Public Health Microbiologist (Trainee) (#331010)
$28.25-$34.34 Hourly / $4,897.35-$5,952.76 Monthly / $58,768.23-$71,433.15 Yearly
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Under close supervision of a certified Public Health Microbiologist, learns to perform a variety of technical laboratory examinations in order to detect and identify microbial disease agents in support of general public health and clinic operations, and communicable disease control; performs related duties assigned.


This class is the trainee level for the Public Health Microbiologist series, which allows candidates, with proper academic qualifications, to gain hands-on practical laboratory experience that meets the requirements for certification as a Public Health Microbiologist within the State of California.  Incumbents in this class may not perform any examination except under the immediate supervision of a certified Public Health Microbiologist. Training includes regular quizzes, assigned reading, intensive hands-on instruction, and practice under the close guidance of a certified Public Health Microbiologist.

This class is distinguished from the certified Public Health Microbiologist Entry in that the latter is responsible to perform a variety of laboratory examinations and help more experienced microbiologists while developing the expertise needed to perform at the fully qualified working level.

Supervision Received and Exercised

Receives direct supervision from Public Health Microbiologists and more experienced staff.

Examples of Duties

Learns to perform, under the guidance of more experienced staff, routine microbiological and related biological, serological, and biochemical examinations for the detection and identification of microbial, fungal, parasitic, and viral agents of disease using defined procedures.

Learns to perform routine examinations for the detection and identification of agents of communicable disease in matters pertinent to public health, outbreaks and emerging infectious diseases, using defined procedures.

Learns to perform microbiological, physical, and chemical examinations of food, water, and other substances important to environmental sanitation, using defined procedures. Learns and assists in preparation of specimens for examination by using various stains, reagents, and equipment; learns to operate and maintain surgical and laboratory equipment.

Learns and assists to perform quality control measures to insure accuracy of results by using standardized tests on known pathogens kept in stock; learns to analyze and interpret laboratory data; learns to maintain records and prepare reports.

Learns to assist with the planning, development, review, and evaluation of procedures, products, methods, and techniques.

Learns to consult with private physicians, health professionals, and agencies on matters related to laboratory methods, procedures, findings and analyses.

Knowledge, Skills & Abilities

Knowledge of:

Knowledge of bacteriological, virology, and chemistry as related to public health lab work.

Knowledge of fundamental microbiology principles and laboratory methods.

Knowledge of equipment and terminology used in the examination of body fluids and tissues, foods, and water.

Knowledge of common causes of disease and the methods of transmission and control of communicable diseases.

Knowledge of safe laboratory practices and procedures.

Knowledge of laboratory equipment and its care.

Knowledge of standard report writing using proper punctuation, grammatical usage and spelling.


Ability to learn and apply all quality control methodology prescribed to the operation of a public health laboratory; employ safety principles that apply to the activities in a public health laboratory; understand and apply the laws and regulations in the Health and Safety Code and the California Administrative Code which apply to the operation of a public health laboratory; follow oral and written instructions; learn to analyze laboratory test results; communicate effectively with co-workers and the public, both orally and in writing; establish and maintain effective working relationships with those contacted in the course of work; learn to keep accurate and readable records.

Education and Experience

No experience required; however, applicants must demonstrate possession of and competency in requisite knowledge, skills and abilities.

A Bachelor of Science degree from an accredited college or university with a concentration in Microbiology or one of the related life sciences is required. 

Possession of a Public Health Microbiologist Trainee letter of approval from the California State Department of Health, Laboratory Field Services is required.


Possession of a Public Health Microbiologist-Trainee letter of approval from the California Department of Public Health, Laboratory Field Services prior to appointment.

Incumbents must complete training and pass the California State certification examination for Public Health Microbiologist within one year of employment as a trainee.

Note:   Not completing training and passing the California State certification exam for Public Health Microbiologist within one year of employment as a trainee shall result in termination.


Incumbents may need a valid California driver’s license.

Independent travel may be required.

Incumbents must be able to work in an environment that may include exposure to communicable disease.

Candidates for employment may be required to sign a statement agreeing to comply with all applicable Sections of the Californian Penal Code relating to child abuse/elder abuse reporting as a condition of employment.

CLASS: 331010; EST: 12/22/2011 2:05:00 PM; REV: 12/22/2011 2:05:00 PM;