clinic Services
  • Onsite Employee Assistance Program
  • Alternative Work Schedules
  • Long Term Disability Insurance
  • Group Life Insurance
  • Tuition Benefits
  • Paid Vacation
  • 11 Paid Holidays
  • Paid Sick Leave and other paid leaves
  • Flexible Spending Arrangement
  • Commuter Value Pass  

For full details of the benefits offered by the City of Milwaukee, please visit

Selection Process

THE SELECTION PROCESS will be job related and will consist of one or more of the following: education and experience evaluation; written, oral, or performance tests, or other assessment methods. The Department of Employee Relations reserves the right to call only the most qualified candidates to oral and performance examinations. Oral examinations may include written exercises. Selection process component weights will be determined by further analysis of the job.  

INITIAL FILING DATE - The examination will be held as soon as practical after Friday, August 5, 2022. Receipt of applications may be discontinued at any time after this date without prior notice.  However, recruitment may continue until the needs of the City have been met. Qualified applicants will be notified of the date, time, and place of the examination. Unless otherwise required by law, the City of Milwaukee will not provide alternative test administration. The applicant is responsible for attending all phases of the job selection process at the time and place designated by the City of Milwaukee.

Additional Information

  • APPLICATIONS and further information may be accessed by visiting
  • Applications should be submitted no later than the deadline listed above.
  • If you would like assistance completing an application, please contact the Department of Employee Relations at (414) 286-3751 or
  • The Department of Employee Relations is located in City Hall, 200 E Wells St, Room 706, Milwaukee, WI 53202.  


EEO = 206

The City of Milwaukee values and encourages diversity and is an equal opportunity employer.