Job: Criminalist I/II - Firearms Examiner

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Job Description

Overall Job Objective

Job Title:Criminalist I/II - Firearms Examiner
Closing Date/Time:Thu. 03/01/18 11:59 PM Pacific Time
Salary:$37.48 - $58.35 Hourly
$2,998.40 - $4,668.00 Biweekly
$6,496.53 - $10,114.00 Monthly
$77,958.40 - $121,368.00 Annually
Job Type:Full-Time
Location:San Mateo County, California
The San Mateo County Sheriff's Office Forensic Laboratory, which is accredited by the ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board in both Testing and Calibration is seeking to fill two Criminalist I/II - Firearms Examiner positions within its Firearms Unit. 

Located at the heart of the San Francisco Peninsula, the County of San Mateo offers a wide range of recreational pursuits, economic opportunities and numerous attractions.  The 764, 797 residents of the County enjoy a diverse, multi-cultural citizenry, cosmopolitan ambiance, temperate climate, clean air, and rural open space.
The Forensic Laboratory is located in San Mateo, California and was newly constructed in March 2003. It is managed by a civilian Laboratory Director who is currently supported by four Supervising Criminalists, 30 forensic scientists and interns, three administrative support staff, and two full-time Property Officers. The Criminalist will report to a Supervising Criminalist.

Successful candidates will be responsible for ensuring proper quality assurance and quality control measures relevant to firearms.  This includes documentation, instrument calibration and maintenance of logs; reviewing relevant casework; maintaining the NIBIN database; continuous evaluation of methods employed including annual review of the Standard Operating Procedures and proposing new and/or modified analytical procedures to be used by the analysts.
The ideal candidate will:
  • Have a Bachelor's degree with a major in criminalistics, chemistry or a related physical science.
  • Have a minimum of three years of experience as a Firearms Examiner with experience in the microscopic examination of bullets, cartridge casings, and toolmarks; be able to perform routine and more difficult case assignments, both in the Laboratory and in the field, as needed.
  • Be dedicated to staying abreast of changes within the discipline.
  • Have the ability to provide sound technical advice and be capable of training individuals as needed.
  • Foster an environment of teamwork and cooperation.
  • An active participant in the Association of Firearms and Tool Marks (AFTE).

NOTE: A 2.5% pay differential is also given for IAI Crime Scene Certification and an additional 5.0% for ABC or AFTE or IAI Latent Print Certification. The maximum allowable certification differential is 7.5%.

 Examples Of Duties:
  • Perform comparative analysis on evidence such as bullets, cartridge casings, and toolmarks.
  • Prepare evidence for presentation at court and appear as an expert witness to testify on the results of laboratory examinations.
  • Engage in crime scene reconstruction and collection of physical evidence at a major crime scene.
  • Take photographs and photomicrographs.
  • Participate in public relations activities such as conducting tours of the Laboratory and speaking to various interested groups.
  • Care for and maintain laboratory equipment.
  • Perform serial number restorations.
  • Perform distance determinations.
  • Ability to search the IBIS database.
  • Perform related duties as assigned.


Knowledge of:                                                                       
  • Current forensic methods and techniques used in the analysis and evalua­tion of physical evidence likely to be used in a court case.
  • Principles of organic and inorganic chemistry, biochemistry and physiology.
  • Various types of equipment found in a forensic laboratory.
  • Courtroom procedures and testimony.
  • Recent developments, literature and sources of information relative to criminalistics and toxicology.
  • Principles of photography.
Skill/Ability to:
  • Performing physical and chemical tests commonly used in the analysis of physical evidence.
  • Using a wide variety of equipment including ultraviolet and infrared spectrophotometers, gas chromatograph, density and refractive index apparatus and various types of microscopes and cameras.
  • Understanding and carrying out detailed, highly technical oral and written instructions.
  • Communicating verbally.
  • Writing clear, concise reports and correspondence.
Education and Experience:
Criminalist I: Graduation from an accredited college or university with a major in criminalistics, chemistry or a related physical science.
Criminalist II:  Three years of experience in the practice of criminalistics, which has included experience in collecting, analyzing and evaluating physiological fluids, controlled substances and other physical evidence gathered from crime scenes.

Other Requirements:
  • Participate in the Laboratory's on-call, crime scene rotation schedule.
  • Pass a detailed background investigation and pre-employment medical exam prior to appointment.

Anyone may apply. Responses to supplemental questions are required and must be submitted in addition to the Standard San Mateo County employment application.  A resume or reference to a resume will not be accepted as a substitute for your responses to these questions.

The examination process will consist of an application screening (weight: Pass/Fail) based on the candidates' application and responses to the supplemental questions. Candidates who pass the application screening will be invited to a panel interview (weight: 100%). Depending on the number of applicants, an application appraisal of education and experience may be used in place of other examinations or further evaluation of work experience may be conducted to group applicants by level of qualification. All applicants who meet the minimum qualifications are not guaranteed advancement through any subsequent phase of the examination. All examinations will be given in San Mateo County, California and applicants must participate at their own expense. 

IMPORTANT: Applications for this position will only be accepted online. If you are currently on the County's website, you may click the "Apply Online" button above or below. If you are not on the County's website, please go to to apply. Online applications must be received by the Human Resources Department before midnight on the final filing date.

Final Filing Date: March 1, 2018
Applicant Screening(Tentative): Week of March 5, 2018
Panel Interviews (Tentative): Week of March 19, 2018

At the County of San Mateo, we welcome and celebrate the diversity of our employees, and strive to create a workplace where they feel valued every day.  County of San Mateo is proud to be an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Analyst: Mandy Singh (02022018)   (Criminalist I/ II - H029/H028)


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