Exam Bulletin - Staff Toxicologist (Specialist)

State of California

Exam Code: EX-1280

Examination Plans Included:


Final Filing Date: Applications are accepted on a continuous basis.

Classification Details

STAFF TOXICOLOGIST (SPECIALIST): $8,630.00 - $10,751.00 per Month

View the STAFF TOXICOLOGIST (SPECIALIST) classification specification.

Application Instructions

Applications are accepted on a continuous basis.

Who Should Apply:

The information below will help you determine which classification(s) is(are) appropriate for you. Applicants must meet the Minimum Qualifications as stated on this bulletin to compete in this examination.

Open and Open, Non-Promotional Examination(s):


For all Classifications, once you have participated in any of the following examinations, you may not recompete for 12 months:

Exam Code(s):


For STAFF TOXICOLOGIST (SPECIALIST), once you have participated in any of the following examinations, you may not recompete for 12 months:

Exam Code(s):

  • EX-01280

How To Apply:

Submit an Examination/Employment Application (STD 678) to apply for this examination.

Electronic applications can be submitted through your account at www.CalCareers.ca.gov.

Special Testing Arrangements:

If you require assistance or alternative testing arrangements due to a disability, indicate on your application that you need reasonable accommodation. You will be contacted by a representative of the testing department to make the necessary arrangements. If you have not been contacted by the time you receive notification of testing, please contact the testing department listed in the Contact section of this bulletin.

If you are unable to submit your application or complete the test due to a disability, please contact the testing department listed in the Contact section of this bulletin.

Minimum Qualifications

All applicants must meet the education and/or experience requirements as stated on this exam bulletin to be accepted to the examination.

Unless otherwise stated in the Minimum Qualifications, qualifying experience may be combined on a proportionate basis if the requirements stated below include more than one pattern and are distinguished as "Either" 1, "or" 2, "or" 3, etc. For example, applicants possessing qualifying experience amounting to 50% of the required time of Pattern 1 and additional experience amounting to 50% of the required time of Pattern 2 may be accepted to an examination as meeting 100% of the overall experience requirement.


Either 1

Two years of experience in the California state service performing the duties of an Associate Toxicologist, Range B. and

Possession of a Doctoral Degree in Toxicology, Biochemistry, Pharmacology, or a closely related specialty.

Or 2

Three years of postdoctoral experience in toxicology or closely related field. This experience must have included the interpretation of toxicological findings relative to probable human health or aquatic life hazards and one year of experience in the development and design of toxicological research and investigative studies. and

Possession of a Doctoral Degree in Toxicology, Biochemistry, Pharmacology, or a closely related specialty.

Position Description


This level of the series will act as the subject matter expert. Under general direction, originates, designs and carries out toxicological studies and investigations; in a specific area of expertise, acts as statewide expert on the toxicological properties of chemicals for the purpose of advising on health and environmental problems; interprets and evaluates experimental study results in terms of toxicological properties and hazards, especially in the area of expertise; evaluates, advises and consults on the adequacy of toxicological data submitted by other organizations; advises on precautionary labeling for hazardous chemicals and products; provides technical consultation in areas such as legislation, rule and regulation promulgation and policy development; testifies as an expert witness in hearings and court procedures; prepares reports and scientific papers for publication; and may serve in a lead capacity over other scientific and technical staff.

For information regarding position location(s), please refer to the Eligible List Information section.

Examination Information

This examination consists of the following components:

  • Online Exam : A passing score must be achieved and is weighted 100% of the final score.

A final score of 70% must be attained to be placed on the eligible list.

In addition to evaluating the applicant's relative knowledge, skill and ability as demonstrated by quality and breadth of education/experience, emphasis in each test component will be on measuring competitively, relative to job demands, each applicant's:

Knowledge of:
  1. General principles of toxicology, with emphasis in environmental and occupational health concerns
  2. Laboratory and testing procedures for toxicological investigations
  3. Principles and procedures of risk assessment
  4. Provisions of laws, rules and regulations pertaining to the use, processing and handling of toxic substances
  5. Principles of toxicology and public health applicable to the recognition, identification and quantification of relative hazards from exposure to chemicals in the environment
  6. One or more specialized areas in toxicology or a closely related field
Ability to:
  1. Evaluate research studies in the fields of toxicology and pharmacology for application to issues of public health
  2. Work cooperatively with outside agencies and departmental staff
  3. Interpret and apply environmental and public health standards
  4. Communicate effectively
  5. Analyze situations accurately and take effective action
  6. Provide leadership in the evaluation and development of programs to implement toxicological practices and procedures on a statewide basis
  7. Function as a specialist in one or more phases of toxicology

Eligible List Information

A Servicewide Open eligible list for the STAFF TOXICOLOGIST (SPECIALIST) Classification will be established for:

  • State of California

The names of successful competitors will be merged onto the eligible list(s) in order of final score regardless of test date. Eligibility expires 24 months after it is established. Applicants must then retake the examination to reestablish eligibility.

Resulting Eligibility List(s) will be used to fill vacancies throughout the State of California.

Veterans' Preference will be granted for this examination. In accordance with Government Codes 18973.1 and 18973.5, whenever any veteran, widow or widower of a veteran, or spouse of a 100 percent-disabled veteran achieves a passing score on an open examination, he or she shall be ranked in the top rank of the resulting eligibility list. This section shall not apply to any veteran who has been dishonorably discharged or released.

Veteran status is verified by the California Department of Human Resources (CalHR). Directions to apply for Veterans' Preference are on the Veterans' Preference Application (Std. Form 1093), which is available at www.CalCareers.ca.gov, and the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Career Credits are not granted for examination(s) administered on an Open basis or a Promotional basis.

Staff Toxicologist (Specialist) Training and Experience Evaluation Preview

Section 1: Tasks


Rate your experience performing specific job-related tasks.

Respond to each of the following statements by indicating how the statement applies to you. You are required to respond to every question and provide relevant examples.  Also, indicate the references who can verify the information provided.

In responding to each statement, you may refer to your WORK EXPERIENCE, whether paid or volunteer, your EDUCATION, and/or FORMAL TRAINING COURSES you have completed.

PLEASE NOTE:  This examination is designed to gain an overall assessment of your education, training, and experience as it directly relates to the duties and the knowledge, skills and abilities required for this position.  Possession of specific education is not required to be successful in this examination; however, such achievements may substitute for desirable levels of experience.  All components of this examination have been carefully validated by tying them directly to job requirements and documenting their relevance to the position.

  1. Evaluating aspects of toxicology, chemical exposure, modeling, or risk assessment by analyzing data provided in reports or other relevant data sources.
  2. Reviewing scientific and/or technical documents for accuracy, completeness, format, grammar, and terminology.
  3. Writing risk assessments, scientific papers, or technical reports.
  4. Preparing, reviewing, and/or evaluating studies that are relevant for screening and baseline human health and/or ecological risk assessments.
  5. Advising on the toxicological properties of chemicals for the purpose of informing aspects of health and/or environmental problems.
  6. Interpreting and evaluating experimental study methods, results, and conclusions in terms of exposure, toxicological properties, and hazards.
  7. Collaborating to solve problems and issues that arise with regard to projects.
  8. Reviewing, evaluating, and summarizing scientific and/or technical literature on chemical exposure and its effects on human, ecological, and/or environmental health.
  9. Evaluating and/or conducting research on human health or ecological impacts from exposure to chemicals or environmental contaminants.
  10. Identifying inaccuracies, inconsistencies, and deficiencies in scientific methods, data analysis, or conclusions in toxicological and other scientific and/or technical reports.
  11. Interpreting quantitative and statistical data to extract key information and make valid inferences.
  12. Communicating scientific information and concepts verbally to a variety of audiences at public settings such as in-person and/or virtual conferences, meetings, or public hearings.
  13. Managing multiple projects ensuring high quality and timely completion.
  14. Conducting online research to retrieve information using scientific and/or technical literature and databases.
  15. Writing scientific and/or technical documents such as reports, project summaries, or analyses of proposed legislation.

Testing Departments

  • State of California

Contact Information

Questions regarding this examination should be directed to:

State of California
CalCareer Service Center
1810 16th Street
Sacramento, CA 95811
Phone: (866) 844-8671

California Relay Service: 1-800-735-2929 (TTY), 1-800-735-2922 (Voice). TTY is a Telecommunications Device for the Deaf, and is reachable only from phones equipped with a TTY Device.

Equal Opportunity Employer

The State of California is an equal opportunity employer to all, regardless of age, ancestry, color, disability (mental and physical), exercising the right to family care and medical leave, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, marital status, medical condition, military or veteran status, national origin, political affiliation, race, religious creed, sex (includes pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding and related medical conditions), and sexual orientation.

Drug Free Statement

It is an objective of the State of California to achieve a drug-free State work place. Any applicant for State employment will be expected to behave in accordance with this objective, because the use of illegal drugs is inconsistent with the law of the State, the rules governing civil service, and the special trust placed in public servants.

General Information

Examination and/or Employment Application (STD 678) forms are available at the California Department of Human Resources, local offices of the Employment Development Department, and through your CalCareer Account (www.CalCareers.ca.gov).

If you meet the requirements stated on this examination bulletin, you may take this examination, which is competitive. Possession of the entrance requirements does not assure a place on the eligible list. Your performance in the examination described in this bulletin will be rated against a predetermined job-related rating, and all applicants who pass will be ranked according to their scores.

State of California reserves the right to revise the examination plan to better meet the needs of the service, if the circumstances under which this examination was planned change. Such revision will be in accordance with civil service laws and rules and all applicants will be notified.

General Qualifications: Applicants must possess essential personal qualifications including integrity, initiative, dependability, good judgment, the ability to work cooperatively with others, and a state of health consistent with the ability to perform the assigned duties of the class. A medical examination may be required. In open examinations, investigation may be made of employment records and personal history and fingerprinting may be required.

Eligible Lists: Eligible lists established by competitive examination, regardless of date, must be used in the following order: 1) sub-divisional promotional, 2) departmental promotional, 3) multi-departmental promotional, 4) service-wide promotional, 5) departmental open, 6) open. When there are two lists of the same kind, the older must be used first. Eligible lists will expire in one to four years unless otherwise stated on the bulletin.

High School Equivalence: Equivalence to completion of the 12th grade may be demonstrated in any one of the following ways: 1) passing the General Education Development (GED) Test; 2) completion of 12 semester units of college-level work; 3) certification from the State Department of Education, a local school board, or high school authorities that the competitor is considered to have education equivalent to graduation from high school; or 4) for clerical and accounting classes, substitution of business college work in place of high school on a year-for-year basis.

Accepted applicants must provide proof of identification at each in-person test session. Acceptable identification consists of a photo identification card or two forms of signed identification.

Application Methods:
Electronic (Your CalCareer Account)