Forensic Scientist I, Drug Chemistry (60010635)

US Government, Dept of Justice

State Crime Laboratory — Helping Solve Crimes

The State Crime Laboratory of the Department of Justice maintains a full service forensic science laboratory to assist all law enforcement agencies in North Carolina in the investigation of criminal matters. The Laboratory’s mission is to provide state-of-the-art forensic services in the areas of drug analysis, blood alcohol/drug content, firearms, latent prints, footwear and tire tracks, forensic biology, computer forensics, and trace evidence. The services are provided from a central laboratory in Raleigh, N.C. and regional laboratories located in Edneyville, N.C. and Greensboro, N.C. 

Learn more about the lab here:  

The primary purpose of the Drug Chemistry Section 
is to provide the North Carolina Criminal Justice System with trained and experienced forensic scientists who analyze evidence seized in the course of criminal investigations. The forensic services provided include laboratory analysis and expert witness testimony in the areas of controlled substances, drug dilution, drug tampering and clandestine drug laboratories.

The primary purpose of this Forensic Scientist I assigned to Drug Chemistry is to perform entry level casework – an equitable share of the analysis performed by the Section, prepare written reports of the results of the analysis. The Forensic Scientist I will complete prescribed Drug Chemistry Training requirements before beginning casework.

Meet a Drug Chemist:  NC State Crime Lab Drug Chemist

The Forensic Scientist I will perform casework on drug evidence seized by law enforcement officers in the course of criminal drug investigations with the exception of clandestine laboratory evidence, drug tampering/dilution evidence and cases that involve tampering of food products. The evidence must be analyzed to identify unknown material or either to confirm or verify what the officers believe the evidence to contain .The evidence is analyzed to determine the presence or absence of any controlled substances. Some or all of the following screening and confirmation techniques are used in the analysis:
Color Testing
Ultraviolet Spectrophotometry (UV)
Infrared Spectroscopy (IR)
Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectroscopy (GC-MS)

The Forensic Scientist I will perform casework with a limited degree of technical independence. Forensic Scientists must be very familiar with the North Carolina General Statutes.The Forensic Scientist must also be able to classify controlled substances using the North Carolina Controlled Substances Act – Schedules I through VI.

The analysis must be documented by the Forensic Scientist as required by the Crime Laboratory’s  quality assurance procedures. Forensic Scientists must also issue a clear and concise written laboratory report. Laboratory reports are used by Law Enforcement officers in their investigations, District Attorneys in their determination of what, if any, criminal charges will be filed against a defendant, other types of Attorneys, Courts and Juries in determining a defendant’s guilt. The Forensic Scientist’s work is checked through a technical and administrative review of the laboratory case file, which includes all of the documentation and the laboratory report produced by the Forensic Scientist during the analysis.

The Forensic Scientist must testify in state and federal courts as to his/her analysis of the evidence.

The Forensic Scientist I will complete the prescribed Drug Chemistry reviewer training requirements before reviewing casework

This position may be  required to work  overtime for court travel and completion of work.

The Forensic Scientist shall be required to obtain individual certification consistent with the international and ISO standards within 18 months of the date the analyst becomes eligible to seek certification according to the standards of the certifying entity. Overtime is required in this position. This position is subject to the Fair Labor Standards Act.
The Forensic Scientist participates in competency and proficiency testing.

  • Selected candidate will undergo and must successfully complete a comprehensive background investigation which may take several months to complete. The background investigation includes: credit and arrest checks; interviews with associates, personal and business references, past employers and neighbors; verification of education achievement, and urinalysis drug screening and polygraph.
  • Out of state applicants: This may require the applicant to return to the State of North Carolina multiple times at his or her own expense after the initial interview, in order to undergo the background investigation process.
  • In accordance with N.C. Gen. Stat. Sec. 126-1.1( c), effective July 11, 2016, employees who are hired by a State agency, department or university in a sworn law enforcement position or forensic scientist position and who are required to complete a formal training program prior to assuming law enforcement or forensic scientist duties with the hiring agency, department or university shall become career State employees only after being employed by the agency, department or university for 24 continuous months .
  • Employees who transfer into forensic scientist positions from other positions within N.C. State government and are currently Career State employees will be required to complete a probationary period of  24 additional months.
  • In accordance with Section 17.5 of Senate Bill 402, The Department of Justice shall not hire sworn personnel to fill vacant positions in the North Carolina State Crime Laboratory. Nothing in this section shall be construed to require the termination of sworn personnel, but as vacant positions in the State Laboratory are filled, they shall be filled only with non sworn personnel. Nothing in this section shall be construed to affect North Carolina State Crime Laboratory personnel who are sworn and employed by the Laboratory as of the effective date of this section and who continue to meet the sworn status retention standards mandated by the NC Criminal Justice Education and Standards Commission.
  • ** Transcripts are required at the time of application. Credit for foreign degrees will only be given if verification of degree certification is attached.  Transcripts for foreign degrees have to be evaluated by an organization like World Education Services to determine US equivalency.
  • Upon hire the Forensic Scientist must complete the State Crime Laboratory Forensic Analyst Academy to obtain knowledge of legal concepts that impact their work – including a working knowledge of the methods, procedures, and practices used in the investigation of criminal offenses, and of the principles, techniques, and procedures of modern criminal investigation. 

THE STARTING SALARY FOR A NEW HIRE TO THIS POSITION IS LIMITED TO THE RECRUITMENT RANGE OF  $47,959 to $65,994.  Salary determination is based upon the candidate’s education and experience related to the position, as well as departmental budget and equity considerations.

Note to Current State Employees:
The salary grade for this position is NC14.  State employees are encouraged to apply for positions of interest even if the salary grade is the same as, or lower than, their current position.  Please detail ALL work history including non-state service experience.  If selected for this position, a new salary will be recalculated taking into consideration the quantity of relevant education and experience, funding availability, and internal equity. Based upon these factors, a pay increase MAY or MAY NOT result.

The North Carolina Department of Justice, led by the Attorney General of North Carolina, represents the State of North Carolina in court and provides legal advice and representation to most state government departments, agencies, officers, and commissions. The Department also represents the State in criminal appeals from state trial courts, and brings legal actions on behalf of the state and its citizens when the public interest is at stake. 

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