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Toxicologist I

at Harris County

Posted: 3/31/2019
Job Status: Full Time
Job Reference #: 2393622
Categories: Other/General

Job Description

Overall Job Objective

Position Description

The Toxicologist I assists the Chief Toxicologist and Deputy Chief Toxicologist in supervising the analytical operations (specimen processing, extraction, and data generation) of the Forensic Toxicology Laboratory.

Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Supervises and annually evaluates the performance of assigned Forensic Toxicology Laboratory personnel.
  • Monitors and maintains casework throughput and identifies improvements in laboratory methods and operations.
  • Assists in training toxicology staff.
  • Provides assignments to Team Leaders and other toxicology staff.
  • Monitors and responds to requests from pathologists, the family liaison, courts, and law enforcement agencies.
  • Performs batch and case review to ensure compliance with laboratory procedures and accreditation standards.
  • Performs expert review of casework.
  • Participates in training, competency testing and proficiency testing according to established protocols.
  • Performs analysis of biological specimens submitted by forensic pathologists and law enforcement agencies, as necessary.
  • Keeps management abreast of information critical to the proper planning and coordination of laboratory operation and communicates with other lab personnel.
  • Maintains professional certification and Texas Forensic Science Commission licensure.
  • Assists in ensuring conformance to laboratory accreditation standards.
  • Attends continuing education/training courses, workshops, seminars, conferences and/or professional meetings as time and resources allow.
  • Maintains a professional demeanor to internal and external contacts at all times.
  • Follows all safety manuals, standard operating procedures and quality assurance/quality control protocols.
  • Provides expert testimony in a court of law when subpoenaed.
  • Perform other duties as assigned by the Chief Toxicologist, Director of Toxicology and Chemistry or Crime Laboratory Director.
  • Routine External Contacts:
    • Forensic pathologists, law enforcement agencies, district attorneys, defense attorneys, educators and peers during professional training and accreditation visits.


  • Advanced degree in Toxicology, Chemistry, Pharmacology, or a closely related field from an accredited university and meet the Toxicologist (Interpretative) coursework requirements outlined in the Texas Administrative Code, Title 37, Part 15, Chapter 651, Subchapter C, Rule §651.207 (https://bit.ly/2OQ83O4). 
  • Five (5) years of experience in a forensic toxicology laboratory.
  • Thorough knowledge of the basic theoretical principles and applications of instrumentation (immunoassay, UV-visible spectrophotometry, headspace GC/FID, GC/MS, GC/MS/MS, LC/MS/MS and/or LC/TOF MS) and methodologies used to analyze toxicological samples and experience operating and maintaining instrumentation listed above.
  • Experience critically evaluating instrumental data.
  • Thorough understanding of alcohol and drug pharmacology and applications to human performance and postmortem forensic toxicology.
  • Courtroom testimony experience.
  • A valid driver's license.

Additional requirements:
  • Certification through the American Board of Forensic Toxicology (ABFT). 
  • Licensure by the Texas Forensic Science Commission; licensure must be maintained for the duration of employment.
  • Ability to move and lift objects not heavier than 45 pounds.
NOTE: To qualify for this position, required experience, education, knowledge, and skills must be clearly stated in your application's employment history.  Resumes are welcome, but we do not use any information provided on your resume to qualify and refer you to the Hiring Department for consideration.


  • Two (2) years of supervisory/managerial experience in a forensic toxicology laboratory.
  • Demonstration of leadership skills or project management will be considered in lieu of a formal supervisory position.
  • Proficient use of Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint software.
  • Familiarity with accreditation standards of the American Board of Forensic Toxicology (ABFT), National Accreditation Board (ANAB) and the ISO/IEC 17025.
  • Ability to communicate clearly, verbally and in writing.
  • Familiarity with JusticeTrax LIMS.

General Information

  • 40 hours per week

  • Will Be Discussed During the Departmental Interview
  • Commensurate With Experience
  • Based on 26-Pay Periods
Due to a high volume of applications positions may close prior to the advertised closing date.