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ISP Forensic Scientist 2 - Chemistry Discipline

This announcement will be used to fill the current ISP Forensic Scientist 2 opening in the Pocatello Laboratory. If you are interested in being considered for this position, or any future positions in the Coeur d'Alene, Meridian, or Pocatello Laboratories that may open within the next six months, you must apply under this announcement. 

The Idaho State Police (ISP) Forensic Scientist 2 (FS2) position is the second level in a series of increasingly technical forensic science positions, possessing expertise in one or more forensic science specialty areas. Incumbents are expected to meet requirements and successfully undergo routine proficiency testing and certification specific to their discipline. Incumbents routinely handle toxic/carcinogenic chemicals and biological hazards. Circumstances may require physical exertion and the ability to lift heavy objects. They must pass a rigorous physical examination in order to participate in clandestine laboratory investigations. This may include periodic biological and medical testing.

All Idaho State Police Forensic Laboratories are accredited to the ISO 17025 Standard. State police Forensic Laboratories serve state, local, and federal law enforcement agencies; state and county prosecutors; and public defenders. 

You must attach a copy of your official transcripts to this application by the closing date. Applications without the supporting transcripts will not be accepted.
PLEASE NOTE: The successful applicant will be required to complete a background investigation and polygraph examination, which includes drug screening. Please review the ISP Drug Policy and ISP Grooming and Appearance Standards.

The candidate selected for hire will be required to submit a DNA sample after starting work. The DNA profile generated from the sample will be entered into the Idaho State Police Forensic Services staff DNA elimination database. This DNA database is used to identify any instances of contamination of evidence by staff members.

Learn more about a career of a lifetime with the Idaho State Police at and how the State of Idaho can be your forever home at
Scientific Analyses
  • All duties of the Forensic Scientist 1  
  • Conduct complex examinations of evidence and/or individual characteristic database samples  
  • May optionally respond to crime scenes, clandestine laboratories, and autopsies to provide assistance, knowledge and expertise; this may include assistance with recognizing, documenting, and collecting evidence/samples. If approved for crime scene or clandestine laboratory response must complete the specialized training program associated with approval to respond
  • Complete any required training on new techniques or instrumentation  
  • Train Forensic Scientists 1 in the utilization of analytical techniques and methods of scientific analyses utilized in the specific discipline  
  • Train police officers in collection and packaging of evidence  
  • Provide background information training for police officers, attorneys, and general public
Communication/courtroom testimony
  • All duties of the Forensic Scientist 1  
  • Interpret findings for prosecutors and defense attorneys  
  • Prepare attorneys for presentation of expert's findings  
  • Testify as an expert witness in trials and other criminal hearings  
  • Qualified to offer opinions and answer hypothetical questions  
  • Train police officers in collection and packaging of evidence; provide background information training for police officers, attorneys, medical personnel and general public as assigned
Administrative Duties
  • Respond to supervisors, technical leaders and headquarters staff for review and planning of programs, policies, manuals, and quality audits  
  • Provide statistical information  
  • Create goals, objectives, and employee development plan
Chemistry (controlled substance/fire evidence)
  • Performs screening and confirmation of drug samples and/or fire evidence utilizing chemical, microscopic and instrumental analyses.
  • Performs instrumental analysis and interpretation for controlled substances
  • Authors reports on controlled substance and/or fire debris analyses
  • Performs technical review of controlled substance and/or fire debris reports 
  • Testifies in court about controlled substance and/or fire debris analysis

A Forensic Scientist 2 must hold a baccalaureate, masters, or doctoral degree in a physical or biological science from an accredited U.S. or Canadian institution. 
  • Acceptable institutions are those accredited by or those which have pertinent educational programs accredited by commissions or agencies recognized by the U.S. Office of Education
  • The education of each employee shall be verified prior to being hired by Forensic Services
  • A copy of the college transcript (including specific required coursework) and proof of graduation for all personnel with education requirements listed must be provided to ISPFS. Successful completion of a course means a college or university defined passing grade.
  • Must have successfully completed a minimum of seventeen (17) semester (or 26 quarter) units of college level chemistry course work. Chemistry coursework must include laboratory and cover general chemistry, organic chemistry and quantitative/instrumental analysis (coursework hours as required/stipulated by the current ISPFS Quality Manual)
  • Two (2) years of qualifying work experience in performing forensic analysis of the controlled substance or fire debris casework. Qualifying work experience includes:
  • Working independently, planning, managing, and prioritizing caseloads or individual characteristic database samples (as applicable), successfully engaging in independent research, evaluation, and validation activities
  • Performing and documenting a range of examinations regarding forensic evidence
  • Providing training and consultation services to professional criminal justice and scientific audiences
  • Testifying as an expert regarding the forensic examinations performed in the specified discipline
  • Must have a minimum of two (2) years’ experience performing forensic analysis of controlled substance or fire debris casework
  • Will be required to obtain specialty certification by the American Board of Criminalistics in Drug Analysis or Fire Debris and Explosives within three (3) years of being selected for or promoted to a Forensic Scientist 2 position.

Extra Credit:
  • Bachelor of Science or an advanced degree in Chemistry. 
  • Experience working as a scientist in a professional laboratory environment
  • Experience performing independent study/research activities
  • Work study or internship experience in a forensic laboratory
  • Certification with the ABC, AFTE, ABFT, or IAI
  • Training or experience in fire analysis

Applicants with education obtained at a foreign institution must, at their expense, have credentials evaluated by Educational Credential Evaluators, Inc., Milwaukee, WI; International Education Research Foundation, Inc., Culver City, CA; or World Education Services, Inc., New York, NY. Reports must be sent directly to ISP Human Resources by the evaluating organization and received by the closing date posted on this job announcement.

ISP has a salary plan called Project CHOICE (Creating Hope, Opportunity, and Incentive for Career Employment) designed to provide incentives for recruitment and retention. The Project CHOICE plan distributes pay increases to employees for the attainment of certificates and other achievements relevant to their job class and the ISP mission. The purpose of Project CHOICE is to attract potential applicants to the ISP workforce, retain the workforce already in place, and reward employees who take on additional duties or tasks, and who work to better themselves in academic and professional settings.

Forensic scientists and lab management personnel earn CHOICE pay increases for a variety of discipline specific achievements related to skill acquisition. A few of these are listed below:
  • Bachelor Degree - $1.25/hour
  • Master Degree - $1.75/hour
  • Doctorate - $2.25/hour (only the highest college degree attained is awarded)
  • Completion of Probation/Independent Casework- $1.00/hour
  • Proficiency Test in two Disciplines - $.30/hour
  • Clan Lab/Crime Scene - $.45/hour
  • Serve as an ISO 17025 or ISO 17020 Assessor - $.30/hour
  • Forensics Specialty Areas Certification: $.50/hour for up to 2 areas of expertise
  • American Board of Criminalistics (ABC) Diplomate
  • ABC Fellow in a Specialty
  • International Association for Identification (IAI) Latent Fingerprint Analyst
  • Association of Firearm & Tool Mark Examiners (AFTE) Firearms Examiner or equivalent
  • American Board of Forensic Toxicology (ABFT) or equivalent
  • IAI Footwear Examiner
  • Lab Safety Officer - $.30/hour
  • Deputy Quality Manager - $.30/hour
  • CODIS Administrator - $.30/hour

Please see the online job posting for complete information and apply before the closing date.