Ocean Career: San Jose Environmental Services Department Microbiologist I/II

The Environmental Services Department (ESD) is a national leader in pollution prevention, watershed protection, utility service provision, and climate action. Together, ESD employees positively impact every resident and business in San Jose.

About the Watershed Protection Division:

The Watershed Protection Division strives to preserve and sustain natural aquatic resources by connecting people to their watershed, the San Francisco Bay, and helping them understand how their daily activities affect water quality. The Watershed Protection Division is approximately 100 employees and is responsible for stormwater management, environmental enforcement, source control and laboratory services.

Stormwater Management coordinates a wide array of activities, such as education, outreach, trash reduction and collaboration with County wide stakeholders to protect and to prevent pollution into the waterways. Environmental Enforcement provides inspection, education, and enforcement services to ensure that local discharges into the storm and sanitary sewers meet regulatory requirements and protect water quality. The Pretreatment Program administers federal requirements that includes permitting and compliance monitoring to industrial that discharges into the sanitary sewer system and Region Wastewater Facility. Lastly, Laboratory Services provides scientific analysis for monitoring operations and compliance at the Regional Wastewater Facility which addresses water quality issues entering the Bay.

Wastewater Microbiologist Positions

The laboratory is seeking to fill three (3) Wastewater Microbiologist positions for the San Jose Santa Clara Regional Wastewater Facility Laboratory. Wastewater Microbiologists will perform technical and professional work involving the microscopic, microbiological, and chemical analysis of water, wastewater, receiving waters, and by-products of the wastewater treatment processes.

Key responsibilities include but are not limited to:

  • Performs microbiological, and chemical analyses on water, wastewater, industrial waste, and related samples for specific inorganic and organic substances.
  • Conducts regular microscopic examinations to identify bacterial, protozoan, and metazoan organisms associated with the wastewater treatment process.
  • Performs the biomonitoring testing requirements within the laboratory, including the care and maintenance of aquatic species used in bioassays.
  • Compiles records and manages laboratory data and records; provides organization of record keeping and data retrieval; prepares written and verbal reports as requested.
  • Maintains equipment by performing assigned maintenance activities and troubleshoots unexpected problems.
  • Prepares and maintains Standard Operation Procedures (SOPs) and technical documentation.
  • Implements and maintains quality control, quality assurance, and Good Laboratory Practices (GLPs) protocols, while ensuring familiarity with relevant quality assurance/control principles and California laboratory accreditation regulations and audit processes.
  • Reviews, validates, and reports analytical data using a Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS).

Minimum Qualifications


  • Microbiologist I/II: Bachelor's degree in bacteriology, microbiology or related scientific discipline.


  • Microbiologist I: One (1) year of experience working in a laboratory environment.
  • Microbiologist II: Three (3) years of experience working in a water or wastewater laboratory environment.

Acceptable Substitutions: Master’s degree or higher in bacteriology, microbiology or a related scientific discipline can be substituted for one (1) year of experience working in a laboratory environment.

Required Licensing: Possession of a valid driver’s license authorizing operation of a motor vehicle in California.

Physical/Environmental Elements: Depending on assignment, this classification may be Sedentary up to Medium Work.

  • Sedentary Work: Exerting up to 10 pounds of force occasionally and/or a negligible amount of force frequently or constantly to lift, carry, push, pull or otherwise move objects, including the human body. Sedentary work involves sitting most of the time. Jobs are sedentary if walking and standing are required only occasionally, and all other sedentary criteria are met.
  • Light Work: Exerting up to 20 pounds of force occasionally, and/or up to 10 pounds of force frequently, and/or a negligible amount of force constantly to move objects. If the use of arm and/or leg controls requires exertion of forces greater than that for Sedentary Work and the worker sits most of the time, the job is rated for Light Work.
  • Medium Work: Exerting up to 50 pounds of force occasionally, and/or up to 20 pounds of force frequently, and/or up to 10 pounds of force constantly to move objects.

Other Qualifications

The following certifications are desirable:

  • California Water Environment Association (CWEA) Laboratory Analyst Grade 2 Certification
  • CA-NV/American Water Works Association (AWWA) Water Quality Analyst Certificate

Our department is an exceptional place to start or grow your career. We have a supportive leadership team, numerous professional growth opportunities, and an inclusive workplace culture that is welcoming of your talents! We offer an array of meaningful career paths and value flexibility. Additionally, the City offers a wide array of benefits, as well as 15 paid holidays!

Salary Information:

Salary ranges for this classification are:

  • Microbiologist I: $98,935.20 - $120,229.20 Annually
  • Microbiologist II: $109,025.28 - $132,459.60 Annually

Actual salary shall be determined by the final candidates’ qualifications and experience. The salary ranges include an approximate five percent (5%) ongoing non-pensionable compensation pay.

Closing Date: February 26, 2024

Learn more about this opportunity and how to apply.

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