Employment Opportunity

Forensics Biologist/DNA

Orange County Sheriff's Office, Orlando, Florida

Salary: $43,576 per year or $44,886 per year with 3+ years of experience

Final Filing Date: Open until filled

Applies scientific principles to screen/analyze, identify, and classify diverse items of physical evidence for the presence of biological substances for further DNA (Deoxyribonucleicacid) analysis.

Duties and Requirements Click to read more


  • Accredited high school or GED diploma.
  • At least 18 years of age.
  • U.S. Citizen or possess a current permanent resident card.
  • Must be able to comprehend and communicate fluently in verbal and written English.
  • Good verifiable work history.
  • Clean criminal history; any arrest history will be individually evaluated.
  • No illegal drug usage within the past two years, all other usage will be evaluated on an individual basis.
  • Bachelor’s degree or higher from an accredited four-year college or university in Forensic Science, Biology, or Chemistry or a forensic science-related field including undergraduate course completion of two (2) of the following: Biochemistry, Genetics, Statistics (e.g., Population Genetics), and/or Molecular Biology.
  • Must have valid Florida driver’s license. Must attend and successfully complete the agency sponsored Law Enforcement Vehicle Operations (LEVO) Training. Use of agency vehicle would require appropriate driving history and passing agency biennial driver’s physical exam.
  • Must be able to be FCIC/NCIC certified within one (1) year of employment. Must maintain certification once achieved. Must be a member of and have the qualifications to obtain certification from the International Association for Identification (IAI).
  • Must have knowledge and skill in techniques and procedures used in crime scene investigations (e.g., evidence collection, storage, handling, analysis, and documentation to include the use of related chemicals and photography).
  • Must be able to make appropriate decisions on evidence screening techniques.
  • Must have the ability to prioritize cases based on agency need and prioritize lab submission sequence per case.
  • Must be able to assist in the possible removal of bodies and human remains.
  • Must be able to perform work under stressful conditions.
  • Must be able to maintain confidentiality.
  • Must have working knowledge of federal, state, and county laws pertaining to the collection and use of physical evidence.
  • Must have working knowledge of court proceedings and testimony as well as be able to testify as an expert court witness.
  • Must have the ability to define problems, collect data, establish facts, and draw valid conclusions.
  • Ability to interpret an extensive variety of technical instructions in various forms and deal with several abstract and concrete variables.
  • Must have excellent analytical, organizational and attention to detail skills.
  • Must possess effective interpersonal skills and be able to establish and maintain positive, cooperative working relationships.
  • Ability to read, analyze, and interpret general business periodicals, professional journals, technical procedures, governmental regulations, common scientific and technical journals.
  • Ability to write reports, business correspondence, and procedure manuals.
  • Ability to effectively present information to groups and respond to questions from managers, attorneys, investigators and/or detectives.
  • Must possess high-level mathematical skills. Ability to work with mathematical concepts such as probability, statistical inference, and fundamentals of plane and solid geometry and trigonometry. Ability to apply concepts such as fractions, percentages, ratios, and proportions to practical situations.
  • Must have basic computer skills to include word processing, spreadsheet, and database applications (e.g., Word, Excel, Access). Must have the ability to learn and use specialized applications (e.g., Automated Reporting System – ARS).
  • Ability to be responsible for collecting, photographing, preserving, analyzing, packaging, and examining diverse items of physical evidence for the presence of biological substances to further DNA analysis; such items may include, but are not limited to: hair, skin, blood, bones, human organs, human tissue, semen, urine, feces, saliva, vaginal secretions, firearms and related materials.
  • Ability to be responsible for documenting, preserving, analyzing, packaging, and examining diverse items of physical evidence for the presence of fingerprints, shoe/tire tracks, and trace evidence.
  • Ability to perform a variety of analytical examinations, such as processing the crime scene and related evidence using chemicals, powders, light source enhancement, and other methods.
  • Above listed items/processes have the potential to contain organic or inorganic contaminants to include carcinogens, disease, combustibles, chemical hazards, and blood-borne pathogens. Based on SDS (Safety Data Sheet), these may contain health-damaging properties that are corrosive, combustible, carcinogenic, respiratory irritants, nervous system irritants, eye and skin irritants, and blood toxins.
  • Ability to take and maintain chain-of-custody of evidence/property.
  • Ability to submits evidence to the Evidence Section, FDLE, and other appropriate laboratories.
  • Ability to act as a liaison between crime laboratories, investigators, prosecutors, and defense attorneys.
  • Ability to confer with experts in relevant specialties as needed.
  • Ability to prepare reports and presentations of findings, methods, and techniques used to support conclusions; prepares court exhibits/reports.
  • Ability to forward detailed reports to investigating detective or deputy.
  • Ability to testify in court hearings and depositions about work performed.
  • Ability to perform quality assurance measures on laboratory equipment and chemicals used for screening items of evidence.
  • Ability to provide recommendation on changes to policy and procedures.
  • Ability to stays current on new technology to provide input on new laboratory techniques and procedures.
  • May be required to assist in training future employees in DNA screening techniques.
  • Once hired, applicants are required to complete the OCSO Forensic Biology Training and Evaluation Program. Applicants are also required to successfully complete the OCSO Crime Scene Investigation training.
Preferred Qualifications:
  • DNA examination experience preferred.
  • Upon selection, must be able to pass a psychological evaluation.
  • Applicants must successfully complete the OCSO Crime Scene Investigator Technical Knowledge.
  • Must be physically able to wear various forms of personal protective equipment, such as a facemask, goggles or other protective eyewear, and gloves. While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to use hands to handle or feel and reach with hands and arms. The employee is frequently required to stand. The employee is occasionally required to walk, talk, hear, smell, sit, climb, balance, stoop, kneel, crouch, or crawl. The employee must frequently lift and/or move up to 50 pounds. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, distance vision, color vision, peripheral vision, depth perception, and ability to adjust focus.
  • Work is generally performed during regular business hours. However, the employee may be required to work weekends, evenings, holidays, or extended shifts. Must be available for twenty-four (24) hour call out.
  • The work environment is usually a laboratory or standard office setting with a moderate noise level. The employee will additionally respond to crime scenes in order to assist with crime scene evidence collection. In either work environment, the employee will be exposed to a wide range of conditions, many of which are unpleasant and/or hazardous. The employee will be exposed to potentially health-damaging conditions, such as infectious or contagious diseases, carcinogenic substances, allergenic substances, insects and/or animals. The employee will be exposed to weather conditions and various terrains. The employee is regularly exposed to fumes or airborne particles and toxic or caustic chemicals. The employee is occasionally exposed to wet/humid conditions (non-weather) and risk of exposure to vibration or radiation. May be occasionally required to work near moving mechanical parts or in high, precarious places. May be required to package or handle biohazardous fluids and material or explosive materials.

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How to apply: Apply online

Posted: February 8, 2021

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