Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Jobs

Job Information

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Optical Microscopist in RICHLAND, Washington

Organization and Job ID

Job ID: 309645

Directorate: National Security Directorate

Division: Signatures Sciences & Technology

Group: Radiochemical Analysis

Job Description

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory is searching for an Optical Microscopist to support an ongoing analytical chemistry and material characterization production project.

• The staff member will work both independently and in collaboration with a closely integrated project team. This position will report to a project and task managers as well as to the line manager of the technical group.

• The Radiochemical Analysis Group supports a number of critical national security and homeland security missions along with missions in environmental monitoring.

• The expected outcome of the staff member's effort will be the timely delivery of microscopy data that constitutes a significant component of the project team’s deliverables. The primary function of this position is to examine sample materials using an optical microscope, recognize features of interest, and record data.

• Tasks will include performing a wide variety of general laboratory support functions including chemical solution preparation, radioactive and non-radioactive waste disposal, cleaning laboratory equipment and supplies, data entry, and other laboratory support functions.

• The ability to work with little to no direct supervision once trained to a base proficiency, and to work in collaboration with a team of scientists and technicians is required. Effective interpersonal, written, and oral communication skills are required.

Discipline, principal job duties/expectations, and qualitative and quantitative measures of performance that exceed the Functional Descriptor:

• This requires fine motor skills and the ability to manipulate small samples using optical microscopy techniques for long periods of time. At times, working with chemicals will also be required under highly prescribed procedures.

• Experience working with optical microscopy in chemical, biological, environmental or forensic laboratories is preferred. This position requires the ability to follow detailed procedures. As experience is gained, exploring alternate courses of action or methods to develop new procedures under the direction of a scientist or task leader is likely.

• The ability to cross train with other staff and work effectively as a team are required. The ability to work flexible hours is sometimes required, occasionally including nights and weekends. Both full- and part-time applicants will be considered.

Minimum Qualifications

• High school diploma and 4+ years of relevant work experience (optical microscopy laboratory) or Technical Institute Graduate/relevant Associate’s degree and 2+ years of relevant work experience.

Preferred Qualifications

• Knowledge of and proficiency with examination of environmental samples

• Demonstrated experience with data entry into computer software packages such as Excel

• Knowledge of good laboratory practices in both low-level radiological and non-radiological spaces

• Experience working in clean room environments

Equal Employment Opportunity

Battelle Memorial Institute (BMI) at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer and supports diversity in the workplace. All employment decisions are made without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, marital or family status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or genetic information. All BMI staff must be able to demonstrate the legal right to work in the United States. BMI is an E-Verify employer. Learn more at

Other Information

  • This position requires one to work primarily at a microscope stage under conditions that can be physically demanding.

  • This position also requires working with hazardous chemicals on a weekly basis, and working with non-dispersible radiological materials on a daily basis. The incumbent must be able to take Radiological Worker 2 training and pass qualifying exams that demonstrate proficiency after being hired and trained.

This position requires the ability to obtain and maintain a federal security clearance.


  • U.S. Citizenship

  • Background Investigation: Applicants selected will be subject to a Federal background investigation and must meet eligibility requirements for access to classified matter in accordance 10 CFR 710, Appendix B.

  • Drug Testing: All Security Clearance (L or Q) positions will be considered by the Department of Energy to be Testing Designated Positions which means that they are subject to applicant, random, and for cause drug testing. In addition, applicants must be able to demonstrate non-use of illegal drugs, including marijuana, for the 12 consecutive months preceding completion of the requisite Questionnaire for National Security Positions (QNSP).

Note: Applicants will be considered ineligible for security clearance processing by the U.S. Department of Energy until non-use of illegal drugs, including marijuana, for 12 consecutive months can be demonstrated.

Directorate: National Security Dir

Job Category: Scientists/Scientific Support

Group: Radiochemical Analysis

Opening Date: 2019-08-06

Closing Date: 2019-08-20