Forensic Laboratory Director (#117320)
$71.28-$86.64 Hourly / $12,355.35-$15,018.00 Monthly / $148,264.17-$180,216.03 Yearly
Apply as a Transfer to Comparable Class applicant


The Forensic Laboratory Director, through subordinate supervisory, professional, technical, and support staff, plans, organizes, and directs the overall operations of the District Attorney’s forensic laboratory; develops laboratory policies and procedures; ensures compliance with state, federal, and accreditation boards regulations; prepares and administers budget; and performs the more complex collection, preservation, and scientific analysis procedures.


This class is distinguished from the:


  • Public Health Laboratory Director class, which plans, organizes, and directs the overall operations of the Department of Health and Social Services’ public health laboratory for the Counties of Solano and Napa; develops laboratory policies and procedures, and ensures compliance with state and federal regulations.
  • Manager - Public Health Laboratory class, which oversees the daily operations of the Department of Health and Social Services’ public health laboratory and acts as a diagnostic and reference resource.
  • Criminalist Supervisor class, which is a first-line supervisory class responsible for assigning, reviewing, and coordinating the daily operations of the forensic laboratory and work activities of professional, technical, and support staff.

Essential Duties

This class specification represents the core areas of responsibilities; specific position assignments will vary depending on the needs of the department. 

Plans, assigns, reviews, and manages the overall operations and activities of the forensic laboratory, including short- and long-range planning; develops, implements, and ensure compliance with departmental programs, policies, and procedures; ensures compliance with external operating and quality assurance procedures; develops, administers, and monitors programmatic budget, grants, and criminal justice projects including allocating resources and approving expenditures.

Supervises staff including planning, assigning, and scheduling work activities and deadlines; establishes standards for acceptable work products; conducts the full range of personnel actions such as interviewing, selecting, hiring, training, and coaching staff; conducts disciplinary and termination actions; evaluates employees’ performance; enforces departmental policies and protocols; hears and resolves staff complaints; and gives advice, counsel, and instruction to staff on both technical and administrative matters.

Prepares correspondence and reports, laboratory activity reports, and case related statistic.

Negotiates and administers contracts and/or grants with community organizations and other agencies, ensuring regulatory and budgetary compliance, and achievement of service goals.

Serves as a resource and technical consultant to staff and private laboratories, may perform complex forensic casework.

May be assigned specialty assignments such as Laboratory Quality Assurance Manager or Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) Administrator.

Performs other duties of a similar nature and level as assigned 

Knowledge, Skills & Abilities

Knowledge of:

·          Applicable federal, state, and local laws, codes, rules, regulations, and statues
·          Principles and methods of operating a modern forensic science laboratory including work organization, fiscal management, budgetary preparation and control, and program planning and implementation
·          Principles and practices of supervision and training, including managing laboratory casework
·          Methods, techniques, materials, and equipment and apparatus used in a modern crime laboratory
·          Principles, procedures, and techniques of modern forensic and criminal investigation, identification, and analysis
·          Laboratory safety precautions and procedures
·          Laws of evidence, criminal procedures, courtroom procedures and testimony
·          Principles and techniques of quality control and quality assurance; and the quality assurance guidelines of national accrediting bodies of forensic laboratories
·          Public administration principles and practices 

·           Current trends in forensic science administration, including recent court decisions and legislative developments

 Skills in:

·          Interpreting and applying local, state and federal codes, ordinances, laws, regulations, and policies
·          Working under pressure to meet timelines and handling multiple and changing priorities
·          Planning, analyzing, evaluating, and managing complex programs, projects, and services; operational needs; and fiscal constraints
·          Performing a variety of difficult and complex chemical, instrumental, and laboratory analyses and coordinating complex crime scene investigations
·          Analyzing problems, identifying alternative solutions, projecting consequences of proposed actions, and implementing recommendations
·          Preparing reports, records, correspondence, proposals, statistical documentation, and other written materials
·          Analyzing, developing, and implementing policies and procedures
·          Operating and maintaining a wide variety of laboratory, scientific, photographic, and safety equipment and instruments
·          Negotiating and managing service contracts and agreements
·          Developing and monitoring budgets
·          Supervising, training, and evaluating professional, technical, and support staff
·          Communicating orally and in writing, making public presentations, present articulate testimony as an expert witness
·          Establishing and maintaining constructive and cooperative working relationships with those contacted in the course of work; demonstrating tact, diplomacy, patience, and compassion

Education and Experience

Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university with a major in chemistry, forensic chemistry/science, biochemistry, criminalistics, or a closely related physical or natural science field that included 8 semester / 12 quarter units of general chemistry and 3 semester / 4.5 quarter units of quantitative analysis;


Five years of full time professional forensic science experience that included two years of experience as a supervisor in a crime laboratory setting.

NOTE: Master's degree or higher in one of the fields noted above is highly desirable and may be substituted for one year of non-supervisory experience.


·    Valid California Driver’s License, Class C
·    May require the successful completion of the annual proficiency testing as required by the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors/Laboratory Accreditation Board (ASCLD/LAB)


Positions in this class typically require reaching, walking, fingering, feeling, talking, hearing, seeing, and repetitive motions.  Standing, walking, and/or sitting for long periods, such as while conducting laboratory analyses.  Possessing sufficient manual dexterity to manipulate and operate laboratory equipment.  Visually distinguish color, shape, size, number, and picture resolution quality.  Withstanding exposure to disagreeable elements such malodorous and/or decomposing samples, blood, bodily fluids, etc.


Medium Work:  Exerting up to 50 pounds of force occasionally, and/or up to 20 pounds of force frequently, and/or up to 10 pounds of force constantly to move objects.


Independent travel is required

Work irregular hours, holidays, and weekends at various locations and in hazardous conditions

CLASS: 117320; EST: 3/17/2009;