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Public Health Microbiologist- Trainee

Recruitment #2014-14325-01

Salary:$22.08 Per Hour
Department:Health and Human Services
Job Type: Open
Date Opened:2/13/2014 4:00:00 PM
Filing Deadline:2/19/2014 5:00:00 PM
Employment Type: Temporary/Extra Help
Work Location: Auburn Area (Applegate, Auburn, Colfax, Foresthill, Meadow Vista, Penryn)
HR Analyst: Jon Harned

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Placer County is currently recruiting for the position of Extra Help Public Health Microbiologist - Trainee. This is a paid trainee position consistent with the State of California Department of Public Health's Microbiologist certification process. To be considered for this position, applicants must meet the minimum qualifications by possessing both the equivalent to a Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university with courses necessary to meet the certificate requirements of a Public Health Microbiologist in California AND certification by the State of California Department of Public Health as a Public Health Microbiologist - Trainee. Applicants will be required to provide a copy of this letter if selected for interview.

For individuals who do not possess the required certificate by the State of California but are interested in pursuing a future career as a Microbiologist, you are encouraged to click HERE or visit for more information. Please note that this certificate is a minimum requirement for this trainee assignment and applicants must possess it at the time of applying to this recruitment to move forward in the recruitment process.

For individuals who are currently certified as a Public Health Microbiologist, you are encouraged to use the “Notify me of New Recruitment” function with our on-line JOBS application system and check the classifications for which you qualify for under the Public Health Microbiologist series so that you can be notified of future recruitments.

This assignment is Temporary / Extra Help and is not transitional to a permanent position. Temporary/Extra Help assignments are limited to 1000 or 960 hours for CalPERS retired annuitants in a fiscal year and are not eligible for benefits.

Applicants who are selected will be required to sign a Trainee Agreement between the Personnel Department, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the employee.



To learn to perform microbiological examinations and other tests used in the detection of agents of communicable diseases; to learn to assess environmental situations; and to learn how to conduct other analysis as required.


Receives supervision from a certified Public Health Microbiologist.

May exercises technical supervision over laboratory staff.


Duties may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Learn to perform microbiological and related biological and bio-chemical examinations on clinical and environmental specimen for the detection and identification of microbial agents of disease; learn to examine food and water samples for microbial agents; learn to perform serological tests to aid in diagnosis of communicable and other diseases.
  • Learn to prepare specimen(s) for examination; learn to prepare stains, culture media and reagents; learn to prepare and examine slide preparations for the detection of microbial agents.
  • Learn to follow standard procedures for removing animal brains, learn to identifying specific brain structures and testing for rabies.
  • Learn to prepare and update written reports and procedure manuals.
  • Learn to provide technical consultation to medical personnel.
  • Learn to draw and process blood specimens.
  • Learn to enter, retrieve and process computer generated lab reports.
  • Learn to review and follow current literature to maintain state-of-the-art methodology and technologies in the field of microbiology.
  • Learn to perform procedures for quality control of all laboratory analyses.
  • Learn to perform related duties as assigned.


Experience and Training
Any combination of experience and training that would provide the required knowledge and abilities is qualifying.  A typical way to obtain the required knowledge and abilities would be:

Experience: Possession of a valid Public Health Microbiologist - Trainee certificate issued by the California State Department of Public Health is proof of sufficient experience for this class.

Training: A Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university with courses necessary to meet the certificate requirements of a Public Health Microbiologist in California.

License or Certificate:

  • Possession of a valid certificate as a Public Health Microbiologist - Trainee issued by the California State Department of Public Health.
  • May need to possess a valid driver’s license as required by the position. Proof of adequate vehicle insurance and medical clearance may also be required.


Knowledge of:

  • Principles, equipment and techniques utilized in the areas of bacteriology, parasitology, mycology, mycobacteriology, serology and virology; the etiologies and epidemiology of the agents of communicable diseases.
  • Life processes of various micro-organisms and their effect on the human body.
  • Safety procedures relating to a microbiology laboratory to include handling of highly infectious biological agents as well as potentially hazardous chemicals.
  • Computer systems and techniques as applied within the field of public health microbiology and related office management.

Ability to:

  • Learn test and interpret biochemical reactions; learn to perform microbiological procedures; learn culture and isolate micro-organisms; learn to analyze and interpret information from microscopy; learn to prepare, read and interpret slide preparations.
  • On an intermittent basis, sit while using microscopes and inoculating specimens; walk to transport materials from work station to work station; stand to remove or replace chemicals in cabinets; bend to reach into lower cabinets and drawers; squat or kneel to remove media stored on lower shelves on refrigerators or freezers; twist to reach items on bench tops; visual requirements to distinguish colors for microscopy and to read cultures and biochemical reactions; auditory requirements to hear timers on equipment; fine hand manipulation required to operate equipment and manipulate a specimen; and lift light weight.
  • On a continuous basis, learn to analyze test results and biochemical reactions; learn to identify micro-organisms; learn to interpret tests and quality control results; learn principles of test systems; learn to observe safety precautions and handling of infectious specimens; learn to remember principles involved in biochemical reactions; understand laboratory procedures; on an intermittent basis, learn to problem solve equipment malfunctions; learn to explain procedures and findings to medical personnel.
  • Learn to organize test data for the purpose of reporting and documenting test results for medical personnel's interpretation.
  • Learn to manipulate and operate simple and complex laboratory equipment including computers; may learn to perform maintenance and limited tear down and replacement of parts of laboratory equipment.
  • Learn to interpret and analyze laboratory data and results of microbiological testing.
  • Learn to handle highly infectious agents safely.
  • Learn to utilize proper safety precautions; maintain adequate quality control; learn to read and interpret Material Safety Data Sheets to ensure safety of all personnel.
  • Learn to remove intact brain tissue from animal carcasses; learn to isolate and remove appropriate brain structures for rabies testing.
  • Learn to communicate highly technical and complex information clearly to physicians, medical personnel and the public; and the courts, if applicable.
  • Learn to observe use of laboratory media, reagents and equipment to ensure that procedures are performed within laboratory specifications.
  • Learn to analyze situations and arrive at accurate conclusions
  • Learn to prepare and record accurate laboratory reports.
  • Learn to communicate clearly and concisely, both orally and in writing.
  • Learn to work with various cultural and ethnic groups in a tactful and effective manner.
  • Learn to work in an odorous environment.
  • Learn to establish and maintain effective working relationships with those contacted in the course of work.


Training & Experience Rating (100%)

Based upon responses to the supplemental questionnaire, the applicant’s education, training and experience will be evaluated using a pre-determined formula.  Scores from this evaluation will determine applicant ranking and placement on the eligible list.


Prior to the date of hire, applicants for regular full and part-time positions must pass a medical examination which may include a drug screening and possibly a psychological evaluation. Applicants for extra help positions may be subject to a drug screening. All applicants must sign a constitutional oath, submit proof of U.S. citizenship or legal right to remain and work in the U.S. and be fingerprinted. For some positions, applicants may also be required to submit proof of age, be bonded or undergo a background check.


All new permanent employees, with the exception of sworn law enforcement and management, shall be required to join the employee organization or pay an 'Agency Fee' as a condition of employment.


The eligible list(s) resulting from this recruitment may be certified as a substitute list for a substantially similar classification.  For this purpose, a substantially similar classification is one at a lower level in the same classification (example: entry level vs. journey) and/or a similar classification (similar work performed, similar training and experience qualifications required). If you are contacted for an interview by a County department, you will be informed of the classification and other relevant information. If you choose not to interview for a substantially similar classification, you will remain on the eligible list for which you originally applied.


Placer County now offers an expedited process for qualifying certain applicants for interviews. Candidates currently employed, or employed within the last year, by a public agency operating under a personnel civil service or merit system may be eligible to be placed on a Public Agency Eligible List and certified as eligible for appointment to a similar job assignment without going through the examination process. For more information on the Public Agency Eligible List, to download forms, or to apply, please visit our website at:


Thank you for your interest in employment with Placer County. Placer County is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to an active nondiscrimination program. It is the stated policy of Placer County that harassment and retaliation is prohibited and that all employees and applicants shall receive equal consideration and treatment. All recruitment, hiring, transfer and promotion will be based on the qualifications of the individual for the positions being filled regardless of sex, sexual orientation, race, color, ancestry, religious creed, national origin, physical disability (Including HIV and AIDS), mental disability, medical condition (cancer or genetic characteristics/information), age (40 or over), marital status, pregnancy, childbirth and related medical conditions, or any other classification protected by federal, state or local laws or ordinance. Please contact the Personnel Department at least 5 working days before a scheduled examination if you require accommodation in the examination process. Medical disability verification may be required prior to accommodation.


The following information represents benefits currently available to permanent Placer County employees and may be subject to change.  It is advisable that applicants inquire as to the most current benefit package during hiring interviews or by contacting the Personnel Department.

Click here to view benefits for Professional bargaining unit