Job Opportunity: United States Postal Service’s National Forensic Laboratory


The United States Postal Service’s National Forensic Laboratory has been granted permission to fill a variety of forensic analyst positions, including two forensic chemist positions. One position is a forensic drug chemist and one is a trace evidence chemist.

The National Forensic Laboratory operates on a small staff with limited opportunity for training and thus the successful applicants for these chemist vacancies will be FULLY TRAINED, FULLY COMPETENT AND VERY WELL EXPERIENCED in their discipline and/or sub-disciplines. The best qualified applicants for the trace analyst position will possess competency in at least 3-4 sub-disciplines.


All Forensic Analysts at the National Forensic Laboratory are compensated on the GS pay scale and can move non-competitively through the Inspection Service Law Enforcement (ISLE) 14 (equivalent to GS 14). Newly hired employees (in analyst positions) are not hired above a grade 13, but are eligible to apply for promotion after a year of service as an ISLE 13.  The approximate pay range (including the Washington, DC locality supplement) is:


ISLE-13: approximately 89K-115K

ISLE-14: approximately 105K-136K


Both positions have the same job description which will be posted in the OFFICIAL POSTING that is expected to be as follows:




Standard Position Description


Functional Purpose


Conducts detailed and complex chemical and physical examinations of evidence utilizing appropriate scientific methodologies, forensic techniques, and quality assurance practices in support of criminal investigations; assists inspectors, law enforcement representatives, and prosecutors in matters related to forensic examinations; provides expert testimony.


Duties and Responsibilities


  1. Conducts complex and detailed chemical and physical forensic examinations by evaluating and utilizing a full range of scientific methodologies and forensic techniques.


  1. Provides expert witness testimony; produces comprehensive reports and illustrative exhibits for federal, state, and local judicial proceedings at a level sufficient to explain evidence interpretation and conclusions from forensic examinations.


  1. Serves as a technical advisor in matters relating to the proper collection, preservation, packaging, and submission of criminal evidence; participates in crime scene evidence collection activities in major field investigations; ensures evidence handling requirements are met.


  1. Assists with ongoing evaluation and improvement of laboratory instrumentation and methods, operating protocols, and safety practices; maintains awareness of safety procedures and identifies possible physical conditions and/or laboratory procedures that may create unsafe conditions.


  1. Assists with planning and delivery of laboratory services, evidence collection, and field examination training.


  1. Designs, develops, and conducts studies and research for improving forensic analyses, scientific methods, and criminal identification procedures.


  1. Acts as liaison with postal management and federal, state, and local representatives on technical developments, forensic methods, and investigative problems of common interest.


  1. Participates in professional associations; maintains technical resource documentation.




Assistant Laboratory Director or Laboratory Unit Manager


Requirements (KSAs)


  1. Knowledge of forensic science techniques, laboratory protocols, scientific methodologies, and forensic physical, instrumental and chemical examination procedures sufficient to conduct detailed and complex analyses and interpret the value of evidentiary items.
  2. Knowledge of evidence collection, preservation, packaging and shipment procedures sufficient to serve as a technical advisor in such matters, and to ensure evidence handling requirements are met.
  3. Ability to communicate orally and in writing in order to prepare reports of examination results and conclusions, and provide testimony as an expert witness before state, federal or other judicial bodies.
  4. Ability to conduct research and prepare technical papers for publication and presentation at professional meetings.
  5. Ability to provide training related to laboratory services, evidence collection, and field examination.


The vacancies are expected to open on July 26th and close less than a week later on August 1st. The application process is expected to utilize the US Postal Service’s eCareer system, which is accessible to non-employees via the The following link will take you to the page that will explain the process:




Interested parties are encouraged to visit the site and familiarize themselves with the eCareer process. Candidates can create an eCareer profile at any time and be ready to complete the “Summary of Accomplishments” addressing specifically the KSAs for the position. Please be cognizant of the character limitations associated with the process as they are constraining (6000 characters to address all of the KSA). A good application will address each KSA directly demonstrating in a concise but complete manner the knowledge and/or ability. Failure to address the requirements of the position on the application will result in a finding of ineligibility for further consideration. Submission of a CV in lieu of or to support an application is not expected to be permitted.


Postings are also expected forensic analyst positions in Fingerprint Examination and Questioned Document Examination (each with their own separate position description and KSAs.


Interested candidates for the forensic chemist positions may direct questions to:


Stephanie L. Smith

Assistant Laboratory Director



Interest in other positions will be forwarded to the proper Director.