Employment Opportunity

Criminalist III

Contra Costa County Sheriff's Office, Martinez, California

Salary: $116,547.84 - $148,872.48 Annually

Final Filing Date: April 16, 2021

The Contra Costa County Office of the Sheriff is recruiting to fill a vacancy in the Criminalist series; specifically, there is currently a vacancy in the Forensic Services Division (FSD) for a Criminalist III and/or Deputy Sheriff Criminalist III in the Comparative Evidence (Firearms) and Toxicology units.

The eligible list established from this recruitment process will be valid for 6 months, and may be used to fill other Criminalist III / Deputy Sheriff Criminalist III vacancies within the Forensic Services Division, therefore all qualified candidates are encouraged to apply.

This classification is the advanced level in the non-sworn Criminalist series. Under direction, incumbents perform and direct physical and chemical analyses required in scientific criminal investigation; and perform related work as required. Deputy Sheriff Criminalist III's / Criminalist III’s exercise independent judgment and perform routine and complex physical evidence examinations relatively independent of supervision. Criminalist III’s may also provide training and technical advice to other Division employees.

Criminalist III’s may be placed on-call to respond to and process crime scenes. Specialty assignments such as Quality Assurance Manager, DNA Technical Leader, Division Safety Officer or LIMS Administrator may be required.

Duties and Requirements Click to read more


We are looking for someone who:
  • values honesty, integrity, and ethical conduct;
  • understands the importance of quality, impartiality, confidentiality, efficiency, and effectiveness in conducting forensic examinations;
  • possesses a strong fundamental knowledge of science, including laboratory safety, and is committed to career-long learning in forensics;
  • approaches change positively and maintains effectiveness when experiencing major changes in work responsibilities or environment;
  • identifies and understands problems and opportunities and takes common-sense action that is consistent with available facts, constraints, and consequences;
  • is detail-oriented, hardworking, and results-driven as often multiple assignments and priorities must be balanced in a fast-paced environment;
  • maintains focus under pressure and exhibits stable performance under stress or opposition;
  • and, communicates effectively both verbally and in writing to clearly convey information and ideas.
What you will typically be responsible for:
  • You will be tasked with conducting comprehensive analysis of evidence associated with criminal investigations in accordance with written procedures
  • You will work with scientific equipment and instrumentation as well as complex computer systems and databases
  • You will create detailed notes and complete written reports
  • You may be called to court to testify as an expert witness
  • You will be asked to respond to crime scenes and autopsies to collect evidence
  • You will work cooperatively with sworn and civilian members of law enforcement agencies
  • You may be asked to assist training less experienced staff or provide training to law enforcement personnel
  • You may be asked to assist in validating new methods or equipment
A few reasons you might love this job:
  • You will work with a dedicated team of professionals in an environment that provides career long learning and training opportunities
  • You will have the personal satisfaction that comes from applying your knowledge and skills in a field that directly benefits communities through service to the criminal justice system
  • You will have the ability to work with cutting-edge forensic technologies
  • You will have the opportunity to learn about multiple forensic disciplines
A few challenges you might face in this job:
  • You will be expected to respond to crime scenes and autopsies, including being called-out to crime scenes in the middle of the night
  • You will work in a stressful environment that includes prioritizing multiple assignments with competing deadlines and encountering disturbing information about crimes
  • You may be asked to work overtime to meet the needs of our customers
Competencies Required:
  • Professional & Technical Expertise: Applying technical subject matter to the job
  • Analyzing & Interpreting Data: Drawing meaning and conclusions from quantitative or qualitative data
  • Critical Thinking: Analytically and logically evaluating information, propositions, and claims
  • Attention to Detail: Focusing on the details of work content, work steps, and final work products
  • Delivering Results: Meeting organizational goals and customer expectations and making decisions that produce high-quality results by applying technical knowledge, analyzing problems, and calculating risks
  • Teamwork: Collaborating with others to achieve shared goals
  • Coaching & Developing Others: Supporting others in stretching and expanding their capabilities
  • Driving Results: Demonstrating concern for achieving or surpassing results against an internal standard of excellence
  • Professional Integrity & Ethics: Displaying honesty, adherence to principles, and personal accountability
  • Professional Impact: Presenting self as a positive representative of the organization
  • Handling Stress: Maintaining emotional stability and self-control under pressure, challenge, or adversity
  • Safety Focus: Showing vigilance and care in identifying and addressing health risks and safety hazards
  • Using Technology: Working with electronic hardware and software applications
  • Writing: Communicating effectively in writing
  • Oral Communication: Engaging effectively in dialogue


License Required:
  • Possession of a Valid California Motor Vehicle Operator's License. Out of State valid Motor Vehicle Operator’s License will be accepted during the application process.
  • Possession of a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university with a major in the field of Forensic Science, Chemistry, Biology, Biochemistry, Toxicology or a closely a related natural science field.
For DNA Assignment:
  • Candidates must also have completed coursework in molecular biology, genetics, biochemistry and statistics as specified by the DNA Advisory Board. A Criminalist III assigned as a DNA Technical Leader must have a graduate degree in Biology, Chemistry or Forensic Science related discipline, including 12 semester units or equivalent in coursework in Biochemistry, Genetics, Molecular Biology and Statistics and/or Population Genetics or a waiver from the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors.
For Forensic Alcohol Analysis Assignment:
  • Candidate college coursework must have included 3 semester hours (or equivalent) of Quantitative Analysis, and must be eligible for Forensic Alcohol Analyst Trainee certification as specified under Title 17, California Code of Regulations by the California Department of Health Services at the time of appointment.
  • Four years of full-time or its equivalent of progressively responsible experience as a Criminalist or equivalent position performing forensic casework. During the course of this experience must have obtained the ability to independently examine and interpret complex forensic casework in one or more of the following areas: Forensic Biology/DNA; Comparative Evidence; Crime Scene Investigation; Latent Print; Forensic Alcohol Analysis; Solid Dosage Drug Analysis; or Toxicology. A Criminalist III assigned as a DNA Technical Leader must have three years of forensic DNA analysis experience.
  • For all assignments, experience must have included qualification as an expert witness in the interpretation of analytical results in the respective discipline(s).
Substitution of Education for Experience:
  • A Master's Degree or PH.D in Criminalistics, Chemistry, Biology, Biochemistry, Molecular Biology or Toxicology may be substituted for one year of the required experience.
Certificate Required:
  • Employees initially assigned to Forensic Alcohol Analysis must possess Forensic Alcohol Supervisor certification as specified under Title 17, California Code of Regulations by the California Dept. of Health Services at the time of appointment and must be able to testify on the interpretation of drug levels with respect to impairment of abilities by the end of their probationary period. A Criminalist III reassigned from the Criminalistics Section to the Drug, Alcohol and Toxicology Section must obtain certification as a Forensic Alcohol Supervisor by the California Department of Health Services and must be able to testify on the interpretation of drug levels with respect to impairment of abilities within three years of the reassignment.
For Deputy Sheriff - Criminalist III (6DTB) Positions:
  • Certificates: Within twelve (12) months from the date of appointment, applicant must successfully complete a POST certified Police Academy program and obtain a valid Basic Peace Officer Standards and Training Certificate (POST) issued by the State of California.
  • At least 21 years of age at time of hire.
Physical Requirement:
  • Ability to meet such health standards as may be prescribed by the County Medical Consultant including no deficiency in the ability to distinguish colors.
  • Must not have suffered a hearing loss of over 25 decibels in the 500, 1000 and 2000 frequency ranges.
Visual Ability:
  • 20/100 uncorrected each eye; corrected to 20/30 each eye.
  • Be a citizen of the United States or a permanent resident alien who is eligible for and has applied for citizenship.
  • A thorough background investigation shall be conducted according to the specification of the State of California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training. Appointees shall not have been convicted of any felony in this state or in any other state or in any federal jurisdiction, or of an offense in any other state or in any federal jurisdiction which would have been a felony if committed in this state.
Desirable Qualifications:
  • Possession of a Master's Degree or PH.D in Criminalistics, Chemistry, Biology, Biochemistry, Molecular Biology or Toxicology
  • Possession of individual forensic certification
  • Familiarity with ANAB accreditation requirements
  • Experience using a comparison microscope (firearm comparisons) or a LCMS/MS (toxicology examinations)

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

How to apply: Apply online

″As I have found a job (through this newsletter!) working in the field of forensics, I no longer need a job newsletter. Thank you!” — Amber Click to receive job posting alerts

Posted: March 29, 2021

Search for Jobs

NOTE: The crime-scene-investigator.net is not responsible for typographical errors or omissions in employment notices on this web site. Often, employers change final filing dates, change duties and/or requirements, or close employment openings without notice. If you are interested in a job posted on this site be sure to contact the employer to see if changes in the filing date or job announcement have been made. Employers can also provide more information about open positions that does not appear in the announcements on these pages.