Forensic Scientist – Firearms and Toolmarks – Eastern Laboratory – CF825/ CF828


Firearms & Toolmarks

Position: CF828 & CF825

Salary: $52,676 – $88,123

Location: Norfolk, VA

This vacancy posting will fill two (2) positions.

The Virginia Department of Forensic Science is seeking a court qualified applicant to serve as a Forensic Scientist in the Firearms and Toolmarks Section in the Eastern Regional Laboratory, located in Norfolk, Virginia. The Forensic Scientist is responsible for examining, comparing, and evaluating a wide variety of items such as various firearms, unfired ammunition, fired ammunition components, clothing, tools and objects bearing toolmarks. The Forensic Scientist will document, evaluate, analyze and preserve evidence and utilize various comparison techniques while maintaining the chain of custody. In addition, they will issue reports, provide documentation of analysis, provide information to investigators and transport evidence and/or property to storage locations. The Forensic Scientist will also testify as an expert witness. Occasional overnight travel is required and employee will provide own transportation as required.


Qualified candidates must be eligible to apply for the Association of Firearm and Toolmark Examiners (AFTE) membership, have completed a documented training program and/or demonstration of competency in at least one of the following categories:

  1. Firearm and Toolmark comparison analysis or
  2. Firearm comparison analysis

The documented training program and/or demonstration of competency, which can include relevant academic coursework, internal or external training courses, and competency tests, must meet the Virginia Department of Forensic Science’s training requirements for the candidate to be considered qualified.  Records documenting the successfully completed coursework, training and testing will be requested.

Candidates who qualify in only Firearms comparison analysis may be required by the Agency to successfully complete the in-house Toolmark training program.

Required qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited four-year college or university
  • Successful completion of a documented forensic scientist firearm  training program and/or demonstration of competency in the examination of firearms, unfired ammunition, fired ammunition components, serial number restorations, clothing examination for distance determination and expert testimony
  • Experience documenting observations, writing and issuing reports, preparing exhibits of evidence for court and precisely explaining and defending scientific results
  • Ability to maintain accurate records, analyze and interpret data, manage multiple tasks efficiently, establish work priorities, and develop sound conclusions from comparisons
  • Knowledge of laboratory safety and QA/QC procedures
  • Valid driver’s license and/or other means of reliable transportation

Preferred qualifications:

  • Successful completion of a documented forensic scientist toolmark training program and/or demonstration of competency in the examination of tools and objects bearing toolmarks
  • Bachelor’s degree or higher from an accredited four-year college or university with major course work in forensic science, natural science,  physical science  or closely related field
  • Experience using the National Integrated Ballistic Information Network (NIBIN)
  • Membership in and/or certification by The Association of Firearms and Toolmark Examiners (AFTE)
  • Experience testifying in court as an expert in the field
  • Work experience in an accredited forensic science laboratory
  • Experience in providing forensic related teaching/training


If a fully qualified candidate cannot be found, a Forensic Scientist trainee position may be offered at a salary of $44,472.  The candidate will be expected to successfully complete the Firearms and Toolmarks training program. The Trainee must meet the educational requirements stated in the qualifications.  Preferred qualifications include:

  • Experience in an accredited laboratory (working and/or internship)
  • Experience in the comparative forensic sciences (i.e. Latent Prints, Footwear and Tire Track, Firearms, etc.)


Probationary Period:

If you are a current Commonwealth of Virginia employee, this position requires a new probationary period be served.  A probationary period of 12 or 24 months will be required depending on the selected candidate’s qualification level.

Background Investigation: 

Selected candidate(s) must successfully pass a background investigation to include a fingerprint-based criminal history check.  Selected candidate(s) must provide a DNA sample via a buccal swab (saliva sample) and successfully pass a drug test.  Reference checks will be conducted to include contact with current/previous supervisors.

Employment Eligibility Verification:

DFS will record information from each new employee’s Form I-9 (Employment Eligibility Verification) into the Federal E-Verify system to confirm identity and work authorization.

In support of the Commonwealth’s commitment to inclusion, we are encouraging individuals with disabilities to apply through the Commonwealth Alternative Hiring Process. To be considered for this opportunity, applicants will need to provide their Certificate of Disability (COD) provided by a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor within the Department for Aging & Rehabilitative Services (DARS). Veterans are encouraged to answer Veteran status questions and submit their disability documentation, if applicable, to DARS to get their Certificate of Disability. If you need to get a Certificate of Disability, use this link:, or call DARS at 800- 552-5019.

Applicants must apply electronically using the Commonwealth of Virginia’s Recruitment Management System (RMS) by October 4, 2022. The RMS can be accessed using the link: Contact Markeisha Lewis at (804) 588-4008 for assistance.