A criminalist supervisor must have at least an undergraduate degree.

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Forensic Science

Becoming a Criminalist Supervisor

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Incumbents in this job description manage the operation of a crime lab section, involving multiple forensic disciplines, in the areas of budget, personnel, and purchasing. They direct staff members and assure that all activities conform with state and federal law, professional practice, and laboratory accreditation regulations, while performing advanced casework and maintaining their own expertise.


(More specific information about the job can be found in the Purpose and Distinguishing Characteristics. This list contains tasks that are typically associated with the job. It is not all-inclusive and may vary from position to position. Hiring agencies may, depending on the specific nature of the position, modify these tasks and/or identify additional tasks, based on a current position analysis.)

  • Manages one or more statewide or agency wide program(s). Determines program goals and objectives and/or chairs committees established to support the program.
  • Supervises subordinate personnel including: hiring, determining workload and delegating assignments, training, monitoring and evaluating performance, and initiating corrective or disciplinary actions.
  • Prepares and defends budget recommendations, requests, reports, proposals and/or projections.
  • Monitors agency or program budget including revenues, expenditures and budget projection, etc.
  • Writes, reviews, and/or negotiates grants, contracts and/or agreements.
  • Prepares specimens for laboratory analysis by preparing media, solutions, and reagents, etc.; stains slides and smears, performs animal dissections or other technical laboratory procedures.
  • Administers/conducts tests or examinations and/or evaluates results.
  • Gathers, preserves, and/or stores evidence; maintaining integrity of evidence through appropriate collection, handling, security, and chain of custody, etc.
  • Writes or drafts technical reports, articles or related material based on research, investigation or analysis.
  • Acts as an expert witness. Gives testimony and /or recommendations in court cases and/or hearings.
  • Coordinates and/or acts as a liaison between agency or work unit and other agencies, work units, organizations, suppliers, etc.
  • Other tasks as assigned.


(This list contains KSAs that are typically associated with the job. It is not all-inclusive and may vary from position to position. Hiring agencies may, depending on the specific nature of the position, modify these KSAs and/or identify additional KSAs, based on a current position analysis.


  • research methods, techniques, and/or sources of information
  • agency and/or organizational program(s)
  • principles, theories, and practices of biological science
  • principles, theories, and practices of microbiology
  • principles, theories, and practices of chemistry such as composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, etc.
  • applicable laws, rules, regulations and/or policies and procedures
  • rules of evidence
  • laboratory techniques and safety practices
  • principles, theories, and practices of budget management
  • principles, theories, and practices of performance management
  • principles, theories, and practices of leadership


  • conduct a methodical examination
  • provide consultation and/or expert advice or testimony
  • evaluate information against a set of standards
  • use scientific instruments and equipment
  • make a decision or solve a problem by using logic to identify key facts, explore alternatives, and propose quality solutions
  • speak clearly, concisely and effectively; listen to, and understand, information and ideas as presented verbally
  • ensure compliance with contract terms, policies and procedures, etc.
  • perform scientific and/or technical research
  • communicate information and ideas clearly, and concisely, in writing; read and understand information presented in writing
  • read, interpret and apply laws, rules, regulations, policies and/or procedures
  • apply creativity and alternative thinking to come up with new ideas
  • use logic to analyze or identify underlying principles, reasons, or facts associated with information or data to draw conclusions
  • speak before a group of people
  • supervise others by assigning/directing work; conducting employee evaluations, staff training and development, taking appropriate disciplinary/corrective actions, making hiring/termination recommendations, etc.
  • develop approaches for implementation of an idea, program or change in operations
  • develop and/or implement new policies/procedures/standards and/or rules/regulations
  • develop an image of how a system should work under ideal conditions
  • develop and maintain applicable professional contacts, resources and /or networks



  • BS Degree, or higher, in a related field of study.


  • Risks which require the use of special safety precautions and/or equipment, e.g., working around operating machines, working with contagious diseases or hazardous chemicals, etc.
  • The work requires some physical exertion such as long periods of standing; walking over rough terrain or rocky surfaces; recurring bending, crouching, stooping, stretching, reaching, or similar activities; recurring lifting of moderately heavy items such as typewriters and record boxes. The work may require specific but common physical characteristics and abilities such as lifting up to 50 pounds, above-average agility, and dexterity.
  • pass thorough background investigation
  • Pre-employment and/or annual medical examination

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