Chief of Public Health Laboratory Services (#RH4095)
$55.13-$67.01 Hourly / $9,555.71-$11,615.03 Monthly / $114,668.59-$139,380.39 Yearly


Under administrative direction, plans, organizes, directs, staffs and coordinates the operations and services of the San Joaquin County Public Health Laboratory, which is both a high-complexity and bio-terrorism reference laboratory certified by the State of California and in compliance with federal CLIA regulations; serves as the laboratory director as required by state and federal law as well as a County technical and operational resource for public health laboratory issues; maintains a liaison with state and federal agencies regarding public health laboratory activities; and does related work as required in accordance with Rule 3, Section 3 of the Civil Service Rules.


This is a management-level class within Public Health Services. The incumbent oversees and directs the day-to-day operations of the Public Health Laboratory and has broad responsibility for planning, developing and implementing multiple laboratory programs, projects and services. Administrative direction is received from the Senior Deputy Director of Public Health Services. This class differs from the next lower class of Supervising Public Health Microbiologist because incumbents in the latter class are responsible for supervising daily activities in the laboratory, assisting with staff training, and providing technical expertise and resources to various areas of laboratory service.


  • Manages and directs the operations, programs and administration of the County’s Public Health Laboratory within Public Health Services; serves as the designated laboratory director as required by state and federal law; plans, organizes, staffs, coordinates, and assigns work pertaining to a wide variety of general and specialized testing programs, including those identified as “highly complex” by the federal Centers for Disease Control; consults with supervising and other public health microbiologists regarding work in progress and completed work to assure correct analyses and to set priorities; directs and/or participates in the performance of the most difficult tests and procedures.
  • Selects, assigns, trains, and evaluates the performance of subordinate personnel; ensures that staff receive appropriate in-service and other training; initiates, recommends and implements disciplinary actions as necessary.
  • Provides technical expertise and consultation to department staff, community physicians, nursing personnel, laboratory technicians, hospitals, schools, businesses and the general public regarding public health diagnostic and other laboratory processes.
  • Coordinates with local, regional, state and federal officials to meet contractual obligations for regional testing services, the Level B Bioterrorism Response Program, and/or other special programs and activities; oversees clinical trials and assessments; oversees and/or coordinates data development, analysis and reporting.
  • Develops, recommends, interprets and applies policies and procedures for the management of Public Health Laboratory facilities and personnel, in consultation with senior management; participates in Public Health Services strategic planning activities to develop and recommend short- and long-term laboratory goals and objectives; establishes laboratory program objectives and performance standards; evaluates program operations and activities in terms of overall effectiveness and compliance; establishes and directs the preparation and maintenance of laboratory procedure manuals; implements process improvements and modifications as necessary and adjusts goals in response to program directives and/or client needs.
  • Interprets and applies local, state and federal public health regulations and laws and ensures that all Public Health Laboratory operations and activities are in compliance; represents the Public Health Laboratory in audits and inspections; ensures that certification and accreditation standards are met; establishes, implements, monitors and evaluates mandated laboratory equipment preventive maintenance, quality control and quality assurance programs.
  • Develops, prepares, presents and administers Public Health Laboratory operating, capital and special program budgets; prepares cost estimates/projections; submits justifications for requested resources; monitors expenditures; evaluates bids and contracts for supplies, services and equipment; initiates, coordinates, oversees and administers contractual agreements for laboratory services; reviews, monitors and evaluates service quality and contract compliance; approves billings and payments; responds to complaints or concerns and resolves issues as appropriate.
  • Directs and participates in the preparation and maintenance of Public Health Laboratory records, inventories, and qualitative and quantitative reports; provides testimony and affidavits as an expert witness as needed.
  • Develops and implements comprehensive in-service training programs for staff; monitors the training of staff from local laboratories; oversees and directs student training programs; educates laboratory staff and other providers on new techniques and procedures; consults with other agencies regarding assay performance and evaluation; evaluates the laboratory service needs of local, surrounding and remote areas and proposes programs and service models to meet these needs.
  • Represents Public Health Laboratory services at meetings and participates on various committees as assigned; acts as liaison between laboratory services, other areas of Health Care Services, County officials and outside agencies or entities.
  • Reviews current literature and attends seminars in order to keep informed of new developments in the field; educates staff in new techniques and procedures.


License: Possession of a valid certification as a Public Health Microbiologist issued by the State of California, Department of Health Services Certification.

Experience: Four years as a Certified Public Health Microbiologist in an approved public health laboratory, two years which must have been in a lead or supervisory capacity.


Must Qualify under CLIA (CLIA 1-1-94 is incorporated in California Law at H & SC Section 101160) utilizing one of the qualifying patterns below:

Either Option I

Education: Possession of a Doctorate degree from an accredited university in a chemical, physical, biological science or laboratory science from an accredited institution.


a) Possession of certification by a board approved by the federal Health and Human Services (HHS); or
b) Before February 24, 2003, must have two years as a director supervising or directing in a laboratory performing high complexity testing and must have at least two years of laboratory training.

Or Option 2

On or before February 28, 1992, be serving as a laboratory director and must have previously qualified or could have qualified as a laboratory director under regulations at 42 CFR 493.1415, published March 14, 1990 at 55 FR 9538.

Or Option 3

On or before February 28, 1992, be qualified under State law to direct a laboratory in the State in which the laboratory is located.


Principles and practices of public administration including budgeting, organizational development, and personnel management; principles, methods, materials, techniques and terminology of biochemistry, microbiology, immunology, hematology, and environmental toxicology; recent developments, current literature and sources of information in public health laboratory practices and procedures; state and federal regulations related to the operation of public health laboratories; statistical methodologies utilized in quality control procedures; basic computer and modern office automation technology and pertinent software programs.


Plan and administer the programs activities of a public health laboratory; ensure the appropriate performance of public health laboratory tests and procedures; establish and maintain effective working relationships with physicians, public health professional staff, government officials, contractors, vendors and others; perform complex analyses on quantitative and qualitative data, draw logical conclusions, and prepare complex statistical and narrative reports; issue oral and written directives of a technical nature; maintain quality and quantity of laboratory output; operate computers and related software; communicate effectively, both orally and in writing; evaluate the work of others; maintain an effective training program for students.


Mobility-Frequent sitting for long periods of time while operating a keyboard; Lifting-Occasional lifting of 30 lbs. or less; Vision-Constant use of overall visual capabilities; frequent need for use of color perception, hand/eye coordination, reading and/or close up work; Dexterity-Frequent holding, grasping and writing; Hearing/Talking-Constant hearing and talking in person and on the telephone; Special Requirements-May require working weekends/nights; working alone; Emotional/Psychological-Constant concentration and decision making duties; frequent emergency situations, public contact and ability to work independently.

San Joaquin County complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and, upon request, will consider reasonable accommodations to enable individuals with disabilities to perform essential job functions.

CLASS: RH4095; EST: 5/9/2007; REV: 12/12/2012;