Employment Opportunity


Forensic Chemist

US Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Administration

Salary: $28,945 to $98,317 per year

Final Filing Date: December 31, 2018

Many vacancies in the following locations:

  • Pleasanton, California
  • San Diego, California
  • Miami, Florida
  • Chicago, Illinois
  • Largo, Maryland
  • New York, New York
  • Dallas, Texas

Duties and Requirements Click to read more

Duties:

  • Performs quantitative and qualitative chemical analysis on evidence by utilizing all manners of modern analytical techniques and instrumentation, to include gas chromatography using flame ionization detection (GC-FID), mass selective detector (GC-MSD), and gas-phase IR detection (GC-IRD), high-performance (HPLC) and ultra high-performance (UPLC) liquid chromatography with ultraviolet-visible light detection or mass spectrometry (LC-MS), infrared spectroscopy (IR) using Attenuated Total Reflectance (ATR) and Raman, and nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometry (NMR).ยท
  • The incumbent will use the laboratory information management system (LIMS) to generate laboratory reports which describe all the tests performed, calculations and conclusions.
  • Testifies in federal and state courts as an expert witness; presents technical testimony in layman's terms; defends analytical methods and results against rigorous cross examination by defense attorneys. The incumbent also assists prosecuting attorneys in preparation of technical aspects of case.
  • Advises and may assist law enforcement personnel in the performance of certain enforcement activities such as clandestine laboratory seizures and trace evidence collection.
Physical Demands:
  • Work requires considerable physical exertion such as lifting items weighing up to 50 pounds, prolonged standing, bending and reaching.
Work Environment:
  • Work environment involves moderate/increased risks and discomforts that require normal safety precautions typical of places such as laboratories, warehouses and secure office spaces.
  • The work area is adequately lighted, heated and ventilated.
  • Some of the evidence encountered during the normal execution of duties are noxious, toxic, bio-hazardous, or pose a threat of skin puncture or laceration.
  • Safety precautions are required such as use of fume hoods when working with acids or volatile solvents and evidence.
  • Requires use of protective clothing or gear such as laboratory coat, safety glasses/goggles, face shield and plastic gloves.

Requirements:

  • Degree: physical sciences, life sciences, or engineering that included 30 semester hours in chemistry, supplemented by course work in mathematics through differential and integral calculus, and at least 6 semester hours of physics. OR Combination of education and experience -- course work equivalent to a major as shown in A above, including at least 30 semester hours in chemistry, supplemented by mathematics through differential and integral calculus, and at least 6 semester hours of physics, plus appropriate experience or additional education.
  • In addition to meeting the basic entry qualification requirements, applicants must have specialized experience and/or directly related education as shown below:
  • GS-05: Successfully completed full four-year college course of study in an accredited college or university leading to a bachelor's or higher degree in physical sciences, life sciences, or engineering that included 30 semester hours in chemistry, supplemented by course work in mathematics through differential and integral calculus, and at least 6 semester hours of physics.
  • GS-07: Must have one year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the GS-05 Federal grade level in performing the following duties as a chemist trainee assisting higher level chemists in preparing samples for analysis, setting the controls and making adjustments to instrumentation and automated equipment, and checking the laboratory equipment for readiness, and compiling, reducing and making routine interpretations of the field data; OR one full year of graduate level education OR superior academic achievement (In the upper third of your graduating class; received a 3.0 or 3.5, or higher out of a possible 4.0; or a member in one of the national scholastic honor societies). (Membership in a freshman honor society cannot be used to meet the requirement of this provision.) OR a combination of both, experience and education
  • GS-09: Must have one year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the GS-07 Federal grade level in performing the following duties as an advanced chemist trainee who selects appropriate test samples, performs chemical analysis, makes computations, applies corrections, generates reports and explains results; OR 2 years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to a master's degree or master's or equivalent graduate degree, if related. OR a combination of both, experience and education.
  • GS-11: Must have one year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the GS-09 Federal grade level in conducting chemical analysis of drug substances and samples, calibrating and operating analytical instrumentation, such as the gas chromatograph, mass spectrometer, and liquid chromatograph, with computerized equipment, etc; and writing reports of findings of evidence; OR 3 years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to a Ph.D. degree or a Ph.D. or equivalent doctoral degree, if related; OR a combination of education and experience with course work equivalent to the major as shown in B above.
Competencies: Your qualifications will be evaluated on the basis of your level of competencies in the following areas:
  • Chemistry
  • Oral Communication
  • Research
  • Teamwork
  • Writing

Do you have the Education Required? See available on-line and campus-based degree programs now!

How to apply: Apply online

Posted: December 4, 2018


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