Forensic Scientist 3 (Digital Evidence)

Philadelphia Police Department, Office of Forensic Science, Philadelphia, PA, US


This is forensic science work at the advanced performance level in the preservation, examination, handling, and comparative analysis of items of evidence collected in criminal investigations. Positions in this class are allocated to one of four specialties: Biology, Chemistry, Digital Evidence, or Pattern Evidence. Positions allocated to the Pattern Evidence specialty are assigned to one of the following disciplines: Documents, Firearms/Toolmarks, or Latent Prints. An important aspect of the work is serving on interdisciplinary committees within the Office of Forensic Science of the Philadelphia Police Department. Work in this class differs from the next lower level in that the employee is expected to provide basic instruction to junior examiners and trainees and assist in the development of training materials while maintaining an active forensic caseload. As experience is gained, employees oversee small projects within the area of specialty.

Work in each specialty includes examining evidence associated with crimes for presentation of laboratory findings in written reports and through expert testimony in criminal trials. An employee in this class is expected to work independently in the performance of these tasks. All work is performed in accordance with national and international quality assurance standards in the accredited Office of Forensic Science of the Philadelphia Police Department. Work is performed under the supervision of a higher level forensic scientist or technical superior.


Minimum Training, Education & Experience

The following statement represents the minimum training and experience standards which will be used to admit or reject applicants for tests. Candidates must meet requirements within 30 days after the last date for filing applications.


  • EDUCATION: Completion of a bachelor’s degree program at an accredited college or university with major coursework in:


  • EXPERIENCE: Three years of forensic science work, at least one year of which shall have been at the qualified examiner level, equivalent to a Forensic Scientist 2, in the preservation, examination, handling, and comparative analysis of items of evidence collected in criminal investigations in the assigned specialty/discipline.

NOTE: Candidates must provide documentation to support their qualification as a qualified examiner. See below for details. QUALIFIED EXAMINER DOCUMENTATION – Must be provided to the Police Department at the time of interview.

Proof of successful completion of a training program within an accredited forensic science organization, which resulted in qualification as an expert (forensic examiner) in the area of specialty and assignment. Qualification must have included independent forensic casework, routine proficiency testing, and testimony as an expert in the area of specialty/discipline. External candidates must provide documentation to support their qualification as an expert. Documentation should include:

  1. A certificate or letter from an accredited forensic laboratory that details the area and date of qualification.
  2. Proof of the laboratory’s accreditation from either ASCLD-LAB, FQS, or another ISO 17025 forensic accrediting body.
  3. Proof of successful completion of routine proficiency test may include copies of proficiency test results, a summary document from the laboratory’s quality assurance program, or other documentation that details scope and completion of proficiency testing.
  4. Proof of testimony experience may include a copy of a court transcript from one or more trials, or a letter from a court official detailing the expert’s experience testifying in court as an expert in a specific discipline.

NOTE: Employees must maintain status as a qualified Forensic Examiner during tenure of employment as a Forensic Scientist 3.

NOTE: Selective Factor Certification may be utilized, as needed, to fill specific positions. In accordance with Civil Service Regulation 11.032 – Selective Factor Certification – the appointing authority may request certification of eligible candidates with one or more of the required degrees and/or specific experience to fill specific positions in this class. Certification to fill such positions will be made from the two highest-ranking eligible candidates on the eligible list who possess the specified degree and/or experience.

Physical & Medical Requirements

  • Ability to physically perform the duties and to work in the environmental conditions required of a position in this class.
  • Ability to visually distinguish test results, which may include color changes, pattern recognition, and interpretation of electronic data (tables, graphs and charts).

Required Licenses & Certifications

  • Possession of a valid proper class motor vehicle operator’s license as issued by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania prior to appointment and during tenure of employment as a Forensic Scientist 3 if required by work assignment.


$62,920 - $80,879 - New employees may be appointed at a step in the pay range above the minimum salary depending on qualifications.

Union Code J. AFSCME D.C.47 Local 2187

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How to apply

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