Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago

Environmental Chemist (#20003652)

General Statement

Under general supervision, supervises the work of a small laboratory; and/or conducts chemical research and analysis as applied to water, sewage and industrial wastes, and purchased or processed materials.

Essential Job Functions

Essential job functions are fundamental, core functions common to positions in a classification. They are not intended to be an exhaustive list of all job duties for any one position in the class. Since class specifications are designed to be descriptive and not restrictive, incumbents may complete one or all of the job duties listed or tasks of similar kind not specifically listed here.

  • Assigns, supervises, and reviews work of subordinate personnel; rewards, disciplines, directs, or adjusts grievances; recommends their hiring, transfer, suspension, layoff, recall, promotion or discharge.
  • Analyzes samples for organic and inorganic pollutants from various sources including District treatment plants, industrial wastes, environmental, and other special samples.
  • Operates and maintains complex and sensitive instruments specific to organ and inorganic analytical chemistry.
  • Supervises and assists in the chemical analyses of supplies and materials used by the District.
  • Manages and directs the operation of the quality assurance program of the Q.C. labs.
  • Carries out chemical research as applied to sewage and stream pollution.

Other Job Functions

  • Performs statistical evaluations and calculations.
  • Reviews and validates data for daily and monthly reports.
  • Prepares and standardizes chemical solutions for analytical work.
  • Prepares reports and keeps records of laboratory work.
  • Performs other duties as assigned.

Environmental Conditions

May involve exposure to a variety of chemical and biological materials, some of which may be hazardous or toxic.  May involve exposure to fumes and noxious odors.

Desirable Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • Considerable knowledge of environmental chemistry and laboratory equipment, instrumentation, policies and procedures as applied to water and wastewater. 
  • Considerable knowledge of safety and quality control principles in a laboratory setting.
  • Some knowledge of computer spreadsheets and databases.
  • Knowledge of wastewater treatment processes.
  • Ability to compile, analyze, and interpret a variety of data.
  • Ability to plan and supervise the work of others in a manner conducive to full performance and high morale.
  • Ability to manage several projects concurrently.
  • Ability to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing.

Minimum Qualification Requirements

Graduation from a four-year accredited college or university majoring in chemistry or chemical engineering, or a degree in the biological sciences with substantial coursework in chemistry; and two years of full time experience in a laboratory performing work in analytical chemistry.


Graduate study in chemistry or chemical engineering may be substituted for the required experience on a year-for-year basis.

Promotional Requirement

  • Possession of a bachelor’s degree in chemistry or chemical engineering, or a degree in the biological sciences with substantial coursework in chemistry.
  • One year of service with the District as an Assistant Environmental Chemist, Senior Laboratory Technician or Senior Environmental Research Technician.
  • Civil service status in one of the foregoing classifications.

CLASS: 20003652; EST: 9/1/1991; REV: 1/1/2020;