This job has expired

Chemist 2 - In-Training

State of Washington
Yakima County, WA
Closing date
Sep 20, 2023

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Science, Chemistry, General Chemistry
Organization Type
Salary : $51,384.00 - $80,112.00 Annually

Location : Yakima County - Yakima, WA

Job Type: Full Time - Permanent

Job Number: 2023-08887

Department: Dept. of Agriculture

Division: Plant Protection - Chemical & Hop Lab

Opening Date: 07/31/2023

Closing Date: Continuous


AGRICULTURE - A Cornerstone of Washington's Economy

The Washington State Department of Agriculture has been serving the state for more than 100 years. Through service, regulation, and advocacy, we keep agriculture viable and vital in Washington State, while protecting consumers, public health, and the environment. We work extensively with farmers and ranchers, but our responsibilities - from ensuring food safety to environmental protection - touch the lives of millions of people locally, nationally, and abroad.

The agency includes 780 employees approximately and grows close to 1,000 employees at the peak of seasonal work. To learn more and view additional openings, please visit our Employment Page.

The Chemical and Hop Laboratory supports several agency programs by analyzing samples taken in investigations of alleged pesticide misuse and analyzing feed and fertilizer samples. The program monitors for pesticide residues in food and dairy products. The laboratory also carries out physical grading and chemical analysis of the hop crop to ensure orderly international and domestic marketing.
The Chemist 2 - In Training position performslaboratory chemical testing, primarily testing for pesticides to provide data to support the agency's programs. This position will primarily work in the Environmental section of the laboratory supporting the pesticide management division's pesticide misuse program.The Chemist 2 in training also supports the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board testing cannabis samples for pesticide and potency content. This role performs routine tests and extractions on samples and operates and provides support for the analytical instrumentation in the laboratory. This position is expected to support and assist in maintaining ISO 17025 accreditation by working closely with the Chemist 4 Environmental/Cannabis Supervisor and the Quality Assurance Chemist.

Position and Salary Information
WSDA is recruiting for a full-time permanent Chemist 2 - In Training position within the Plant Protection Division. This position is located in Yakima, Washington and is a represented by Washington Public Employees Association (WPEA) Union.
Employees who voluntarily provide proof of up-to-date COVID-19 booster vaccination, which must include any recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) at the time proof is provided to the employer, between January 1, 2023, and December 31, 2023, will receive a one-time lump sum payment of $1,000 to be paid no earlier than July 25, 2023.

This is an in-training opportunity and may be hired as Chemist 1 or Chemist 2, depending on qualifications.

What is an in-training plan? The in-training is intended to provide an opportunity for an individual to gain the required experience on the job as part of a formal "in-training" plan. Upon successful completion of an in-training program, the incumbent will move up to the next job classification that is listed on the in-training plan if applicable.

If hired at the Chemist 1 level, the incumbent will be required to successfully complete the training plan to reach the goal class of Chemist 2. The base pay offered will take into account internal equity and may vary depending on the preferred candidate's job-related knowledge, skills, and experience.

Based on qualifications the monthly salary range:If hired as a Chemist 1 (In-Training):

Range 50, Step A $ 51,384.00 - Step L $ 67,380.00 Annually

If hired as a Chemist 2:

Range 56, Step A $ 59,616.00 - Step L $ 80,112.00 Annually

Employee Benefits
  • A healthy work/life balance, which may include flexible work schedules.
  • WSDA provides an excellent benefits package beyond traditional benefits. State employment offers Dependent Care Assistance, Flexible Spending Accounts, Public Service Loan Forgiveness, Tuition Waiver, Deferred Compensation, Employee Recognition Leave; click here for more information.
  • 12 paid Holidays & Vacation and Leave Accruals.
  • All Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) required will be provided by the agency.
  • Commute Trip Reduction Program.
For more information about the Washington State Department of Agriculture, visit us at

Some of what you will do:
  • Operate, maintain, monitor, and troubleshoot analytical instrumentation to ensure systems are ready for analysis. Create and/or update instrumental methods and documented procedures.
  • Perform sample extractions (bench work), following SOPs and Work Instructions.
  • Calculate and verify results.
  • Create worksheets and enter data in the Laboratory Information Management System.
  • Receive and log standards.
  • Prepare Neat/Parent standards, mixes, working standards and daily injection standards for quantitative analysis.
  • Monitor, maintain, and order house gas supplies on a rotational basis.

Required Qualifications:

Chemist 1 (In-Training) Qualifications:

A Bachelor's degree with a major in chemistry or Bachelor's degree that includes a minimum of 30 semester hours or 45 quarter hours of college-level chemistry.

Chemist 2 Qualifications:

A bachelor's degree with a major in Chemistry or a bachelor's degree in an allied science with a minimum of 30 semester hours or 45 quarter hours of college level chemistry.


At least two (2) years of experience performing pesticide residue analysis in an analytical laboratory, including operation and troubleshooting experience with GCMSMS and/or LCMSMS instrumentation.


One (1) year of experience as a Chemist 1 or higher at the Washington State Department of Agriculture.

Preferred Qualifications:

Chemist 1 In-Training:

One (1) year of experience performing laboratory bench work and knowledge/operation of either/or analytical instrumentation such as HPLC, GC select detector, LCMS or GCMS triple quad detectors.

Chemist 2:

Two (2) years' experience performing pesticide residue analysis in an analytical laboratory.

Knowledge and experience with QuEChERS extraction technique, GC-FID, GC-MSD, GC-ECD, HPLC,

LC/MS/MS, GC/MS/MS, ISO 17025 protocols, method validation practices, and analytical chemistry.

Supplemental Information

How to apply:

You must complete your profile and answer the supplemental questions. In addition to completing the online application, and supplemental questions applicants must attach the following documents to their profile to be considered for this position:
• Current resume detailing experience and education
• A cover letter describing how you meet the specific qualifications for this position
• Three professional references

By submitting these materials, you are indicating that all information is true and correct. The state may verify information. Any untruthful or misleading information is cause for removal from the applicant pool or dismissal if employed.

Applications with comments "see attachments" will be considered incomplete.

If you are having technical difficulties creating, accessing, or completing your application, please call NEOGOV toll-free at (855) 524-5627 or email

The initial screening will be solely based on the contents and completeness of your application and the materials submitted. All information may be verified, and documentation may be required. Applications received via e-mail will not be accepted in lieu of applying through the state's on-line recruitment system.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

The Department of Agriculture celebrates our differences. We strive to hire great people from a wide variety of backgrounds. We are committed to a workplace that supports equal opportunity employment and inclusion regardless of race, religion, color, national origin, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions), sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, status as a protected veteran, genetics, status as an individual with a disability, or other applicable legally protected characteristics. We will also consider qualified applicants with criminal histories, consistent with applicable federal, state, and local laws.

We believe in the importance of recognizing the value each of us contribute to the success of the agency mission. Having a diverse workforce is this agency's greatest resource of strength and knowledge. It is through the combination of talents and abilities that we can pursue finding effective measures to provide the best customer service. We are committed to building a diverse and inclusive workplace for everyone and we strongly mean everyone.

Contact Us

Should you have any questions regarding this position or the online application, contact the Human Resource Office at

Prior to a new appointment into the Department of Agriculture, a background check including criminal record history will be conducted. Information from the background check will not necessarily preclude employment but will be considered in determining the applicant's suitability and competence to perform in the position.

The Human Resources Division may use referrals from this recruitment to help fill future similar vacancies for up to six months.

Veteran's Preference: Applicants who meet the minimum qualifications and wish to claim Veteran's Preference MUST attach a copy of their DD214, or other verification of military service. Please blackout any personally identifiable data such as social security numbers. For additional information on Veteran's Preference and guidance on how to determine if you are eligible,

Persons with a disability, who need assistance with their application or need this announcement in an alternative format, may call 664-1960 or toll free (877) 664-1960. TTY users should first call 711 to access the Washington Relay Service.

More than Just a Paycheck!
Employee benefits are not just about the kind of services you get, they are also about how much you may have to pay out of pocket. Washington State offers one of the most competitive benefits packages in the nation.

We understand that your life revolves around more than just your career. Like everyone, your first priority is ensuring that you and your family will maintain health and financial security. That's why choice is a key component of our benefits package. We have a selection of health and retirement plans, paid leave, staff training and other compensation benefits that you can mix and match to meet your current and future needs.

Read about our benefits:
The following information describes typical benefits available for full-time employees who are expected to work more than six months. Actual benefits may vary by appointment type or be prorated for other than full-time work (e.g. part-time); view the job posting for benefits details for job types other than full-time.

Note: If the position offers benefits which differ from the following, the job posting should include the specific benefits.

Insurance Benefits
Employees and their families are covered by medical (including vision), dental and basic life insurance. There are multiple medical plans with affordable monthly premiums that offer coverage throughout the state.

Staff are eligible to enroll each year in a medical flexible spending account which enables them to use tax-deferred dollars toward their health care expenses. Employees are also covered by basic life and long-term disability insurance, with the option to purchase additional coverage amounts.

To view premium rates, coverage choice in your area and how to enroll, please visit the Public Employees Benefits Board (PEBB) website. The Washington Wellness program from the Health Care Authority works with PEBB to support our workplace wellness programs.

Dependent care assistance allows the employee to save pre-tax dollars for a child or elder care expenses.

Other insurance coverage for auto, boat, home, and renter insurance is available through payroll deduction.

The Washington State Employee Assistance Program promotes the health and well-being of employees.

Retirement and Deferred Compensation
State Employees are members of the Washington Public Employees' Retirement System (PERS). New employees have the option of two employer contributed retirement programs. For additional information, check out the Department of Retirement Systems' web site.

Employees also have the ability to participate in the Deferred Compensation Program (DCP). This is a supplemental retirement savings program (similar to an IRA) that allows you control over the amount of pre-tax salary dollars you defer as well as the flexibility to choose between multiple investment options.

Social Security
All state employees are covered by the federal Social Security and Medicare systems. The state and the employee pay an equal amount into the system.

Public Service Loan Forgiveness
If you are employed by a government or not-for-profit organization, and meet the qualifying criteria, you may be eligible to receive student loan forgiveness under the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program.

Full-time and part-time employees are entitled to paid holidays and one paid personal holiday per calendar year.

Note: Employees who are members of certain Unions may be entitled to additional personal leave day(s), please refer to position specific Collective Bargaining Agreements for more information.

Full-time employees who work full monthly schedules qualify for holiday compensation if they are employed before the holiday and are in pay status for at least 80 nonovertime hours during the month of the holiday; or for the entire work shift preceding the holiday.

Part-time employees who are in pay status during the month of the holiday qualify for the holiday on a pro-rata basis. Compensation for holidays (including personal holiday) will be proportionate to the number of hours in pay status in the month to that required for full-time employment, excluding all holiday hours. Pay status includes hours worked and time on paid leave.

Sick Leave
Full-time employees earn eight hours of sick leave per month. Overtime eligible employees who are in pay status for less than 80 hours per month, earn a monthly proportionate to the number of hours in pay status, in the month to that required for full-time employment. Overtime exempt employees who are in pay status for less than 80 hours per month do not earn a monthly accrual of sick leave.

Sick leave accruals for part-time employees will be proportionate to the number of hours in pay status, in the month to that required for full-time employment. Pay status includes hours worked, time on paid leave and paid holiday.

Vacation (Annual Leave)
Full-time employees accrue vacation leave at the rates specified in (1) or the applicable collective bargaining agreement (CBA). Full-time employees who are in pay status for less than 80 nonovertime hours in a month do not earn a monthly accrual of vacation leave.

Part-time employees accrue vacation leave hours in accordance with (1) or the applicable collective bargaining agreement (CBA) on a pro rata basis. Vacation leave accrual will be proportionate to the number of hours in pay status, in the month to that required for full-time employment.

Pay status includes hours worked, time on paid leave and paid holiday.

As provided in , an employer may authorize a lump-sum accrual of vacation leave or accelerate the vacation leave accrual rate to support the recruitment and/or retention of a candidate or employee for a Washington Management Service position. Vacation leave accrual rates may only be accelerated using the rates established WAC 357-31-165.

Note: Most agencies follow the civil service rules covering leave and holidays for exempt employees even though there is no requirement for them to do so. However, agencies are required to adhere to the applicable RCWs pertaining holidays and leave.

Military Leave
Washington State supports members of the armed forces with 21 days paid military leave per year.

Bereavement Leave
Most employees whose family member or household member dies, are entitled to three (3) days of paid bereavement leave. In addition, the employer may approve other available leave types for the purpose of bereavement leave.

Additional Leave
Leave Sharing

Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
Leave Without Pay

Please visit the State HR Website for more detailed information regarding benefits.

Updated 12-31-2022


To be considered for this position you must attach a resume, cover letter, and 3 references. Have you attached or included these documents to your application?
  • Yes
  • No


Do you have a Bachelor's degree with a major in chemistry or Bachelor's degree that includes a minimum of 30 semester hours or 45 quarter hours of college-level chemistry?
  • Yes
  • No


Do you have two years chemical analysis using wet chemistry?
  • Yes
  • No


Do you have two years of knowledge in the operation and maintenance of LCMS/GCMS Triple Quad instrumentation?
  • Yes
  • No

Required Question

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