Employment Opportunity

Forensic Scientist

Maricopa County Sheriff's Office, Phoenix, Arizona

Salary: $25.00 - $42.25 per hour

Final Filing Date: Sept 29, 2023

The Forensic Scientist collects, documents, analyzes, compares, and testifies regarding all types of evidence and crime scenes that occur within Maricopa County and occasionally outside of the county to aid in the prosecution of criminal and civil cases. This position requires separate unbiased analysis of crime scenes, evidence, comparative, and testimony in a court of law. The Division ensures that the mandates are adhered to that are set forth by the Constitution, Arizona Revised Statues (ARS), and Rule of Court Procedures.

Duties and Requirements Click to read more


Essential Job Tasks
  • Responds to crime scenes for technical law enforcement support.
  • Processes and investigates crime scenes including jail crimes to record, document, and collect physical evidence which may include latent print, biological, and trace evidence.
  • Photographs and records crime scenes from the ground, air, water craft, and other types of motorized equipment to show correlation between evidence and respective scene.
  • Searches and recovers latent fingerprint evidence for personal identification.
  • Performs presumptive chemical tests to determine the presence of blood and semen evidence.
  • Completes proper collection, preservation, and packaging of all types of evidence.
  • Writes descriptive narrative reports and completes all paperwork associated with crime scene investigations.
  • Documents and collects print/impression evidence by casting, lifting, and/or photographing impressions for further comparative analysis.
  • Performs comparative analysis in various forensics, including latent comparisons, shoe impressions, and physical matches.
  • Enters and verifies latent prints, fingerprints, and palm prints into the Arizona Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AZFIS).
  • Identifies unknown subjects including the deceased through fingerprints, palm prints, footprints, and various other forensic disciplines.
  • Collects evidence and fingerprints at postmortem examinations, attends autopsies to photograph, obtain fingerprints, palm prints, and footprints of deceased individuals.
  • Responds to all follow-up investigative procedures including court and physical orders, subpoenas, identification procedures, evidence processing, and analysis.
  • Prepares all necessary documentation, charts, and evidence for court, transports evidence for court proceedings, and provides expert testimony relating to the work performed.
  • Mixes and works with various chemical processes on a daily basis, ensures safety protocols are adhered to when handling evidence, chemicals (carcinogenic), hazardous, and bio-hazard, determines and applies precautions as needed, completes technical/chemical tests (e.g., gunshot, explosive residue, blood sampling), chemically identifies and quantifies compounds, and interprets scientific data.
  • Communicates by phone or in person in a group setting or one-on-one.
  • Follows proper chain of custody policy and procedures.
  • Assists with maintenance of crime laboratory and evidence processing equipment, orders supplies as needed, and maintains inventory of forensic supplies for the Division.
  • Provides in-service training of employees on collection of evidence at crime scenes, evidence processing, training new employees.
  • Possesses ability to work under highly emotional and adverse conditions, which may include distressing sights, smells, and touch when dealing with dead bodies and victims of violent crimes.
  • Communicates per MCSO radio protocol over law enforcement channels.
  • Provides information to other law enforcement agencies including the FBI.
  • Conducts lab tours and presentations for the public.
  • Responds to public requests courteously and effectively.
  • Maintains effective relationships with MCSO personnel, other law enforcement entities, and the public with varied racial, ethnic, or economic backgrounds.

 Earn a Degree in Crime Scene Investigation, Forensic Science, Computer Forensics or Forensic Psychology


  • Bachelor’s Degree in Natural Science, Criminalistics, or related field.
  • OR
  • Combined education and experience qualifications - Other combinations of education and related experience may substitute for the minimum qualifications on a year for year basis.
Other requirements
  • Completion of 40-hour Fingerprint Classification School or a similar program through an accredited college or criminal justice agency/association.
  • Must possess a valid Arizona driver’s license or have the ability to obtain by the time of hire.
  • Training that may be provided on-the-job: FEMA NIMS – IS100 and 700; Safety; Payroll; PREA.
  • Prior to hiring, the Sheriff's Office requires that all candidates pass a background review, polygraph examination and psychological exam.
Our Preferred Candidate has
  • Two (2) years of experience in crime scene processing, latent comparative analysis, and laboratory examinations.
  • Completed 80 hours in specialized photography/forensic courses through an accredited college or a recognized criminal justice agency/association.
  • AZAFIS Certified; IAI Certification (Crime Scene and/or Latent).
  • Technical abilities in computer software and hardware, and digital media.

Working Conditions

The following environments described are only representative of how the essential job tasks are currently performed or envisioned. As such, in order to accommodate a disability or limitation, the essential job tasks may be performed in ways other than described on these pages.
  • Work occurs indoors and outdoors in all weather conditions over extended periods of time, with exposure to chemicals (carcinogenic) and biohazard environments. Conditions include traumatic subject matter and dealing with suspects and victims of violent crimes. Responsibilities require concentration, accuracy, ethical conduct and a professional demeanor.
  • Position may require being on call 24/7 in addition to regular assigned shift.
Work environment
  • Indoors and outdoors
  • In temperatures above 90 degrees or below 40 degrees
  • Dim lighting, bright lighting
  • Exposure to contagious diseases, chemicals/fumes smoke/dust, wet/damp area
  • Confined area
  • Stairs or ladders, unprotected heights
  • Conditions frequently include high noise level
Physical environment
  • Sitting, standing, walking
  • Driving a vehicle
  • Speaking, hearing, seeing, reading
  • Distinguishing colors
  • Bending/kneeling
  • Reaching, twisting, climbing
  • Crawling, crouching, balancing
  • Wearing protective gear
  • Precise dexterity
  • Lifting floor to waist a weight of fifty (50) pounds
  • Lifting waist to shoulder a weight of twenty-five (25) pounds
  • Lifting shoulder to overhead a weight of fifteen (15) pounds
  • Carrying a weight of fifty (50) pounds for a distance of 100 feet
  • Pushing/pulling a weight of fifty (50) pounds for a distance of 100 feet
Social environment
  • Traumatic subject matter
  • Dangerous environment
  • High volume of work
  • Interruptions, time pressures
  • Handling multiple or complicated tasks, unscheduled tasks, frequently changing tasks
  • Accuracy
  • Decision-making
  • Concentration/vigilance
  • Teamwork
  • Working in close proximity with others
  • Isolation
  • Public contact
  • Overtime/rotating shifts
  • Conditions frequently include emergencies

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

Knowledge of
  • The law of evidence and techniques used to collect and preserve evidence.
  • Principles and techniques used in identifying the deceased.
  • Microsoft 365 applications, intermediate to advanced proficiency
Skill in
  • Using latent fingerprint processing and recovery methods.
  • Operating equipment and protocols used to collect trace evidence, tire and shoe impressions.
  • Operating and maintaining scientific instruments and apparatus used in a crime laboratory.
  • Applying chemical safety protocols.
Ability to
  • Comprehend and make inferences from written material.
  • Interface professionally with the public and members of the criminal justice community.
  • Determine and evaluate the values of evidence.
  • Communicate successfully in oral and written formats as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Maintain confidentiality and security of records and information.

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

How to apply: Apply online

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Posted: September 16, 2023

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