Public Health Laboratory Assistant

County of Santa Barbara
Full Time 24 per week $52,885 - $62,872 Per year CA Santa Barbara County Public Health Department, 300 N San Antonio Rd, Santa Barbara, CA 93110, United States


Notice of Change: This recruitment will close earlier that initially posted. Revised close date is 6/25/24 at 4:59 PM (PST)

$25.34 - $30.12 Hourly

$52,885.53 - $62,872.40 Annually

The Public Health Department is currently accepting applications for the position of Laboratory Assistant at the Santa Barbara Public Health Laboratory. The current vacancy is to fill one (1), full-time Extra-Help* opening.
E: We are also accepting applications to establish an employment list for future Full-Time, Part-time, Extra Help and 1414** vacancies for Laboratory Assistant (Public Health Lab) in Santa Barbara. 
*Civil Service Rule 905. Extra Help Appointment. An extra help appointment is defined as an appointment made to a non-regular, non-permanent position established on a temporary basis to meet peak loads, unusual work situations, seasonal and recurrent work, intermittent assignments, or emergencies. These positions are exempt from the Provisions of the Civil Service Rules.

**Civil Service Rule 1414. Appointment to Fill Vacancy During Leave of Absence. 1414 vacancies may occur as a result of a leave of absence and the duration of the appointment shall be subject to the return of the individual who is on leave. A person who is appointed to a position under Civil Service Rule 1414 may be able to transition into a regular position in the classification without re-application or re-testing, depending on the performance of the appointee and the needs of the department.  

BENEFITS: The County of Santa Barbara offers generous benefits. Click on the Benefits Tab above or  to view more information.  
In addition, applicants from other public sector employers may qualify for: 
  • Retirement reciprocity 
  • Time and service credit towards for an advanced vacation accrual rate 
NOTE: Benefitswill be offered once EXH employees reach Affordable Care Act (ACA) eligibility.
Under close supervision, performs routine laboratory procedures related to preparing human biological samples for microbiological, , and chemical analysis; performs routine biological and chemical laboratory procedures related to preparing water, food, and diagnostic specimens for analysis; and performs related duties as required by a public health microbiologist.
DISTINGUISHING CHARACTERISTICS: Incumbents in this classification perform routine laboratory procedures in the Public Health Department. Incumbents assigned to clinical laboratories perform phlebotomy duties while incumbents assigned to Public Health laboratories perform water bacteriology testing. Laboratory Assistants are distinguished from Clinical Laboratory Scientists and Public Health Microbiologists in that the latter two classifications are licensed professional classes.
The IDEAL CANDIDATE will possess: 
  • Effective Communication: Strong ability to follow oral and written directions, including adherence to Standard Operating Procedures.
  • Laboratory Equipment Familiarity: Basic knowledge of laboratory equipment names and their uses.
  • Aseptic Technique and Regulations: Capability to learn and apply aseptic techniques, laboratory standards, regulations, and scientific principles.
  • Organizational Skills: Excellent organizational skills with the ability to maintain accurate and detailed records.
  • Communication skills: Excellent communication skills to assist public health microbiologist working with providers clinics, disease control, vendors, and public health staff.
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Examples of Duties

  1. Performs bacteriological examinations of drinking and recreational water; reads and records test results; maintains quality control records; and notifies specimen submitter of failure to pass established standards. 
  2. Logs in specimens; assigns specimen accession numbers; creates labels; time stamps laboratory forms or requisitions; stores specimens for subsequent processing; and prepares specimens for transport to other laboratories. 
  3. Prepares primary plantings of specimens for bacteriological studies and centrifuges specimens in preparation for bacteriological and chemical testing and analysis. 
  4. Follows safety guidelines at all times in accordance with the Universal Blood and Body Fluid Precautions. 
  5. Learns clinical or public health laboratory terminology and procedures, as well as specimens that are required for standard procedures and analyses. 
  6. Responds to in-person and telephone requests from providers, patients, clinic staff, private and state laboratory personnel, and the public; determines what information can be given to the public and that which should be given only to licensed professional staff; and maintains confidentiality of records. 
  7. Performs laboratory-related clerical duties including filing, recordkeeping, entering data into computer database, and distributing test results to appropriate requesting sites. 
  8. Checks standard laboratory supplies inventory to assure adequate inventory levels and either places supply orders or notifies supervisor when orders need to be placed. 
  9. Cleans laboratory working surfaces and disposes of biohazardous waste in accordance with the department's waste management plan.

Employment Standards

Possession of a high school diploma (or GED), AND:

  1. One semester each of high school or college-level biology and chemistry; OR,
  2. One year of laboratory aide experience in a clinical, public health, medical research, or comparable laboratory; OR,
  3. A combination of training, education, and experience that is equivalent to one of the employment standards listed above and that provides the required knowledge and abilities.
Knowledge of: common laboratory equipment, methods, and procedures; fundamentals of chemistry and biology; infectious agents and diseases; metric system weights and measures; and filing and recordkeeping systems.
Ability to: learn laboratory and medical terminology; learn and apply specialized laboratory techniques and procedures; operate and maintain laboratory equipment; maintain accurate manual records and computer databases; perform basic keyboarding; learn and maintain computer competency in programs used in the department; complete work according to industry and safety protocols; follow detailed oral and written directions, precautions, and procedures; perform basic mathematical computations including addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division of whole numbers and fractions; calculate metric weights, volumes, and concentrations of ingredients; establish and maintain effective working relationships with patients, medical staff, and the public; maintain confidentiality of patient records; and communicate effectively, both orally and in writing.
Desirable Qualifications: One year of experience performing water bacteriology testing.