Forensic Technician Trainee

US Government, Sheriff/Coroner


In addition to performance-based merit increases, this position is scheduled to receive salary range increases on the following dates: 

Effective June 28, 2024 – 4.25% increase

Effective June 27, 2025 – 4.00% increase


Salary may be negotiable within the range listed above, based on position requirements and successful candidate’s qualifications, subject to appropriate authorization.

    This recruitment is open to the public and is being held to establish an open eligible list to fill current and future Forensic Technician Trainee vacancies within the Sheriff-Coroner Department.  This recruitment may also be used to fill positions in similar and/or lower level classifications.  

 Applications will be accepted starting Wednesday, September 13, 2023 on a continuous basis until the needs of the department are met and may close as early as 11:59 p.m. (PST), on Wednesday, September 13, 2023.


The Orange County Sheriff’s Department is among the largest in the nation, providing exemplary law enforcement services focused on a collaborative, dedicated and innovative approach to public safety. 

Our nearly 4,000 sworn and professional staff are committed to serving the needs of Orange County through six organizational Commands comprised of 23 Divisions. Together, these Commands and Divisions provide services including land, air and sea-based patrol, custody operations, investigative services, emergency management, coroner services, forensics and specialty operations, among an extensive list of other public safety services.

Click here for OC Sheriff’s Department website 


The Orange County Crime Lab (OCCL) provides all public agencies in Orange County with services for the recognition, collection, preservation, and evaluation of physical evidence from crime scenes. The OCCL is an ISO/IEC 17025:2017 accredited testing and calibration laboratory (ANAB) and has maintained accreditation since 1992. The OCCL is also a recognized OSAC Registry Implementer. The Division employs over 160 staff members, housed in a spacious, modern 100,000 square foot facility, serving the over 3 million residents of Orange County. 

Click here for OC Crime Lab website


Forensic Technician Trainee is the entry level. Incumbents at this level assist with more difficult or complex laboratory assignments under close supervision or work the more routine laboratory assignments under general supervision. After demonstrating proficiency, they may work independently on non-laboratory assignments that require no technical skills such as assembling evidence kits, cutting photographic film, washing glassware, or escorting visitors.  NOTE: There is no permanent status in this class. Forensic Technician Trainee incumbents who demonstrate progressive proficiency and independence will be promoted to the Technician level at or before the end of the one-year probation period. Trainees who are not promoted will have failed probation in this class.


Prepares chemical reagents by following prescribed formulas; autoclaves reagents and supplies in the DNA Section; assembles evidence collection kits from individual components; washes glassware and lab coats; cleans laboratory workstations and equipment; collects and dispose of Biohazard waste; maintains good housekeeping and cleanliness of the laboratory work areas; assists in the collection and documentation of data necessary for special projects and method development or validation; performs routine calibration and performance checks of pipets, pH meters, balances and other laboratory instrumentation; records quality control data such as oven and freezer temperatures; performs quality control checks of supplies, materials, chemicals, and reagents; assists with report preparation/printing in the Toxicology, Blood Alcohol and Controlled Substances Sections, some interpretation of notation and data may be needed; reviews cases in the work request and case status system and requests evidence for analysts; performs characterization of firearm evidence for entry into the computerized database; ensures that workstations and division vehicles are adequately stocked with necessary supplies; basic evidence handling such as swabbing items and excising swabs for downstream DNA extraction and typing; purchases and picks up supplies and does other duties as assigned.

Click here to learn more about the minimum qualifications and example of duties for the Forensic Technician Trainee position.

To be selected for a position with the Orange County Sheriff’s Department applicants must not have been convicted of a felony or be on any form of probation and must pass an extensive background investigation to the satisfaction of the Orange County Sheriff-Coroner.
Background screening includes completing of a Personal History Form, interview with a background investigator, fingerprinting and may include a polygraph test. Some of the areas considered in the background screening include prior convictions, traffic violations, drug use and credit problems, employment history, professional references and education verification (i.e. degree, license, or official transcripts. Foreign degrees require an evaluation of U.S. equivalency by an agency that is a member of the National Association of Credentials Services (N.A.C.E.S.).

License: Possession of a valid California Driver’s License, Class C or higher is required by date of appointment.

The County of Orange is committed to providing a means for applicants who may have a disability to identify areas in which they may request a reasonable accommodation. The following is a description of the physical and mental abilities, which are customarily required to perform the essential job functions of this position. Applicants are encouraged to contact the recruiter listed for any questions or to request an accommodation during the testing/selection process.
Physical Requirements: 
Incumbents must have vision sufficient to read standard text and distinguish between colors; speak and hear well enough to communicate clearly and understandably in person or over the telephone; independent body mobility to stand, sit, walk, stoop, and bend; be able to lift and move up to 35 lbs; and establish and maintain cooperative working relationships.
Environmental Conditions: 
Incumbents in this class generally encounter human tissue specimens (including blood) while cleaning work benches and laboratory glassware as well as chemicals and solvents that may emit noxious odors; work with equipment that is noisy and that generates heat; collection and disposal of biological hazardous waste.

Human Resources | Minimum Qualifications The Orange County Sheriff’s Human Resources screens all applications to identify the most qualified candidates for the position based on the skills required to meet the needs of the Department. After the initial screening, the qualified candidates will be referred to the next step and notified of all further procedures applicable to their status in the competition.
Applications must emphasize all the areas in which the applicant has expertise and accomplishments in the specific competencies related to the position, as applications will be screened to identify the most qualified candidates.
Written Exam (Pass/Fail): A written exam consisting of job-related questions will be administered. Candidates will be notified of their exam date and time.
Oral Interview (Weighted 100%): Candidates will be interviewed and rated by a panel of job knowledge experts. Each candidate’s rating will be based on responses to a series of structured questions designed to elicit the candidates’ qualifications for the job. Only the most successful candidates will be placed on the eligible list.
 Based on the Department’s needs, the selection procedures listed above may be modified. All candidates will be notified of any changes in the selection procedures.
After all procedures have been completed, the Sheriff’s Human Resources will establish an eligible list of qualified candidates. Candidates placed on the eligible list may be referred to a selection interview to be considered for present and future vacancies.
Veterans Employment Preference Policy (VEPP) 
The County is committed to providing a mechanism to give preferential consideration in the employment process to veterans and their eligible spouses and will provide eligible participants the opportunity to receive interviews in the selection process for employment and paid internship openings. Please click 
here to review the policy.



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