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Public Health Microbiologist

Salary: $24.99-$30.51 hourly / $4,347-$5,307 monthly / Range: 5786

DEFINITION: Under general supervision, performs and interprets microbiological tests in the areas of communicable disease and environmental sanitation; and performs related duties as required.

EXAMPLES OF DUTIES: Performs laboratory tests in the areas of bacteriology, mycology, parasitology, serology, and virology; prepares and examines specimens of human, animal and environmental origin to aid in the diagnosis of sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV, gonorrhea, syphilis, herpes and chlamydia, food-borne illnesses, animal rabies, tuberculosis and coccidioidomycosis, and other diseases such as plague and diphtheria; analyzes and interprets test data; prepares reports of findings; maintains records of test results; conducts quality control tests to ensure the integrity of tests and compliance with regulations; provides technical information to physicians, nurses, and other clinical laboratories regarding the interpretation of laboratory tests and proper laboratory procedures; utilizes computerized and other laboratory equipment.

EMPLOYMENT STANDARDS: Possession of a Public Health Microbiologist certificate issued by the California State Department of Human Services.

Knowledge of: principles of chemistry, biology, microbiology, and physics; state and federal laws affecting public health laboratories; techniques and equipment used to perform laboratory tests; laboratory safety practices.

Ability to: analyze data and draw conclusions; explain technical information; understand, interpret, and apply federal, state, and local laws pertaining to public health laboratories; prepare and maintain records and reports; communicate with a wide range of people; operate and care for laboratory equipment; operate a personal computer.


Incumbents may be exposed to pathogenic organisms, acids, and caustic or volatile chemicals.

In order to handle specimens, incumbents must be willing to be immunized against various communicable diseases, including rabies.

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