Oregon Public Universities


Classification Specifications


Classification Number: 3717


  Step 1 Step 2 Step 3 Step 4 Step 5 Step 6 Step 7 Step 8 Step 9 Step 10
Salary Range 25 $3887 $4072 $4265 $4479 $4690 $4914 $5149 $5403 $5670 $5949


A CHEMIST 3 serves as a specialist with expertise in a specialty area of chemistry involving the design, development, and application of the state of the art analytical methods and procedures to complex and unusual problems.


This is the third level in a three-level series. It is distinguished from the lower levels by designing, developing, and implementing state of the art analytical methods and procedures. At this level employees routinely exercise independent scientific judgment in the interpretation of data and make recommendations on the application of findings. Employees in this class regularly perform nonroutine tests and procedures requiring complex analytical techniques.


Employees in this class will specialize in one of the fields of chemistry, such as organic, inorganic, environmental, radiochemical, or pesticide, or in a complex analytical technique such as GCMS [gas chromatography/mass spectrometry], ICP [inductively coupled plasma], alpha spectrometry, or XRF [x-ray fluorescence]; however, the employee may be called upon to assist in any of these areas as the need arises.

Allocation of positions to this class will depend on the total work performed which may include one or a combination of the duties or tasks listed below.

1. Analytical Specialty. Typical tasks: uses expertise to design, develop, and implement specialty procedures in a specific area of chemistry; develops sample collection methods for field personnel; develops quality assurance for instrument, sampling, and analytical procedures; expert in the use (including methodology, parameters that can be measured, limitations, and peripherals, etc.), care, and maintenance of sophisticated specialty instrumentation; instructs other chemists in the use of the techniques; interprets data from the specialty for supervisor and others.
2. Benchwork. Typical tasks: prepares or oversees preparation of necessary equipment, supplies, and reagents; prepares or oversees preparation of samples for testing by diluting, filtering, centrifuging, digesting; performs and develops various chemical tests, such as microscopic analysis for foreign substances, asbestos, etc.; metals analysis by various techniques (i.e. AA [atomic absorption], ICP [inductively coupled plasma], XRF [x-ray fluorescence], XRD [x-ray diffraction]); chromatographic analyses for various organic compounds (PCB's[polychlorinated biphenyls], THM's [trihalomethanes], pesticides, or oils); using GC's [gas chromatographs], GCMS's [gas chromatographs/mass spectrophotometers], LC's [liquid chromatographs]; radiochemical analysis such as gamma spectroscopy, alpha spectrometry, and separations for radionuclides; other analyses as appropriate; prepares and runs quality control samples with known values to determine if procedures and results are within acceptable limits; calculates numerical results based on calibrations; determines validity of results by correlating results with other information; investigates deviations from expected results as identified by quality assurance.
3. Reports. Typical tasks: enters results of test in appropriate log or computer; completes test result form to be sent to person or agency that submitted specimen or sample and contacts them immediately in cases of significant test findings; interprets results for submitter; requests additional samples, if necessary; completes daily and monthly reports including number and types of tests performed; maintains accurate and up-to-date records detailing quality assurance procedures and results for all tests; may collaborate in preparation of written reports to users of laboratory services.
4. Advancement of Knowledge. Typical tasks: keeps current in field by reading literature and attending symposiums, conferences, and workshops; implements improvements in methodology and new procedures; implements pilot programs to test recommended improvements and procedures; participates in procedure manual preparation by making revisions deemed appropriate; maintains expertise in other areas of laboratory.
5. Miscellaneous. Typical tasks: may assist manager in overall operation of the laboratory; provides technical direction to new employees, student interns and other support staff, such as laboratory technicians and lower grade chemists; calibrates, troubleshoots, performs and oversees maintenance of laboratory equipment; takes inventory and requisitions supplies with supervisor's approval; testifies on methodology and results of tests when those results are evidence in cases of litigation; may collaborate in writing grant proposals.


Employees in this class may have daily in-person or telephone contact with users of the laboratory services to exchange information, determine priorities, interpret data, and discuss test results. They have regular contact by phone with governmental agencies, industrial and business representatives, and other organizations to discuss issues pertaining to a sample, specimen, or technique. They may have occasional contact with other experts in their field to discuss mutual problems and their resolution. They have regular contact with equipment manufacturers, sales and service representatives to discuss instrument improvements and problems. These employees may have occasional in-person contact with students to instruct them in chemical methods and techniques.


Employees in this class receive general supervision from a laboratory supervisor or other administrative superior who reviews work periodically in personal meetings. Test data, results, and interpretations are reviewed for program implications. Reports are reviewed routinely for completeness and accuracy (may be used in cases of litigation). Records are reviewed for quality control. Guidelines used in performance of duties include accepted laboratory practices, manufacturers instrumental guidelines, and applicable State and Federal regulations.


Positions are found in central and remote locations throughout State government (e.g., general government agencies, natural resource agencies, higher education institutions, and hospitals,). They require the willingness to work within the environment associated with the position's location (usually a laboratory).


  • Two years of experience independently performing analytical chemistry procedures which included designing, developing, and implementing analytical methods and procedures and a Bachelor's degree in Chemistry. 

Three additional years of pertinent experience may substitute for the Bachelor's.