Chemist I
Title:Chemist I
Division:Regulatory and Environmental Affairs
Campaign End Date:N/A


Job Title: Chemist I
Division: Regulatory and Environmental Affairs, Animal Health Division

Headquarters: Guthrie Agricultural Center Charleston, WV
FLSA Status: Non-Exempt

Salary: $32,000 - $35,000

Nature of Work: Under general supervision analyses of pesticide products, residues, groundwater, food, dairy, meat, animal feed, liming materials, forage, fertilizer, specimens, swabs, and environmental samples. The employee will also perform related work in the maintenance of a quality assurance program for the laboratories.

Examples of Work:
  • Maintains quality assurance measures to assure that the analytical standards are being met.
  • Determines the type and extent of testing required to ascertain the quality of samples submitted for analyses, guided by the principles and techniques of analytical chemistry and by the methods devised by professional and testing organizations in developing the necessary laboratory procedures.
  • Utilizes methods consistent with the laboratories’ equipment for analysis of pesticide products, residues, groundwater, food, meat, dairy, animal feed, liming materials, forage, fertilizer, specimens, swabs, and environmental samples.
  • Analyzes and interprets test results to assist in the administration of laws, regulations or specifications relating to the chemical composition of the material, pesticide formulations, chemical contaminant, adulterant, or residues found.
  • Reports questionable identifications or finds on work to a supervisor.
  • Attends meetings including overnight travel.
  • Utilizes a Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) for data entry and other computer operations.
  • Performs related work as required, such as assisting other division chemists as needed.
  • Prepares official reports and may be called upon to testify before the court or the Commissioner.
  • Maintains records of all quality activities as documented in SOPs and test methods.
  • Handles samples and performing analyses according to SOPs and test methods.
  • Writes SOPs and test methods.
  • Signs reports when designated with signing authority.
  • Maintains and calibrates equipment.
  • Reports deficiencies or malfunction to the Supervisor.
  • Identifies and records nonconformities on Corrective Action Requests
  • Identifies and records potential nonconformities on Preventive Action Requests
  • Corrects nonconformities and potential nonconformities.
  • Improves laboratory and/or quality activities on a continuous basis.
  • Other duties as assigned.
Working Conditions:  Ability to sit, stand, and/or walk for extended periods of time; frequently bend, squat, reach above shoulder level, push, pull and handle objects and capable of lifting up to 50 pounds.
Employment may require working with pathogenic microorganisms, hazardous chemicals such as disinfectants, acids, bases, mutagens, teratogens, and solvents; hot liquids, steam, and hot solid surfaces capable of burns. Also, warm, humid conditions can be found in the laboratory environment. Personal protective equipment is supplied and required for laboratory staff.
Some jobs require employees to be exposed to unpleasant odors.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:
  • Knowledge of the principles, practices and procedures of pesticide formulation and residue chemistry.
  • Skill in the use of laboratory equipment, which may include gas chromatograph, mass spectrometer, liquid chromatograph, electron capture detectors and other detectors.
  • Ability to prepare analytical reports and to organize and present scientific information in a clear and concise manner.
  • Ability to perform directed research and with supervision devise new methods of testing for chemical analysis.
  • Knowledge of laboratory quality control procedures and appropriate statistical methods.
  • Ability to use and care for complex laboratory instruments.
  • Ability to perform various tests, adapt techniques as required, and to perform complex computations.
  • Ability to prepare scientifically accurate and thorough reports.
  • Ability to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing.
  • Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with others.
  • Knowledge in the procedures involving the use and handling of hazardous chemicals.
  • Capable of speaking in front of an audience.
Training: Graduation from an accredited four (4) year college or university with a major in chemistry or related science.
Experience: One (1) year experience in performing laboratory technical work related to chemical analyses.

Additional Requirements:
  • Valid Driver’s License.
  • Satisfactory completion of pre-employment drug testing.
  • Satisfactory completion of pre-employment law enforcement background investigation, including DMV records.
  • Must maintain a positive image of the Commissioner, West Virginia Department of Agriculture, and the State of West Virginia.
This description is subject to review and revision at the discretion of the Commissioner and designees.
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