Criminalist (Entry, Journey or Senior Level DOQ)

Recruitment #18-412070-01


Achieving Justice and Protecting the Community

It is the mission of the District Attorney's Office to seek and do justice by assisting law enforcement and other public agencies in the investigation of crimes, prosecuting only those crimes which can be proved beyond a reasonable doubt, ensuring a fair trial for those accused of crime as well as for victims and witnesses of crimes, advocating to the public and to the Board of Supervisors necessary improvements to the criminal justice system, and educating the public by providing prompt and accurate information regarding the activities of the office and the administration of criminal justice.

to learn more about the district attorney's office, please visit: 

The Position

Criminalists work in the District Attorney’s Forensic Laboratory conducting analysis of physical evidence, and serve as expert witnesses in court on the subjects of forensic analysis. Currently the Forensic Laboratory is seeking applicants to perform testing in forensic human-performance toxicology; including identification and quantitative methods for alcohol and drugs in blood, as well as instrumental skills in GC/MS, LC/MSMS and other related toxicological instrumentation. In addition, skills in research and validation of toxicology methods are also desirable.

Distinguishing characteristics between the Entry, Journey and Senior levels are based on assignment and years of experience. The independence of work, complexity and scope of responsibilities is defined as stated below:

  • At entry level, Criminalists have little or no previous forensic casework experience. They receive on-the-job training in one or more of the core forensic disciplines, learning to apply the required body of knowledge. They perform fundamental, routine forensic scientific casework of moderate difficulty and within established parameters that are designed to develop broader and more in-depth knowledge and skill. This is the training and developmental level.
  • At the journey level, Criminalists independently perform technically complex and difficult forensic scientific casework in one or more forensic disciplines; and assist in training laboratory staff and law enforcement officers.
  • At the senior level, Criminalists perform the most technically complex, difficult, or highly sensitive scientific casework in one or more forensic disciplines; research and develop new methods and/or lead oversight and training of laboratory staff on a regular and recurring basis.

The eligible list established from this recruitment will be used to fill full-time and part-time regular, limited-term or extra-help positions as vacancies occur or the need arises.


Education: Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university with a major in chemistry, forensic chemistry/science, biochemistry, toxicology, criminalistics, or a closely related physical or natural science field that included 20 semester/30 quarter units of general chemistry, organic chemistry (two courses), quantitative techniques, and laboratory sections;


Entry-level Experience: No experience; or

Journey-level Experience: Two years of full-time directly related experience in a class comparable to Solano County's Criminalist; or

Senior-level Experience: Four years of full-time directly related journey-level experience in a class comparable to Solano County's Criminalist in one of the following areas: firearms and tool mark comparisons; forensic biology/DNA, trace and impression evidence examinations, drug analysis, and/or forensic alcohol or toxicology.

Note: Master's degree or higher in one of the scientific fields noted above is desirable and may be substituted for one year of the required experience.


  • Employees conducting forensic alcohol analyses must be eligible to conduct such work as specified by the State of California at the time of appointment
  • California Driver's License, Class C 

To view the job description for this position, please visit:


Solano County offers a cafeteria-style medical package with health benefits, offered through CalPERS. The County contribution for family coverage for the 2018 calendar year is $1,520.73 per month. The County offers a cash back provision for those who choose employee-only or who waive medical insurance coverage. The County may offer a supplemental contribution for employees enrolled in Employee plus Two or More coverage.

Dental and vision insurances for the employee and eligible dependents are paid 100% by the County.

Solano County participates in CalPERS retirement and contributes to Social Security.

The County observes 12 fixed, paid holidays per year.

Vacation is accrued at approximately 10 days per year for the first 3 years.

Sick leave accrues at approximately 12 days per year.

Employees are eligible to receive an additional 2.5% longevity pay, per level, after the completion of continuous service at 10, 20, 25, 30 and 35 years.

 To review complete benefits information, please visit:

Extra-help employees who work less than 29 hours per week do not typically receive or accrue benefits of regular employees during their period of employment. All extra-help employees accrue .034 hours of Paid Time Off for every full hour worked.

To view the benefits for an extra-help position, please visit:  

Selection Process

7/17/18 - Deadline to submit application and required documents.

TBD - Tentative date for oral board examination for the most qualified applicants.

Based on the information provided in the application documents, the qualified applicants may be invited for further examination and will either be pre-scheduled by the Department of Human Resources or be invited to self-schedule. All applicants meeting the minimum qualifications are not guaranteed advancement through any subsequent phase of the examination. Depending upon the number of applications received, the selection process may consist of an initial application screening, a mandatory information meeting, a supplemental questionnaire assessment, a written and/or practical exam, an oral board exam, or any combination listed. Responses to supplemental questions may be used as screening and testing mechanisms and will be used to assess an applicant’s ability to advance in the process; as such, responses to supplemental questions should be treated as test examination responses. Information contained herein does not constitute either an expressed or implied contract.

A minimum score of 70% is required to continue in the selection process, unless otherwise announced. 

All potential new hires and employees considered for promotion to management, confidential positions or unrepresented positions will be subject to a background and reference check after contingent job offer is accepted.  These provisions are subject to change.

RETIREES - Solano County invites all qualified candidates to apply for positions; however pursuant to Government Code Section 21221(h) and 21224, hiring restrictions may apply to California Public Sector Pension Plan Retirees.

How to Apply

Please visit the County of Solano website,, to apply. Applications must be submitted through the JobAps system. Paper copies of applications are not accepted. All additional application materials as requested in the job announcement (degree/transcripts, certificates, DD-214 if applicable, ADA Accommodation Request) must be submitted with the Document Cover Sheet, available on the employment website:  or at the Department of Human Resources’ office,  and are due by the final filing date.

Previously submitted application materials (e.g., copies of diploma and/or transcripts, etc.) for prior recruitments will not be applied for this recruitment but must be re-submitted for this recruitment.

Any further questions can be directed to the Department of Human Resources at (707) 784-6170 or at 675 Texas Street, Suite 1800 Fairfield 94533. The office is open Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. EOE/AA.

Document Submittal Requirements

A Bachelor’s Degree is required for this position. All applicants must submit a copy of their college diploma (verifying the degree, date earned and area of specialization). Applicants qualifying with a major in "a closely related physical or natural science field" must also submit official or unofficial transcripts (verifying the student, institution, courses and units completed). Candidates who fail to submit their diploma/transcripts by the final filing date will be disqualified from the recruitment.


How to Submit Your Documents

In addition to uploading attachments when applying online, candidates may submit documents in-person or by mail at Solano County Department of Human Resources 675 Texas Street, Suite 1800, Fairfield CA 94533, by fax to (707) 784-3424, or by email to  When submitting documents in-person, by mail or by fax, include the recruitment title (Criminalist Journey/Senior) and the recruitment number (17-413360-01). If submitting documents by email include the recruitment title and recruitment number in the subject field.

Supplemental Questionnaire

This Supplemental Questionnaire will be used to determine applicants’ qualifications for this position and assess an applicant’s ability to advance in the recruitment process; therefore, applicants are encouraged to answer all questions thoroughly and completely. Omitted information will not be considered or assumed. Applicants who have no experience in a specific area are recommended to state "no experience in this area" instead of leaving the space blank.

Please note that the experience in your answers must be reflected in your employment history.


Please describe your experience in a forensic science laboratory. Please include methods of testing as well as scientific instrumentation and equipment utilized.


Please describe your direct or indirect experience with laboratory accreditation and/or forensic certification.


Please describe your experience working in any or all of the following areas: (In your answer please include information regarding specific testing methods utilized, as well as scientific instrumentation and data analysis methods used, and any experience with method validation)

  1. Forensic alcohol or toxicology
  2. Firearms and tool mark comparison
  3. Forensic biology/DNA
  4. Trace and impression evidence examination
  5. Drug Analysis
  6. Other

Please describe your experience providing expert court testimony and include any specialty testimony experience.

Veterans Preference Points

To be eligible, applicant must have served at least 181 consecutive days of active duty in the Armed Forces of the United States and have received either an honorable discharge or a general discharge under honorable conditions.  A COPY OF THE DD 214, SHOWING DISCHARGE TYPE (GENERALLY COPY 4), MUST BE RECEIVED IN THE HUMAN RESOURCES DEPARTMENT BY THE FINAL FILING DATE.  Applicants who have a service connected disability must also submit a recent award letter from the VA stating they are receiving disability benefits for service connected reasons. 

Veteran applicants for initial County employment with an honorable or general under conditions discharge shall receive five (5) points added to their combined score.  Disabled veterans rated at not less than 30% disability shall have ten (10) points added to their combined score.  Veteran’s preference points will only be added to passing scores in competitive open examinations.

Americans With Disabilities Act

It is the policy of Solano County that all employment decisions and personnel policies will be applied equally to all County employees and applicants and be based upon the needs of County service, job related merit, and ability to perform the job.

APPLICANTS WITH DISABILITIES:  Qualified individuals with a disability, who are able to perform the essential functions of the job, with or without reasonable accommodation, and need an accommodation during any phase of the recruitment/testing/examination process (as detailed in the “Selection Process”), must complete the following Request for Testing Accommodation by Applicants with Disabilities Form:

This form must be received in the Human Resources Department by the final filing date of the recruitment.  Applicants will be contacted to discuss the specifics of the request.

Solano County

Click here to take a video tour of Solano County.

The County of Solano offers a blend of agriculture, corporate business, cultural venues, festivals and events, and provides residents with many recreation and entertainment choices. The County is also home to Travis Air Force Base.

Solano County is centrally located and serves as a gateway to all that Northern California has to offer. The Napa Valley is less than 20 miles away, two world-class public universities (UC Berkeley and UC Davis) are 20 miles away, and both San Francisco and Sacramento are less than 40 minutes away. Day trips can also be made to South Lake Tahoe and Monterey.

With its strategic location, affordable housing, natural resources, responsible land use planning, and attractive quality of life, Solano County is a great place to live, learn, work and play.

County Population (2016): 431,498

The provisions of this bulletin do not constitute an expressed or implied contract. Any provision contained in this bulletin may be modified or revoked without notice.